The California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly has said that the state of California is very close to reopening Disneyland and other theme parks in California. The news came yesterday as Disney also announced that 28,000 cast members in Disney Parks, Experiences and Products would be laid off.
During an online news conference, Ghaly said “We’re getting very close.” This echos statements made by California Governor Gavin Newsom in recent weeks.
The Disneyland Resort and other theme parks have been shuttered due to COVID-19 since March. Disney says that it is ready to reopen the Disneyland Resort but is waiting on guidelines for how to do that from California. It has already reopened all of its other theme parks globally.
“We’re working hard to get that out in a responsible way, as soon as possible, so planning can be done by both the counties that are homes to the theme parks, as well as the operators of those theme parks,” Ghaly said during the news conference. “We know that a number of Californians are eager and wondering when that is coming.”
Theme parks and local cities have grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of clarity on reopening in recent weeks. One month ago Governor Newsom said that the guidelines would be coming “soon.” Two weeks ago, they were “very soon.” While other businesses have been able to reopen with Newsom’s four-tier Blueprint for a Safer Economy, theme parks have been left waiting.
As the wait grows longers, theme parks have been joined by local leaders and legislators in the call for reopening.
“We are working with those industries to put out something that is thoughtful, allows us to maintain the rest of our framework in a strong way and really following those principles of slow and stringent to ensure those large activities are done responsibly,” Ghaly said.
While theme parks continue to wait for reopening guidelines, the economic situation for them continues to get worse. In a statement regarding the layoffs, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro confirmed that the impact of the pandemic was “exacerbated in California by the State’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.”
DAPS MAGIC will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they become available. Do you think California should allow the Disneyland Resort to reopen? Should they provide guidelines or a path forward for reopening? Share your thoughts in the comments below!