Disneyland’s troubles explained: Here’s when the theme parks can reopen

disneyland california

Sleeping Magnificence Citadel at Disneyland, California, has been closed since March 2020.

Corinne Reichert/PJDM

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For the primary time in its 65-year historical past, Disneyland introduced it could shut its gates for a complete month in 2020. As a result of unfold of COVID-19, the enduring California theme parks shut down on March 12 — and have remained shut. Ever since, we have all been questioning when Disneyland can open, and why it hasn’t whereas Disney’s other global theme parks were free to reopen, together with Walt Disney World on the other coast of the US.

Disneyland initially announced an optimistic reopening date of July 17, its 65th anniversary. Nevertheless it was forced to backtrack on those plans in late June, when California refused to difficulty theme park steerage.

“Now we have no alternative however to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort inns till we obtain approval from authorities officers,” Disney Parks tweeted on the time.

So when can Disneyland reopen?

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

For now, Orange County is still stuck in the red tier, with “substantial” unfold of COVID-19. At current, it has 5.1 new circumstances per day per 100,000 folks, with a 3.2% optimistic price on take a look at outcomes.

Disney protested the strict rules, calling them “arbitrary” and “unworkable.” Disneyland President Ken Potrock mentioned the corporate has proved it will probably open responsibly. “The state of California continues to disregard this reality,” he mentioned. “State pointers will preserve us shuttered for the foreseeable future … irreparably devastating the Anaheim/Southern California group.”

However California Well being and Human Providers Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly mentioned Oct. 20 he does “imagine that it’s doable” for Orange County to achieve the yellow tier, declaring that San Francisco County has already carried out so. Ghaly added it will take laborious work, fixed vigilance, widespread testing and phone tracing.

Disneyland reached an agreement with 11 unions representing its workers as of Oct. 14, based on The Orange County Register, in order that it may be able to open instantly. The California Well being and Human Providers Company reportedly sent state health officials to assess Disney World in Florida throughout the first week of October, the Los Angeles Instances reported.

What’s going to Disneyland seem like when it reopens?

As soon as Disneyland does reopen, park capability will probably be restricted to 25% and reservations will probably be required. Plexiglass has already been put in within the park entry factors.

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 “reasonable” tier, however they will be capped at 25% attendance or 500 folks, whichever is much less; solely outside sights might be open; reservations are required; and solely locals can attend.

Downtown Disney is already open

If you cannot get by with out a little style of Disneyland magic, the Downtown Disney procuring and eating space reopened July 9 in keeping with California’s restaurant and retail opening pointers. 

Its operational hours are restricted to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; solely the Simba car parking zone is open; friends with a temperature of 100.Four Fahrenheit or larger aren’t allowed in; hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations are current all through the realm; all friends should deliver and put on their very own masks; and there are floor markings for social distancing. Capability can be restricted inside shops and eating places.

Disney mentioned on Oct. 23 that it is also extending the Downtown Disney shopping and dining district into the main street area of California Adventure theme park, stretching from Buena Vista road as much as the Carthay Circle lounge, as of Nov. 19.

Why was Disney World allowed to reopen?

Disney was in a position to reopen the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 11, with Epcot and Hollywood Studios soon following on July 15. It was permitted to take action by Florida’s less-strict state and native pointers.

The Orlando Disney parks have social distancing and wellness measures, together with temperature screenings, wearings masks, retaining friends six toes aside whereas lining up for sights and a guest reservation system to limit capacity. Fireworks have additionally been suspended.

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

Layoffs throughout the US theme parks enterprise

Vacationers aren’t the one ones affected by Disneyland’s persevering with closure — Disney announced on Sept. 29 it will lay off 28,000 US employees, assigning the blame on lowered capability at its theme parks resulting from social distancing necessities, in addition to California’s “unwillingness to carry restrictions that will permit Disneyland to reopen.” 

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


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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 will have a few medical situation or well being aims.

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Corinne Reichert