Disney CEO Bob Chapek Blames California’s “Stringent” Guidelines for Continued Disneyland Closure

A story posted to The Orange County Register website details comments that Disney CEO Bob Chapek shared today on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” In the interview, Chapek did not hold back his opinion of the reopening guidelines proposed by California Governor Gavin Newsom. Chapek labeled the guidelines as “stringent” and “arbitrary.”


After radio silence in the weeks following the mass layoffs, Chapek has been in the news quite a lot today. First, Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a scathing letter to Chapek and Disney Chairman Bob Iger. Disney responded by issuing a statement that sidestepped Warren’s points.

During his “Closing Bell” appearance, Chapek alluded to the success Disney has had at its reopened locations.

“I look across our Disney properties — be it Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, Walt Disney World, the Disney bubble for the NBA — and all I see is that we’ve been able to open up responsibly using the guidelines that health care experts have given us. As a result, we’ve been very, very successful at reopening without having issues that would preclude us from staying open.”

Disney CEO Bob Chapek on CNBC’s “Closing Bell”

When discussing furloughed Cast Members, Chapek did not pull any punches. He placed the blame squarely on the state of California.

“We’d like to put our cast members back to work — as many of them as possible — as soon as possible if the government will let us.”

Disney CEO Bob Chapek on CNBC’s “Closing Bell”

While California has proposed a 25% cap on theme park capacity, it also wants to limit visitors to a 120 mile radius of Disneyland. That stipulation would make Disneyland a local draw. Chapek called the limits a “mandate that we stay closed.”

Will this attention and political pressure lead to Disneyland’s reopening? Let us know what you think in the comments below.