Bob Chapek calls California’s Theme Park Reopening Guidelines “Arbitrary,” and Have No Regard for “Actual Fact”

Arbitrary. That’s the word Disney CEO Bob Chapek used to describe California’s theme park reopening guidelines.

The guidelines, have been put together not by Disney, but by California Governor Gavin Newsom. Chapek didn’t stop at “arbitrary.” He went on to tell CNBC that the plans were put together “without regard for actual fact” and are the most stringent standards in the United States.”

During the CNBC “Closing Bell” interview Chapek also pointed to the history of the Walt Disney Company by saying,

“If you look at the history of Disney and what we’ve been able to do during the reopening — rather than arbitrary standards set up without regard to actual fact — and what we’ve been able to do as a company, I think you’d come to a different decision about reopening Disneyland.”

“It’s not much of a negotiation,” Chapek told CNBC. “It’s pretty much a mandate that we stay closed.”

Disney announced in late September that 28,000 employees will be laid off in the Disney Parks, Entertainment and Products division — mostly at Disneyland and Disney World — as the company continues to struggle with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Obviously, we’re watching very carefully what the state of California does as an indicator of whether we can retain some of our cast members that are on furlough now,” Chapek told CNBC. “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.”


Kristi is the Media and PR Director for The Kingdom Insider. She's a lifelong Disney fan and grew up spending her family vacations at the Happiest Place on Earth. She resides in Florida with her husband and two boys, ages 4 and 6.