California Tourism Update: Where Does Disneyland Stand?

in Disney, Disney's California Adventure, Disneyland, Disneyland Resort

tourism update cali header

Recently, Disneyland reopening news has rightly taken a bit of a backseat in California due to the rapidly spreading wildfires that are ravaging the state. Nonetheless, California Governor Gavin Newsom and Walt Disney Company officials are still “actively working” toward a reopening plan that suits all involved parties.

Let’s look at where California currently stands on tourism, and what these policies could mean for Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.

disneyland fireworks castle
Credit: Disney

What are the State of California’s tourism policies right now?

At this time, the official Visit California webpage features the following information regarding COVID-19:

Restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic still allow travel in California, and many tourist destinations have reopened.

Travelers should practice proper physical distancing and sanitation practices, wear face coverings, and follow all public health rules in the counties visited.

Visitors should call ahead to their intended destinations to learn about local restrictions.

It is important to note that different cities and counties, including tourist destinations, such as Lake Tahoe, and major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, have their own travel restriction policies and public health regulations. If you are a traveler, it is your responsibility to look into quarantine restrictions and any other pertinent travel advisory news.

splash mountain
Credit: Disneyland

Governor Newsom has also introduced a tiered reopening plan that is meant to help California businesses safely reopen as the health crisis continues. According to an OC Register report on the tiers:

The Disneyland Railroad, Mark Twain Riverboat, Columbia Sailing Ship and possibly even the Disneyland Monorail could open immediately in Tier 1 under public transportation guidelines. Outdoor theater shows like “Mickey and the Magical Map” and “Storytelling at the Royal Theatre” could reopen in Tier 1 as well with social distancing protocols.

A few Disneyland attractions could reopen in Tier 2 under indoor theater guidance — including Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Main Street Cinema and Enchanted Tiki Room. Star Wars: Launch Bay could return in Tier 2 under museum guidelines.

Family entertainment center guidelines allow indoor playgrounds to reopen in Tier 4 — which could apply to Chip and Dale’s Treehouse, Goofy’s Playhouse and Donald’s Boat.

It is important to remember that the State of California has not yet issued reopening guidelines specifically for theme parks, so these tiers may or may not ultimately apply to Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure.

At this time, the tiers are not designed to regulate the reopening of theme parks, stadiums, concert venues, and other similar facilities where large groups of people congregate in close proximity.

What is happening in Orange County?

Orange County, where Anaheim is located, offers this travel update on the official Visit Anaheim website:

Visit Anaheim continues to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We are working closely with stakeholders from the city of Anaheim, county, and chamber of commerce to correlate best practices and up-to-date information. We are also speaking with local, state and national industry leaders on a daily basis to stay up-to-date on the latest developments.

Please know the health and safety of both visitors and residents is the highest priority for Visit Anaheim. 

Just today, Governor Newsom held a press conference in which he noted that Orange County is in the “Red Tier” (Substantial) which means that some indoor non-essential businesses must remain closed, as explained in this August Tweet.

Newsom also stated:

“[Conversations] are ongoing, just as a reminder, for theme parks, amusement parks, and the like. There’s still many areas where we are open-ended in terms of our negotiation, making progress and advancing in the same space, getting closer to concluding when and how to safely reopen those sectors.”

It seems remarkably unlikely that Disneyland Resort will be allowed to reopen until Orange County is moved at least to the “Orange Tier” (Moderate) and, possibly, the “Yellow Tier” (Minimal).

Is there any good news for Disneyland fans?

There is a bright side for Disneyland theme park fans! Cast Members have been tirelessly working to make sure attractions are operating smoothly, Main Street, U.S.A.’s famous horses are ready for their big debut, and the theme park grounds are in perfect condition for Guests’ impending return.

Furthermore, construction continues on the much-anticipated Avengers Campus area at Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Hotel is still getting a Disney Vacation Club tower, which will make it only the second California property for DVC members; Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa already has Disney Vacation Club villas.

grand californian
Credit: Disney

In addition, the Downtown Disney District has begun its phased reopening process and the Labor Day weekend crowds (even in triple-digit heat!) proved that the demand for a full return to Disneyland Resort is high.

If Disneyland Annual Passholders and other Guests can be patient for a bit longer, Governor Newsom and Disney executives are sure to come to a suitable agreement that will both keep people safe and allow the magic to resume.

As Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products Josh D’Amaro has said, Disneyland is “ready to reopen” whenever theme park officials get the green light.

pixar pier aerial
Credit: Disney

Are you excited to return to Disneyland Resort? What do you think about this California travel update?

While you wait for Disneyland to reopen, our friends at Academy Travel can help you plan a vacation to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are all open and ready for Guests to return “home” to the magic. Contact the Academy Travel team today for a free Disney vacation quote!

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