California is expected to release an update on its long-awaited theme park reopening guidelines tomorrow.
LA reporter Elex Michaelson has just confirmed this report with the following Tweet:
He will also speak about new rules for sports.
— Elex Michaelson (@Elex_Michaelson) October 19, 2020
NEW: @CAgovernor@GavinNewsom hints that his HHS Sec. Dr. Ghaly will announce new guidelines for theme parks tomorrow…and the state will offer different guidelines for large parks & smaller parks. He will also speak about new rules for sports.
Governor Newsom’s exact quote from today’s press conference states that Dr. Ghaly will provide the update on theme parks tomorrow:
“…Moving into the colder season, moving into the season where more of us are moving inside, moving into a season where more of us begin to mix and come back, extended family members for the holidays — this is an area of obvious and real concern. And that’s why we are being very sober and, forgive me, stubborn about some industries in the state that I know are eager to get guidelines. Tomorrow, Dr. Ghaly will update you on some of those industries and guidelines, including sports and some of these theme parks. We are going to break up the theme parks. It’s not just one or two…it’s many different parts that are part of the theme park industry, But Dr. Ghaly will be updating you tomorrow on those guidelines. Again, I hope one recognizes our stubbornness on a health-first, data-driven decision making process is done with our eyes wide open on what’s happening now around the world, not just what’s happening across the United States. Not yet here in the state of California, but that’s only because we are being vigilant and have to maintain that vigilant so we avoid any further increase in transmission.”
The fact that Governor Newsom is planning to differentiate between large theme park operations and small park operations — presumably including boardwalks and other local attractions — is a major shift from previous reports that all theme parks would be subject to the same guidelines.
The original set of California theme park guidelines were rejected by theme park officials, including Disneyland Resort and Universal Hollywood executives. Still, unions representing Disneyland Resort Cast Members continue to urge Newsom to collaborate.
This week, California health officials visited multiple theme park properties and concluded that no additional measures were necessary at this time.
Governor Newsom and theme park executives — including Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek, and Chairman of Parks, Experiences and Products Josh D’Amaro — have been locked in a tense battle regarding the reopening of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park.
CEO Chapek recently commented that the park’s extended, seven-month-long closure was not the result of active negotiations, but rather a government “mandate.”
The Walt Disney Company has even gone so far as to blame California’s reopening delay for the company’s massive layoff of 28,000 Cast Members at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
What do you think California’s theme park reopening guidelines will be?