Disneyland is currently in the seventh month of its historic closure, and many are wondering when the state of California will release the theme park industry guidelines needed in order to reopen.
Today, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly held a video conference call providing an update on the state’s reopening blueprint and where each county stands in their own reopening process, and commented on the whereabouts of the state’s reopening guidelines for the theme park industry.
In California’s tiered system, each county’s metrics are assessed every Tuesday and their tier status is then re-evaluated, with some counties advancing to the next tier, while other counties maintain their current tier status, and in some instances, counties could move backwards if there’s a rise in cases.
We learned today that Orange County did NOT advance to the next tier, Orange (also known as “Moderate”) today. The county advanced from Purple (Widespread) to Red (Substantial) a few weeks ago. According to California’s COVID website, Orange County currently only meets one of the two criteria’s needed to advance to the next tier.
After Dr. Ghaly shared his update on the current county tiers, he was asked a reporter question regarding the status of theme park guidelines. The Wall Street Journal asked, “I was wondering where you were in terms of [testifying] when theme parks might reopen, as part of the operations are indoor or outdoor. It looks like Orange County didn’t move to the orange tier so maybe that makes the case more difficult for say, Disneyland, but I was wondering if you could clarify the situation with theme parks and where you’re at.”
Dr. Mark Ghaly responded by saying, “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.”
Dr. Ghaly continued on to say, “We know that a number of Californians are eager and wondering when that is coming, and we’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. So, not quite yet but we’re getting very close.”
Dr. Ghaly’s remarks have echoed what Governor Gavin Newsom has said for several weeks now. Discussions regarding the reopening status of theme parks in the state have been “forthcoming” since August, but organizations such as the California Attractions and Parks Association have claimed that the opposite is true.
Pressure is starting to build on the state to issue the guidelines needed for parks like Disneyland to announce reopening dates. Disney themselves have recently lent their voice to the conversation, with Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro noting that the state has not treated theme parks like they have other sectors, and that “We’re ready, and more importantly, it’s time.”
We will continue to closely monitor the status of Disneyland and Orange County, and we will let you know of any updates as soon as we learn more!
Click here to learn about an internet ad circulating throughout Southern California that calls on the state to reopen Disneyland.
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How soon will you visit the Disneyland Resort once it reopens? Let us know in the comments!