As Zazu once said: “Not. Yet.” California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly gave a press conference on Tuesday, October 20 during which he outlined the circumstances necessary for Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood to be able to reopen. The verdict? Don’t expect to be boarding the Matterhorn anytime soon. Ghaly stated that large theme parks will be allowed to reopen at 25 percent capacity once their counties reach Tier 4, the lowest COVID threat level. Ghaly stated that theme parks are more dangerous settings for coronavirus spread than outdoor sporting venues because they attract visitors from a more geographically diverse area. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles County is at Tier 1 (widespread) and Orange County is at Tier 2 (substantial). Disneyland has been closed because of the pandemic since March 12. These guidelines come three weeks after Disney laid off 28,000 park employees.
Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock issued a statement over the Disney Parks News Twitter account in which he expressed dissatisfaction with the State of California’s guidelines, writing that they “hold us to a standard vastly differernt 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 while keep us shuttered for the foreseeable future, forcing thousands more people out of work,” and “irreparably devastating the Anaheim/Southern California community.”
There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow, but it’s looking more than just a dream away.