The teacups may quickly be spinning once more: Disneyland, which has been closed for a 12 months, is poised to reopen this spring.
California officers introduced on Friday that theme parks within the state may reopen on a restricted foundation as quickly as April 1. Eligibility, nevertheless, will depend upon coronavirus transmission statistics in particular person counties.
As an example, theme parks in counties the place the virus risk stays essentially the most extreme (within the purple tier under the state’s system) should stay closed. However parks in areas the place the specter of an infection has eased considerably (purple tier) might be allowed to reopen at 15 p.c capability. Even much less risk (orange tier) will enable for 25 p.c capability.
Attendance might be restricted to in-state guests.
Disneyland is in Orange County, which is within the purple tier. But when coronavirus circumstances proceed to say no in Southern California on the present tempo, the county may fall inside the orange tier by late April. The Walt Disney Firm mentioned final 12 months that reopening a park at lower than 25 p.c capability wouldn’t make financial sense. A Disney spokeswoman declined to touch upon a selected reopening timeline on Friday.
“We’re inspired that theme parks now have a path towards reopening this spring, getting 1000’s of individuals again to work,” Ken Potrock, Disneyland’s president, mentioned in a press release.
Disney has mentioned it might take a minimum of 4 weeks to rehire employees and prepare them on new coronavirus security procedures. Earlier than the pandemic, roughly 32,000 individuals labored on the 486-acre Disneyland Resort, which incorporates two individually ticketed theme parks, three Disney-owned inns and an outside shopping center. Many of the Anaheim complicated has been closed for a year.
Disney had hoped to reopen its California points of interest in July. However unions representing Disneyland workers criticized that timetable as too fast and pressured Gov. Gavin Newsom to withhold approval. He sided with the unions, prompting followers to assault him on-line. (“Open Disney, or we’re taking away your hair gel.”)
In distinction, Florida allowed Disney to reopen its Orlando parks in July. The corporate endured withering criticism for doing so, however stringent security procedures, together with obligatory masks, resulted in a safer-than-expected surroundings.
“It has been successful story,” Julee Jerkovich, a United Meals & Business Employees official, said in October. “As a union rep, I don’t say that flippantly.”
Along with Disneyland, theme parks in California embrace Common Studios Hollywood, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Knott’s Berry Farm and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.