With Walt Disney World and Disneyland temporarily shut down due to the coronavirus, Bob Iger is beginning to picture what Disney parks could look like after the pandemic.
In an interview with Barron's, the Disney Chairman and former CEO explained that in order for things to return to "some semblance of normal," people will have to feel safe.
"Some of that could come in the form ultimately of a vaccine, but in the absence of that it could come from basically, more scrutiny, more restrictions," he said. "Just as we now do bag checks for everybody that goes into our parks, it could be that at some point we add a component of that that takes people’s temperatures, as a for-instance."
He also added that he and the team at Disney are "very carefully" studying China's actions in terms of the country's return to normalcy.
"One of the things that’s obvious is they’ve conscripted a large segment of their population to monitor others in terms of their health," he said. "You can’t get on a bus or a subway or a train or enter a high-rise building there — and I’m sure this will be the case when their schools reopen — without having your temperature taken."
And though he says the pandemic is the "biggest business interruption" Disney has faced, he remains optimistic about the long-term prospects of the business.
"We know when it ends that we will have things for the public to enjoy and to escape to, maybe in ways they will appreciate more than they ever have," he said.
During the remainder of the parks' closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, Walt Disney World and Disneyland annual passholders will see their payments refunded or waived.
The parks, which shut their gates March 15, are closed indefinitely as the virus plays out across the U.S. The Walt Disney World website and app now state that people who are on monthly payment plans will see refunds for payments made March 14 through April 4.
Contributing: Britt Kennerly, Florida Today