Disney struggles with reopening global theme parks as Disneyland finally gets California rules

Sleeping Magnificence Citadel at Disneyland in California stays closed.

Corinne Reichert/PJDM

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When Disney’s theme parks closed indefinitely throughout the unfold of COVID-19 in early 2020, many questioned and frightened about after they would reopen. Each Shanghai Disney and Hong Kong Disney closed in late January, adopted by the Tokyo Disney Resort in late February. Disneyland Paris closed March 12, as did Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Of all the parks, Disneyland stays the one one nonetheless closed.

Disney announced Sept. 29 that it will lay off 28,000 US employees, laying the blame on diminished capability at its theme parks as a consequence of social distancing necessities, in addition to California’s “unwillingness to raise restrictions that will enable Disneyland to reopen.” 

“We’ve got made the very troublesome choice to start the method of decreasing our workforce at our Parks, Experiences and Merchandise phase in any respect ranges, having stored non-working solid members on furlough since April whereas paying healthcare advantages,” Josh D’Amaro, Disney Parks chair, stated in an announcement. “Roughly 28,000 home workers might be affected, of which about 67% are half time.”

Here is when Disney can open its California parks and the way COVID-19 has affected its different parks.


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Disneyland: Each time Orange County reaches ‘minimal’ circumstances

California finally revealed its theme park reopening guidelines Oct. 20. The state will solely enable massive theme parks like Disneyland to open as soon as the county they’re in is within the “yellow” or minimal tier of COVID-19 transmission, that means that space should have lower than one day by day new case of coronavirus per 100,000 folks, in addition to a lower than 2% fee of exams coming again constructive.

Disneyland’s Orange County is currently still stuck in the red tier, with “substantial” unfold of COVID-19. At present, it has 4.6 new circumstances per day per 100,000 folks with a 3.2% constructive fee. As soon as Disneyland does reopen, park capability may also be restricted to 25% and reservations might be required.

“We do consider that it’s doable,” California Well being and Human Companies Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly stated Oct. 20 when requested if Orange County can attain the yellow tier. He added it’ll take onerous work, fixed vigilance, widespread testing and make contact with tracing.

Smaller theme parks — these with a complete capability of 15,000 folks or fewer — are permitted to reopen as soon as their county reaches the orange or “average” tier, however they are going to be capped at 25% attendance or 500 folks, whichever is much less; solely outside points of interest could be open; reservations are required; and solely locals can attend.

Previous to these guidelines, Disneyland initially announced an optimistic reopening date of July 17, on the 65th anniversary of the resort. It was forced to backtrack in late June when California refused to challenge theme park steering. Gov. Gavin Newsom warned on June 22 that the first coronavirus wave wasn’t finished yet, and union leaders who signify Disneyland’s 17,000 workers had been additionally pushing for the theme park to slow down its plans to reopen until it’s safer.

“We’ve got no alternative however to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort lodges till we obtain approval from authorities officers,” Disney Parks tweeted. “As soon as now we have a clearer understanding of when tips might be launched, we anticipate to have the ability to talk a reopening date.”

Orange County was downgraded from “widespread” to “substantial” in California’s COVID-19 classification system on Sept. 8, which may clear the way in which for extra companies to reopen. Nonetheless pushing for a reopening, Disneyland on Sept. 22 hosted an online press conference where it practically begged to be allowed to open. “Assist us reopen. We’d like tips which are honest and equitable,” stated Josh D’Amaro, chair of Disney Parks, in accordance with Theme Park Insider. “The longer we wait, the extra devastating the influence might be to Orange County and the Anaheim communities and the tens of 1000’s of people that depend on us for employment.”

Disneyland reached an agreement with 11 unions representing its workers as of Oct. 14, in accordance with The OC Register, in order that it may be able to open instantly. The California Well being and Human Companies Company reportedly sent state health officials to assess Disney World in Florida throughout the first week of October, LA Occasions reported.

