Bob Iger: Disney parks consider 'more scrutiny,' temperature checks after coronavirus

Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY

While Walt Disney World and Disneyland are temporarily shut down during the coronavirus crisis, Bob Iger is beginning to picture what Disney parks could look like after the pandemic.

In an interview with Barron's, the Disney chairman and former CEO said that for things to return to "some semblance of normal," people will have to feel 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," he said. "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 he and the team at Disney are "very carefully" studying China's actions in terms of the country's return to normalcy.

"One of the things that’s obvious is they’ve conscripted a large segment of their population to monitor others in terms of their health," he said. "You can’t get on a bus or a subway or a train or enter a high-rise building there – and I’m sure this will be the case when their schools reopen – without having your temperature taken."

Though he said the pandemic is the "biggest business interruption" Disney has faced, he remains optimistic about the long-term prospects of the business. 

"We know when it ends that we will have things for the public to enjoy and to escape to, maybe in ways they will appreciate more than they ever have," he said.

During the remainder of the parks' closure, Walt Disney World and Disneyland annual passholders will have their payments refunded or waived.

The parks, which shut their gates March 15, are closed indefinitely as the virus plays out across the USA. The Walt Disney World website and app say people on monthly payment plans will see refunds for payments March 14 through April 4.  

Contributing: Britt Kennerly, Florida Today

More: Disney extends coronavirus cruise cancellations through April 28

More: Disney World, Disneyland halt annual passholder payments during coronavirus closures

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus: Disney parks may do temperature checks, Bob Iger says