NEWS: Guidelines to Reopen Disneyland and Other Theme Parks Are Not Quite Ready Yet, But “Very Close”

Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure closed over 6 months ago and have yet to reopen.

Disney California Adventure Entrance

Although many, including Disney officials and others, have urged California’s Governor Newsom to open theme parks in California, theme park reopening guidelines have not yet been issued.

According to the California Government COVID-19 Website, “As of September 29, California has 807,425 confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in 15,640 deaths. The number of COVID-related deaths increased by 0.2 percent from the previous day’s total of 15,608.”

Screenshot from www.covid19.ca.gov

Earlier today, Dr. Mark Ghaly, who is the California Health and Human Services Secretary, held a news conference providing updates on the situation in California with regards to COVID-19 and discussed the situation surrounding theme parks reopening.

Health and safety signage outside California Adventure

Dr. Ghaly noted that California’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” was first implemented about a month ago, and that a new health equity metric would be introduced at some point in the future. Under California’s regulations, each county is assigned a tier based on their test positivity and adjusted case rate.

Screenshot from www.covid19.ca.gov

Orange County, where Disneyland is located, is currently in the “Substantial” tier, and was not announced as one of the counties that would be moving to the “Moderate” tier during today’s press conference. For counties in the “Substantial” tier, some non-essential indoor business operations are closed.

Screenshot from www.covid19.ca.gov

Dr. Ghaly did say, however, that some counties have met the first week requirements of the next level threshold and the government will see if those trends hold, at which point more counties may advance to another tier.

Disneyland

Dr. Ghaly was later asked about theme parks reopening since some parts of the park operations are inside while others are outdoor. The representative from the Wall Street Journal who asked this question also noted that Orange County is not moving the next tier, and wondered whether that makes things more difficult for places like Disneyland to reopen.

©Disney

Dr. Ghaly responded by noting that they’re “working hard to get [theme park reopening guidelines] 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.” Dr. Ghaly also said they’re “working with those industries to put out something that’s 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. “Slow and stringent” are the principles that have guided California’s Governor Newsom’s reopening plans.

Disney Cast Member ©Disney

In summation, in reference to the theme park reopening plans, Dr. Ghaly said “not quite yet but we’re getting very close.” Nearly a month ago, Governor Newsom said the guidelines regarding theme parks reopening were “forthcoming,” so it’s unclear when these guidelines will ultimately be received but it appears we are perhaps getting closer. Currently, Disneyland Resort reservations have been cancelled through mid-October. We’re keeping an eye on this situation and will let you know of any updates.

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