Today, the state of California announced its guidelines for theme park reopenings, stating that large theme parks like Disneyland cannot reopen until their county (in Disneyland’s case, Orange County) are in the state’s yellow tier.
Also known as a minimal tier, this level means that there is less than 1 daily new case of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents in the county and less than 2% positivity rate for tests.
Currently, Orange County is in the Red, or Substantial tier.
So, when could Disneyland’s county reach the yellow tier? According to Dr. Clayton Chau, Director, Orange County Health Care Agency, it could be a while. “Personally, I think that we can look forward to a yellow tier by next summer, hopefully. Hopefully,” he said in a statement.
Why could it take so long? Three factors: outsiders entering the county, the availability of a vaccine, and the willingness of people to take said vaccine. “I think for a large county like us, especially a county with institution of higher education where folks [are] coming in from outside the county and outside the state, I think it’s going to be very hard to achieve the yellow tier,” Dr. Chau said. “It depends on when the vaccine will come as well as how many doses [are] available for our populations as well as how many of our residents will readily accept the vaccine – those are the three factors that will determine how soon we can get to the yellow tier.”
Dr. Chau’s comments come after much backlash to California’s reopening guidelines. So far, Disneyland President Ken Potrock, Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu, the California Attractions and Parks Association, and more have come out against the guidelines, saying they will keep theme parks in the Golden State shut down “indefinitely.”
This is a developing story, and there’s a LOT to unpack with these guidelines and what they mean for Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and beyond. Continue to keep an eye on DFB to keep up with updates and as more parties respond.