CA Parks Believe Ongoing Closure Has Led to Poverty

in Disneyland Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood

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Credit: Disney

California’s largest theme parks remain closed for the time being. Thousands of workers are left furloughed and even laid-off. And with a reopening date not even in sight for Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, and Universal Studios Hollywood, an association representing the parks is firing back.

OC Register reports that, in a statement from the California Attractions and Parks Association, Executive Director Eric Guerrero said that the reopening guidelines issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration have left laid-off and furloughed theme park employees in “poverty” by keeping theme parks closed.

Universal Studios Hollywood Virtual Tour
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“We continue to urge the Newsom Administration to reconsider the impact of their Tier 4 sentence for California’s major theme parks,” Guerrero said in a statement. “The current guidance will keep theme parks closed indefinitely and leave thousands of theme park workers in poverty.”

The California Attractions and Parks Association (CAPA) represents theme parks, amusement parks, zoos, and other attractions throughout the state. CAPA — and the theme parks the association represents — believe that they should not have to wait until 2021 for places like Disneyland Resort in Orange County to fully reopen. The ongoing closure of California theme parks as a result of the pandemic has left thousands out of work. Around 10,000 Disneyland Resort employees and around 7,000 Universal Studios Hollywood employees have been laid off. And thousands more are furloughed, unknowing when they will be able to return to their jobs.

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“California’s amusement parks never take the decision to furlough or lay off employees lightly,” Guerrero said in a statement. “Park employees’ lives and livelihoods are completely intertwined with the parks where they work. Parks have gone to great lengths to keep their loyal workers employed throughout this pandemic, but the extended shut down makes this impossible.”

Guerrero’s statement continues, “There are real people suffering economic instability, worried about putting food on the tables for their families. The Newsom administration’s Tier 4 designation means that park employees will continue to suffer even when we reach the moderate Tier 3 and many other parts of the economy are allowed to reopen. Parks are ready to reopen responsibly in Tier 3 with significant modifications that protect the health and safety of both employees and guests.”

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We shared in an update today that no progress has been made when it comes to further reopening counties in California. Both Orange County (where Disneyland Resort is located) and Los Angeles County (where Universal Studios Hollywood is located) remain in the red and purple tiers, respectively. Neither has moved up to a less restrictive tier this week. And CAPA believes that given Governor Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, large theme parks like Disney and Universal will be closed indefinitely.

Right now, with the ongoing spread of COVID-19 across the U.S., Governor Newsom and his administration believe it’s too high of a risk to reopen large California theme parks.

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Credit: ITM Bailee Abell

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If you are a Disney employee in need of resources during this time, click here.

What do you think? Should California theme parks be allowed to reopen sooner? Or should they remain closed until the spread of COVID-19 decreases in California and the United States? Let us know in the comments.

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