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The Disney effect: pandemic won’t keep guests away from park magic | ticker VIEWS



Disney parks have always been renowned for escaping the real world for fantasy, and that’s exactly why people are leaving the pandemic at the front gates of Disneyland

Walt Disney World’s Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida.

Disney’s theme park division returned to profitability for the first time since the pandemic began

It’s clear the delta variant can’t stop guests from visiting the most magical place on earth

Disney has returned to profit – with a blowout third-quarter earnings, beating Wall Street expectations.

The Mouse house reported subscriber growth, revenue and earnings, with shares up more than 4 per cent.

Although, the parks alone are not yet profitable – but this isn’t a worry to the world’s largest entertainment company

Florida is a global epicentre of the pandemic – but guests keep flocking?

Disney CEO Bob Chapek said is “bullish” about the future of its U.S. theme parks, despite the country experiencing a resurgence of Covid-19 nationwide.

Chapek said theme park reservations are higher now than in the company’s third fiscal quarter that ended in early July.

Walt Disney World and Disneyland are still “not quite 100% open at this point,” Chapek said.

Walt Disney World’s hotel capacity is still at 70 per cent, and some restaurants are still closed— but the company plans to get closer and closer to 100% capacity.”

The Disney reopening statements come as Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations are spiking around the U.S due to the delta variant

Florida is now recording among the highest Covid-19 rates in the world, with record hospitalisation rates that now surpass those in New York City at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The Orlando area, where Walt Disney World is located, is now in “crisis mode”

The Orlando Sentinel reports the Reedy Creek Fire Department—which responds to emergencies on Disney property specifically, as the resort functions with its own local government—is now facing a Covid-19 outbreak among its employees.

Disney requires all of its employees in the parks and throughout the company to be vaccinated against Covid-19, though the employee unions are still negotiating with Disney on the exact terms of the mandate.

Masks are also reinstated as mandatory due to the delta variant outbreak.

However, people are still flocking to parks. Guests are eager for reservations – with limited availability adding to the hype and exclusivity

Disney theme parks have operated at reduced crowd capacities throughout the pandemic.

Dining reservations for October 1 (Walt Disney World’s 50th) opened up a few days ago and the availability was already extremely limited from the day it was released to the public.

In October 2021, Disney World is bringing a party to all of its parks – making this Walt Disney World’s biggest celebration yet.

Disney fans will always be loyal to the company, especially during special events

But with limited international tourists to the U.S – overseas Disney park regulars have been cut off from the in-person magic for the forseeable future.

This definitely was a major dampen to Disney’ Parks revenue, however people found other ways to indulge in the happiness of Disney – that gave the company something to smile about too.

Consumer products business, saw operating income reach $564 million.

During the quarter, Disney garnered higher revenue from merchandise based on Mickey and Minnie, Star Wars, Disney princesses and Spider-Man.

So despite the empty merchandise stands during the peak period of the pandemic when parks were closed in 2020, people still bought their favourite Disney items.

$4.3 billion. That’s how much Disney’s parks, experiences and products division earned in revenue in the third quarter of 2021

Guests attending theme parks is critical for Disney as well as guests who thrive from the experience

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – JULY 11: In this handout photo provided by Walt Disney World Resort, guests take a selfie at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort on July 11, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. July 11, 2020 is the first day of the phased reopening. (Photo by Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images)

All six Disney parks around the globe have reopened after their shutdown last year and the resorts are slowly bringing back some of their pre-pandemic entertainment offerings, including the nightly fireworks show at Disney World.

Watching fireworks via livestream isn’t the same as standing in front of Cinderella’s castle watching the sky light up – and Disney knows this.

Walt Disney World in Florida is now seeing park attendance that’s “at or near daily capacity levels.”

Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said the company’s aim is to have their U.S. parks “be fully staffed up by the end of this calendar year.”

If you look back to the reason Walt Disney opened Disneyland it’s easy to see why people want to escape to the happiest place on earth

Walt Disney opening Disneyland in 1955

“To all who come to this happy place, welcome”

Printed at the front gates of disneyland

In the 1950’s the world was emerging from World War II and Americans were eager to find peace and prosperity.

Disneyland and DisneyWorld (that opened in 1971) were a way to escape the ‘real world’ and be emerged into fantasy.

In many ways, that is the reason, hundreds and thousands of guests, whom are sick of the grim ongoing covid-19 pandemic are relying on the magic of Disney more than ever to escape the world as we know it in 2021.

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Trump’s campaign tactic – debase and disgrace the legal process



Donald Trump, former president of the United States, hated Arraignment Day I in Manhattan two months ago, the first time a former president had been criminally charged. 

Trump was being forced against his will into a proceeding he had utter contempt for.  He was being arrested and fingerprinted and photographed under an indictment under the jurisdiction of Manhattan in New York City for allegations of hush money payments and fraudulent bookkeeping practices to conceal criminal activity. Trump heard the charges read out against him and he entered a plea of not guilty.

Trump had a terrible day. Trump wore a scowl throughout. His countenance was fearsome.  What Trump hated most about his arraignment in New York is that he had to sit at a table with his counsel side by side with him — equal to him — and with the judge above him looking down on him. Trump could not control the discussion and could not interrupt to make his points.

