Disneyland Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood and Other California Theme Parks Push Back on State’s Draft Reopening Plan; Parks Would Open No Earlier than November Under Current Plan

The Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood are pushing back against California Governor Gavin Newsom’s theme park reopening plan, which was postponed earlier today.

According to The Orange County Register‘s Brady MacDonald, California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly stated: “Given the size and operational complexities of these unique sectors, we are seeking additional input from health, workforce and business stakeholders to finalize this important framework — all leading with science and safety.”

The plan, which is being revised, stated that individual theme parks could only reopen once their county reached the least-restrictive “minimal” risk level and only at 25% capacity, with only residents living within a 120-mile radius of each theme park allowed to revisit. With theme parks being part of the last tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy means that guidelines may not change until the end of the pandemic, postponing reopening for weeks or even months.

The draft guidelines likely would prevent California theme parks from reopening for weeks or months, as MacDonald explained:

California theme parks likely would not be able to set reopening dates until their respective counties entered the “minimal” tier — or not at all if their counties were stuck at a more-restrictive level.

Theme parks located in counties at the “substantial” level — like Disneyland and Knott’s [Berry Farm] — won’t be able to reach the least-restrictive “minimal” level for at least three to six weeks. Universal and Magic Mountain are at least six to nine weeks away — if and when Los Angeles County moves from the highest risk level to the lowest. The movement of counties to lower risk levels is dependent on continued improvement in reducing the number of new COVID-19 cases and the percentage of tests that come back positive. Progress will vary by county.

Under the proposal, reopenings could be postponed to November or possibly December, if not next year.

Keep reading WDWNT, Disneyland News Today, and Universal Parks News Today for more on this ongoing story.