If Virus Spreads, Downtown Disney May Close Again…But Will It?

in Disneyland Resort

downtown disney

Credit: Disney

Recently, Orange County — where Disneyland Resort is located — was moved back into California’s purple COVID-19 tier, the most restrictive in California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Blueprint For a Safer Economy.

downtown disney
Credit: Disney

Although both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park remain temporarily closed amid the coronavirus pandemic — and have been since March 14 — the Downtown Disney District began its phased reopening process on July 9.

Just last week, on November 19, Disney California Adventure’s Buena Vista Street was allowed to partially reopen as an extension of Downtown Disney, offering holiday shopping and dining options for Guests. Guests can stroll through Buena Vista Street, parts of Hollywood Land, and Grizzly Peak, though no attractions are operating at this time since the theme park is still technically closed.

As a result of moving back from the red tier to the purple tier, Orange County businesses — including those at Downtown Disney and Buena Vista Street — must now comply with stricter health and safety regulations. This means they are restricted to outdoor dining only and 25% capacity, for example.

What, exactly, though, could this mean for stores and restaurants that are currently operating on Disneyland Resort Property? Here, we take a look.

Could Los Angeles County have a major impact?

Los Angeles County, another major metropolitan county near Orange County, is banning outdoor dining effective next week.

LA County — where Universal Studios Hollywood is located — has had consistently high COVID-19 case numbers throughout the virus outbreak and has not offered any indoor dining throughout the pandemic. Orange County, on the other hand, was offering limited indoor seating when the county reached the orange tier, prior to their move back to the purple tier.

ralph brennans jazz kitchen
Credit: Ralph Brennan’s

Now, of course, indoor seating has once again been banned in Orange County. However, outdoor tables are still available, provided that restaurants are following the necessary health and safety measures — these include socially distanced tables and face coverings for all employees.

As per Los Angeles news station KTLA 5, the local health department said of the latest LA County restrictions:

“To reduce the possibility for crowding and the potential for exposures in settings where people are not wearing their face coverings, restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will only be able to offer take-out, drive thru, and delivery services”

“In person dining will not be allowed, at minimum, for the next 3 weeks,” health officials said.

If coronavirus cases in Orange County continue to rise — there have been 1,422 positive tests today according to the daily tracker — it is very possible that outdoor dining could also be banned in OC. This is all part of the State’s Blueprint For a Safer Economy, which allows restrictions to become more or less strict depending on COVID-19 case numbers.

How could a dining ban impact Downtown Disney?

At Inside the Magic, we have been closely following all California state policies and how they could ultimately impact Disneyland Resort, including the Downtown Disney District.

We know it is possible for the Disney Resort’s two theme parks — Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure — to theoretically reopen when Orange County reaches the yellow tier, but be forced to close again if the county is moved back to a more restrictive tier at a later date.

This could, potentially, happen to Downtown Disney and Buena Vista Street as well depending on what restrictions are placed on local businesses. If California enters another total shutdown, there is a chance that the entire shopping and dining center will have to re-close, just as Disneyland Resort did in the spring.

If outdoor dining is halted, businesses would only be allowed to offer meals to-go.

Nothing has been announced by Orange County officials, Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu’s office, or The Walt Disney Company at this time.

Downtown Disney – Disneyland Resort – 9/3/19 (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

Stay tuned to Inside the Magic for the latest on Disneyland Resort and the Downtown Disney District. 

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