Disney has just released its statement in response to California’s new reopening guidelines.
We have proven that we can responsibly reopen, with science-based health and safety protocols strictly enforced at our theme park properties around the world. Nevertheless, the State of California continues to ignore this fact, instead mandating arbitrary guidelines that it knows are unworkable and that hold us to a standard vastly different 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 will keep us shuttered for the foreseeable future, forcing thousands more people out of work, leading to the inevitable closure of small family-owned businesses, and irreparably devastating the Anaheim/Southern California community.
— Disney Parks News (@DisneyParksNews) October 20, 2020
Disney’s response comes on the heels of the statement from Anaheim Mayor, Harry Sidhu who said the guidelines fail working families and small businesses.”
Dr. Clayton Chau, Director, Orange County Health Care Agency spoke on the likelihood that his county would get to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Yellow Tier:
“I think for a large county like us, especially a county with institution of higher education where folks [are] coming in from outside the county and outside the state, I think it’s going to be very hard to achieve the yellow tier… It depends on when the vaccine will come as well as how many doses [are] available for our populations as well as how many of our residents will readily accept the vaccine – those are the three factors that will determine how soon we can get to the yellow tier… Personally, I think that we can look forward to a yellow tier by next summer, hopefully. Hopefully.”
But even if the Tier system wasn’t prohibiting Disneyland from opening, other guidelines would be unworkable. For example, Dr. Mark Ghaly explained, “No indoor queuing is allowed for any attraction or ride. For indoor attractions and rides, develop an outdoor queuing system prior to entry into the attraction’s indoor operation.” Anybody who has been to Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure will understand that indoor queues are necessary both in matters of experience and logistics when it comes to many — if not most — of the attractions.
This news further divides the rift between Disney, its employees, and the people of Anaheim with the state government. Disney has already blamed California’s refusal to allow the Disneyland Resort to open for the need to lay off 28,000 Cast Members at both Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resort in California.
One analyst predicts that Disneyland already lost $2 billion this year due to its closure, and Southern California’s economy as a whole has lost $5 billion due to Disneyland‘s closure. One has to wonder how many more jobs will be lost and how much more money will the area have to lose before The Happiest Place On Earth can finally open its gates again. As of now, only the Downtown Disney District will remain operating.