Trump was subordinate to the judge. He was subordinate to no one as president.

Arraignment Day II

Arraignment Day II in Miami will be worse from Trump, even more stressful.  The charges are substantially more serious:  the alleged violation of federal criminal statutes involving the alleged mishandling and illegal possession of classified documents, lying to legal authorities, and obstruction of justice.  Potential penalties run to years in prison and millions of dollars in fines.

Trump throughout his business life had always crafted his affairs to avoid being a defendant. But in his term in office, he was caught up in it big time. He was a defendant in two impeachment trials – again, unprecedented events – and left office in disgrace.

But Trump does not feel disgraced. He never does.  Trump does not have a reverse gear.  He never retreats.  Never admits. Never concedes. Never yields.  Trump is never embarrassed. Trump never feels ashamed. When something goes wrong, it is always the fault of someone else.

And Trump never repents.

Trump can feel this way because Trump is waging war on behalf of his armies in “the final battle” for the future of the county. In his first, fiery post-indictment speech in Georgia, Trump said, “They’ve launched one witch hunt after another to try and stop our movement, to thwart the will of the American people.  In the end, they’re not coming after me. They’re coming after you … “Either we have a Deep State, or we have a Democracy…Either the Deep State destroys America, or WE destroy the Deep State.”

It is a powerful formulation, and his true believers love it.

Hours later, In North Carolina, Trump mainlined his distilled message for the Republican crowd:

“We are a failing nation. We are a nation in decline. And now these radical left lunatics want to interfere with our elections by using law enforcement.

It’s totally corrupt and we cannot let it happen.

This is the final battle.

With you at my side we will demolish the Deep State.

We will expel the warmongers from our government.

We will drive out the globalists.

We will cast out the communists.

We will throw off the sick political class that hates our country.

We will roll out the fake news media.

We will defeat Joe Bide and we will liberate America from those villains once and for all.”

Any lesser mortal would be staggered by these events.  Any other presidential candidate would be driven from the race.  But not Trump.

Debase and disgrace

Trump is using the same playbook today as he successfully triggered after being charged in New York:  debase and disgrace the legal process by terming it completely political.  Trump said the federal indictment is “election interference at the highest level.”

Almost every other Republican running for president has adopted this line, insulating Trump from pressure to leave the field.

Trump’s chief opponent, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said after these indictments: “The weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society. We have for years witnessed an uneven application of the law depending upon political affiliation.”

Republican congressperson Nancy Mace: “This is a banana republic. I can’t believe this is happening.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene: “Democrats are arresting their political enemies. and they work together in their corrupt ways to get it done.”

Trump is using his affliction to raise millions of dollars from his base.

Trump will likely face Arraignment Day III in Georgia in August.  A state prosecutor is expected to charge Trump with criminal interference in the certification of Georgia’s vote for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

As of now, there is no sign of cracks in Trump’s support among Republican voters.  There is no surge to another candidate.  What remains to be seen is whether Republican voters, as they see Trump spend his days in courtrooms and his evenings at rallies around the country, reach a conclusion that this is a spectacle too far, too much to bear, and that they want to turn to another conservative populist who stands for them in the political trials— and not the criminal trials – of 2024.

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Donald Trump’s legal woes will serve him well



It’s not often that a U.S. President faces federal indictment, but if it’s going to happen to anyone, it might as well be Donald Trump first.

The news that Donald Trump is facing a federal investigation over the removal of secret documents from the White House in 2021 came as no surprise.

Keen watches of the Washington soap opera have seen this playbook before, albeit in a different form.

There is no doubt that Donald Trump is a Washington outsider. But as seriously damaged as he may be (thanks to the events of January 6), his support base has only grown whenever he faces scrutiny.

For his supporters, his legal woes mirror their own relationship with the government – a giant, unfair beast that picks and chooses its fights.

Trump is accused of storing sensitive documents—including those concerning matters of national security—in boxes, some even in a shower.

The documents were seized last August when investigators from the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago.

The Department of Justice has historically avoided charging people who are running for public office. Whether they should do that is a debate for another day. But it’s happening now. And it’s making it all too easy for Trump to claim there is a concerted campaign to get him away from the White House.

Trump exposed the deep state. IF they exist, they probably don’t want him back in power. Whether they exist doesn’t matter really, because plenty of Trump’s supporters agree with him, and believe the secret state is working against them. Call it QAnon, call it a conspiracy – it doesn’t matter in a democracy.

The DoJ now has to go all in. Failing to secure a conviction would be a serious embarrassment for the department.

This is the second time Trump has been indicted in recent months, yet the opinion polls show he only increases his popularity among MAGA and Republican voters. It leaves the Republican party in a difficult position. Support their leading candidate or support the law?

As other Republicans rallied around the embattled candidate, Trump held on to his loyal base of supporters.

For the Democrats, and for Biden, another reality will soon sink in – if Trump becomes President, and they lose office next year, how will a Trump-run DoJ deal with them?

Broadly, the tit-for-tat one-up-manship of U.S. politics is breaking tradition and potentially breaking the country.


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