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California: Disneyland is too big to reopen, according to Governor Newsom

California: Disneyland is too big to reopen, according to Governor Newsom

It may be “A Small World After All,” as the song goes, but On Tuesday, the state’s newly released reopening guidelines showed that while some small amusement parks may reopen, large-scale theme parks will be at the back of the line. Officials state hopefully by Summer of 2021.

The much-awaited reopening guidelines, shared Tuesday by California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, show that Disneyland Resort and California’s large-scale theme parks may not reopen until the county reaches the Yellow (minimal) Tier, likely not till Summer of 2021.

The reopening has been a concern not just for Walt Disney Co. but also for the city of Anaheim, which has suffered the loss of multiple businesses and livelihoods in the wake of the park closure.

It may be "A Small World After All," but Disneyland is too big to reopen at present, according to the governor's office.
It may be “A Small World After All,” but Disneyland is too big to reopen at present, according to the governor’s office. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

Orange County currently sits at the second, or Red (Substantial), tier of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Blueprint For A Safer Economy. For weeks, the county has teetered on the verge of the Orange tier; however, the case counts for daily positive cases remain stubbornly at the Substantial tier rankings.

As of Tuesday, Orange County is experiencing 4.6 new daily cases per 100,000 people, still in the Red tier. Meanwhile, the testing positivity percentage remains in the middle of the Orange tier rankings, at 3.2 positive tests per 100,000 people tested.

Disneyland will not be allowed to reopen until those two positivity percentages are solidly under 2 percent, according to the governor’s current plan.

According to the state, management can set to work preparing its reopening along with the established guidelines, though the reopening will likely not take place in 2020, according to officials.

Once smaller theme parks reopen, outdoor attractions will be allowed for entry at only 25% capacity or up to 500 people, whichever is less. Reservations are required. Only locals (from the same county as the park’s location) would be able to enter.

According to the guidelines, large-scale theme parks can reopen only at the Minimal (Yellow) tier and at a reduced capacity of 25 percent. Reservations will be required for every guest.

Sanitization, social distancing, masks and reduced capacity will be part of the new program.

Dr. Clayton Chau of the Orange County Health Care Agency discussed the likelihood of reaching the Yellow tier in the foreseeable future, saying it will be “very hard to achieve.”

Factors include when vaccines are available and at how many doses, as well as how many residents will “readily accept” getting vaccinated.

“Personally, I think we can look forward to a Yellow tier by next summer, hopefully,” he said. “Hopefully.”

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