When Will Disneyland Reopen? Here's What's Known So Far
Walt Disney World has a plan in place to open its gates once again in mid-July following coronavirus closures, but when will Disneyland in California reopen? Earlier this week, Disney Parks announced that it will delay the reopening of Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure park until further notice.
Disney said in a statement on Wednesday that this delay is a result of the State of California not releasing its reopening guidelines for theme parks until sometime after July 4 — less than two weeks before the tentative reopening date. State officials told the Orange County Register that the California Department of Health will issue a detailed guidance to theme parks “with suggested modifications for how to minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread” sometime in the future. Disneyland had originally planned on reopening as soon as July 17, which is exactly 65 years to the date the theme park first opened its doors in 1955.
“Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials,” Disney Parks said in a statement on Twitter. “Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date.”
Downtown Disney will still reopen on Thursday, July 9. But there will be elevated health and safety measures in place to protect guests. When Disneyland does open, there will be a limit on how many people will be allowed inside of the parks and attendance will be managed through a new online reservation system. Certain attractions, experiences, and amenities will be modified or closed. Classic Disneyland experiences that draw large crowds together, like parades, will return at a later date and character meet-and-greets will be temporarily unavailable, but your favorite Disney characters will still be in the theme park, entertaining guests in a new way. Guests are recommended to frequently visit Disneyland.com for any new information about their upcoming visit.
Disney Parks said in a statement on Wednesday that it is currently negotiating agreements with unions before Disneyland employees return to work. “We thank our cast and our guests for their patience during this unprecedented time while we await approval from government officials,” the company said.
A spokesperson for California Gov. Gavin Newsom provided a statement to USA Today on Wednesday, saying that he was pleased with Disney’s decision to delay the reopening. “The governor appreciates Disney’s responsiveness to his concerns about reopening amid the recent increases in COVID-19 infections amid many Southern California counties,” the spokesperson said. “The state and our public health experts continue to be in contact with the company and their workers — as well as other theme parks in the state — as we track and combat the spread of coronavirus.”
In May, Walt Disney World announced a projected reopening date for July 11. The theme park also plans to reopen with limits on attendance, controlled guest density, and social distancing measurements in place, according to the Disney Parks Blog. Guests 2 or older will be required to wear face masks in the park and all guests will undergo temperature screenings before entering the park. As Walt Disney World opens for visitors and California continues to move through the stages to reopen, Disneyland could follow suit with similar precautions.
But Newsom said during an appearance on The View on Friday, May 29 that he was afraid of moving too quickly when it comes time to reopen. "My biggest fear is that we forget the reality of the last eight, nine, 10 weeks in this state and in this nation and imperil, and put ourselves at real risk for not just a second wave but recognizing that we're not even out of the first wave of the pandemic."
Disneyland cautions guests on its website that when the parks do reopen, there is still a risk of contracting COVID-19. "We have taken enhanced health and safety measures — for you, our other Guests and Cast Members — and we ask that you follow all posted instructions while visiting the Disneyland Resort," Disneyland's website reads. "However, an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 currently exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death... By visiting the Disneyland Resort, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19."
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here.
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