ORLANDO, Fla. — How will Disney World be different in a post-coronavirus world?
The theme parks have been shut down since March 16 and still don't have an official opening date, as much still remains uncertain on the virus that's killed thousands and caused governments to enact executive orders to stay home.
But when Disney's theme parks eventually reopen, the company could add new security steps, such as checking people's temperature before they're allowed inside to make people feel safe again, said Bob Iger, Walt Disney Co. executive chairman, in an interview with Barron's on a variety of topics that included the company's films and streaming service.
"One of the things that we're discussing already is that in order to return to some semblance of normal, people will have to feel comfortable that they're safe. Some of that could come in the form ultimately of a vaccine, but in the absence of that it could come from basically, more scrutiny, more restrictions," Iger said in an edited transcript that was published Tuesday.
"Just as we now do bag checks for everybody that goes into our parks, it could be that at some point we add a component of that that takes people's temperatures, as a for-instance," he said.
Iger said the company is studying China and the heightened security measures the country has taken to monitor people's health during its economic recovery.
"So we've asked ourselves the question, let's prepare for a world where our customers demand that we scrutinize everybody. Even if it creates a little bit of hardship, like it takes a little bit longer for people to get in," Iger said.
Iger also told Barron's that the pandemic will change the way Disney operates in the future.
"I don't think we're ever going to see a return to business as usual in the sense that, I can't speak for all companies, but Disney will take this opportunity to look for ways to run our businesses more efficiently when we come back," he said, without elaborating.
Iger stepped down as Walt Disney Company CEO in late February.