Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Iconic Disney World Hotel Won't Open Anytime Soon

By Rick Munarriz – Sep 1, 2020 at 10:00AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort won't open until next summer. The House of Mouse was trying to get the hotel up and running again next month.

Walt Disney (DIS -3.22%) has been welcoming visitors to its Florida resort since mid-July, but Disney World isn't anywhere close to firing on all cylinders. The four theme parks are now open, but Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach -- the country's two most visited water parks -- remain closed. Many of Disney World's on-site hotels have also yet to reopen, and this week Disney is conceding that its signature Polynesian Village Resort won't be checking in overnight guests until the summer of 2021. 

Taking the Polynesian offline is a pretty big deal, especially since it was already booking visitors to the resort for stays starting next month. It's also a surprisingly long outage for the iconic property. It's one thing to delay a hotel's reopening a couple of months, the way Disney did with the South Pacific-themed resort when it pushed its initial mid-August restart to Oct. 4. However, tacking on what will be roughly another eight months of closure is a grim admission that things won't be getting better in the coming months at the world's most popular theme park resort.

A family of three enjoying Disney's Polynesian Village Resort at Disney World.

Image source: Disney.

Lei it on the line

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort is one of the resort's most popular hotels. It was one of just two on-site resorts available when Disney World opened in 1971. It's one of the three resorts that are on the Magic Kingdom monorail line. It's also conveniently steps away from the Transportation and Ticket Center that houses the Epcot monorail line. 

Things haven't gone as Disney planned, and that's not a shock. These are unprecedented times. Disney has never had to close any of its domestic resorts for months. We're in a pandemic. We're in a recession. Even the best-laid plans are being scrawled in crayon

Disney's theme parks business isn't currently profitable, but as the industry leader pointed out last month, it's not losing as much money as it did when the resort was entirely closed through the first few months of the coronavirus crisis. The results started to fall short of Disney's initial expectations as COVID-19 cases started to spike in Florida through June and early July, but the counts have been trending sharply lower since mid-July. 

What does Disney see that investors don't? Are advance bookings that bad? Disney obviously knows its own business better than anybody else, but it's not as if it has the inside track on when the pandemic will fade or when global tourism will pick back up. There's a lot of guesswork here, and for now you may as well pass the crayon box. 

Rick Munarriz owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Walt Disney and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney and short October 2020 $125 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Walt Disney Stock Quote
Walt Disney
DIS
$95.69 (-3.22%) $-3.18

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
356%
 
S&P 500 Returns
118%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 11/28/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.