The Downtown Disney procuring and eating space reopened July 9 in line beneath California’s restaurant and retail opening tips. The reopening was impacted by Gov. Newsom’s guidelines introduced July 1, which includes closing down all bars as well as the indoor portions of restaurants. It additionally included operational hours of 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.; solely the Simba car parking zone is open; company with a temperature of 100.Four F or greater aren’t allowed in; hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations are current all through the world; all company should convey and put on their very own masks; and there are floor markings for social distancing.

Newsom’s unique plan to reopen California stated the “highest danger” venues like concert events, conference facilities and sports activities with reside audiences shouldn’t reopen until “therapeutics have been developed.”

Hong Kong Disneyland: June 18-July 15 and once more Sept. 25

Hong Kong Disneyland introduced June 15 that it will reopen on June 18 with diminished capability, enhanced well being measures and a brand new reservation system — however then closed down indefinitely again on July 15 after a spike in coronavirus cases within the area. “As required by the federal government and well being authorities in keeping with prevention efforts going down throughout Hong Kong, Hong Kong Disneyland Park will briefly shut,” Disney stated on the theme park web site on the time.

The theme park reopened Sept. 25, Disney introduced on Sept. 22. Hong Kong Disneyland stays closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays for now, and would require reservations by way of its online reservation system as much as seven days upfront.

Disneyland Paris: July 15

Disneyland Paris reopened on July 15, beginning with each Disneyland Paris parks, Disney’s Newport Bay Membership resort and the Disney Village procuring and eating space. Likewise, it has restricted attendance beneath a reservation system, bodily distancing and extra emphasis on cleansing.

Disney’s lodges have “sneeze guards” put in, and just one household at a time could use the elevators. Character meet-and-greets have been changed by “sudden appearances to new Selfie Spots.” Parades and fireworks are cancelled, however the Lion King stage show will return a while throughout summer time 2020.

The reopening of Disneyland Paris comes regardless of French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe saying in Might that public events with more than 5,000 people would be against the law until September.

Disney World: July 11

Disney reopened Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 11, with Epcot and Hollywood Studios following on July 15. The Orlando Disney parks have social distancing and wellness measures, together with temperature screenings, wearings masks, maintaining company six ft aside whereas lining up for points of interest and a guest reservation system to limit capacity.

Fireworks, parades and character meet and greets have been suspended. Disney World resorts and lodges started reopening in late June. 

Disney Springs shopping and dining area reopened Might 20 with limited parking, fewer entrances, temperature screening earlier than entry, masks required, bodily distanced strains and limitations, diminished hours, no leisure and extra sanitization and disinfectant. Disney-owned shops and eating places in Disney Springs started reopening Might 27.


Disney World’s fireworks present is on maintain, although the Magic Kingdom has a deliberate reopening date of July 11


Tokyo Disney Resort: July 1

Disney Parks introduced on June 23 that it will be opening Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea on July 1.

Japan began reopening in late May, with the Tokyo Disney Resort saying June Four that the opening date for the Tokyo Disneyland main growth space might be decided as soon as the scenario could be gauged after reopening each parks.” The in depth growth — which features a Beauty and the Beast-themed area and a Baymax ride — was initially slated to start opening on April 15, 2020.

Disneyland Shanghai: Might 11

Disney CEO Bob Iger introduced Might 5 that the Shanghai park would reopen Monday, May 11. It has limits on attendance, a reservation system to achieve entry to the park, an entry management system, social distancing necessities, tape markings maintaining company distanced whereas in strains for rides, masks, temperature screenings, contact tracing and government-required well being procedures. It elevated capability from 30% to 50% of the park on Aug. 24, and likewise restarted its night-time fireworks present.

Shanghai began opening restaurants and stores on March 9 in Disneytown, Wishing Star Park and on the Shanghai Disneyland Resort, requiring all company to endure temperature screening, current a inexperienced Shanghai QR well being code at eating venues, continuously put on a masks and “maintain respectful social distances at all times.”

The knowledge contained on this article is for academic and informational functions solely and isn’t meant as well being or medical recommendation. All the time seek the advice of a doctor or different certified well being supplier relating to any questions you’ll have a few medical situation or well being aims.

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Corinne Reichert