Disney, SeaWorld Rally After Florida Governor Praises Reopening

Shares of theme-park operators Walt Disney Co., SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. and Comcast Corp. rose Monday after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis praised their efforts on virus prevention.

“The theme parks have been doing great,” the governor said at a press conference Monday. “Universal, you look at what they’re doing.”

“Disney,” he added, “I have no doubt is going to be a safe environment.”

Florida has become one of the nation’s newest hot spots in the Covid-19 pandemic, with cases surging -- including among young people in Orange County, the center of the world’s theme-park industry.

Disney, the largest theme-park operator in the world, is scheduled to open its Florida resorts to the public starting on Saturday. Comcast’s Universal Studios and SeaWorld’s parks opened last month, as did other attractions in the state.

Shares of SeaWorld jumped as much as 5% on the governor’s comments. Disney gained 2.1%, while Comcast climbed 2.7%.

“I’m really impressed with what Universal has done,” DeSantis said. “I’ve looked at Disney’s plan. It’s very, very thorough.”

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