After seven months of Disneyland closures, the California government has finally settled on a path to reopening the theme parks.
After months of lobbying by the Walt Disney Company and Universal Studios, both company’s parks will be able to reopen soon by following new guidelines. The plan calls for the parks to be considered to be “Tier 4” (or “minimal”) spread areas no matter what their home counties are currently rated at. This will mean 25% capacities for the parks, and there will also be no “day of” ticket sales as all tickets will need to be reserved in advance.
Masks will also be required in the parks at all times.
Following the announcement of the new rules, Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock issued a statement saying, “We have proven that we can responsibly reopen, with science-based health and safety protocols strictly enforced at our theme park properties around the world. Nevertheless, the State of California continues to ignore this fact, instead mandating arbitrary guidelines that it knows are unworkable and that hold us to a standard vastly different from other reopened businesses and state-operated facilities. Together with our labor unions we want to get people back to work, but these State guidelines will keep us shuttered for the foreseeable future, forcing thousands more people out of work, leading to the inevitable closure of small family-owned businesses, and irreparably devastating the Anaheim/Southern California community.”
Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu also joined in the condemnation, saying, “These guidelines fail working families and small businesses. As painful as this is, Disney and the city of Anaheim will survive. But too many Anaheim hotels, stores and restaurants will. not survive another year of this. Many are family businesses. The jobs they provide support other families. We can safely and responsibility open our theme parks and convention center soon. The unions of the Disneyland Resort agree and support the reopening of the theme parks in Tier 3 — not Tier 4, — which would wipe out jobs in our city and destroy lives.”
Where the talks go from here remains to be seen, but it would seem that all of the involved parties are at a stalemate for now.