This isn’t the guidance that Disneyland wanted to hear. California has opted to differentiate between the different types of theme parks and treat them unequally.
As a result, smaller parks will reopen before larger ones, as outlined below.
In an online statement Ken Potrock, president of the Disneyland resort said:
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 irreparable devastating the Anaheim/Southern California community.
Disneyland will have to wait to reopen until Orange County reaches the yellow or minimal tier of the state’s reopening framework and even then, the park can only open with 25% capacity.
With the county still being in the red tier (which indicates substantial COVID spread), Disneyland may not be opening until 2021.
“Personally, I think that we can look forward to a yellow tier by next summer, hopefully. Hopefully,” said Dr. Clayton Chau, director of the Orange County Health Care Agency.
Anaheim’s Mayor Makes a Statement
Anaheim’s Mayor is concerned. The city’s three big revenue sources are all closed, Disney, the Convention Center, and the sports complex.
If Disney and the Convention Center aren’t allowed to open soon, many businesses and jobs will be lost. The recovery gets harder with each day those big revenue operators remain closed:
In September, Disney announced it was laying off about 28,000 employees in its Parks, Experiences and Products division, blaming California’s “unwillingness to lift restrictions” as the cause of Disneyland’s layoffs.
The Anaheim theme park closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and during the initial closure, employees were placed on furlough.
Walt Disney World in Florida reopened in July with changes in place like limited capacity, mask requirements and physical distancing.