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BY JOHN · APRIL 28, 2020
The ongoing COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic has closed nearly every amusement and theme park across the globe for the foreseeable future. When many of these parks will reopen remains unknown.
To learn what the future may hold for theme parks in a post- (or ongoing) coronavirus world, we spoke with Bill Coan, president and CEO of Orlando-based ITEC Entertainment, an industry-leading company with a global portfolio of more than 300 guest experiences spanning theme parks, cultural attractions, resorts, retail and beyond.
Images courtesy of ITEC Entertainment
“The three tenets of ITEC have been creative design planning, entertainment technologies and production management,” Bill explained.
After graduating from the University of Florida, Bill started his career as a landscape architect at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center before climbing the ranks to become a Disney Imagineer. He worked at various Disney properties around the world before concluding his time with the company in Paris.
So let’s dive in — how will the novel coronavirus pandemic affect theme parks around the world?
Were parks prepared for a pandemic?
The idea of a pandemic virus sweeping across the globe is not far-fetched fiction (I highly recommend watching the 2011 film, Contagion). But did parks have a plan in place to prepare for a health crisis like COVID-19? Bill said it’s unlikely:
“Nobody had a plan for this. Nobody could imagine the scale of the impact of this pandemic. Who would have imagined in our lifetime that we’d see 100 percent of Disney and Universal parks close, all of Disney’s ships parked and none of their movies coming out?”