California residents and businesses have dealt with some of the country’s strictest COVID-19 regulations throughout the ongoing pandemic.
This has, as all Disneyland Resort fans know, deeply impacted the operations of both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park.
At this time, large theme parks in the state — defined as those with daily capacities of over 15,000 people — are unable to fully open unless their counties meet stringent requirements, including placement in the state’s “minimal” COVID-19 yellow tier. Orange County, where Disneyland Resort is located, is currently in the strictest purple tier.
Furthermore, as a result of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s regional stay-at-home orders, which were extended throughout Southern California on December 29, the Downtown Disney District and the partially reopened Buena Vista Street section of Disney California Adventure are not allowed to offer onsite dining and must adhere to other regulations, such as limiting capacity to 20% instead of the previous restriction of 25%.
Today, in a somewhat surprising move, Governor Newsom lifted California’s regional stay-at-home orders. While this move will not allow Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure to reopen fully, it will allow dining reservations to once again open-up at both Downtown Disney and Buena Vista Street establishments, such as Carthay Circle (which was previously operating as an outdoor dining location in DCA) and Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen.
The Associated Press (AP) shared some details about why the decision to rescind the stay-at-home orders was made:
The decision comes with improving trends in the rate of infections, hospitalizations and intensive care unit capacity as well as vaccinations. The order had been in place in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. The change will allow businesses such as restaurants to resume outdoor operations in many areas.
Los Angeles CBS 2 also reported details regarding the developing situation in California:
All counties will return to using the color-coded tier system, the California Department of Public Health said. All 11 counties in the Southern California region are in the purple tier, which is the most restrictive.
“This action allows all counties statewide to return to the rules and framework of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and color-coded tiers that indicate which activities and businesses are open based on local case rates and test positivity,” CDPH said in a news release. “The majority of the counties are in the strictest, or purple tier.”
The Orange County Register also shared information regarding the newly lifted restrictions and details about when an update from Governor Newsom is anticipated:
The state is also lifting a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. “Together, we changed our activities knowing our short-term sacrifices would lead to longer-term gains. COVID-19 is still here and still deadly, so our work is not over, but it’s important to recognize our collective actions saved lives and we are turning a critical corner,” Dr. Tomas Aragon, the state’s public health director, said in a statement. Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to address the public later Monday.
Additionally, the City of Anaheim announced that Orange County is back to the purple (most restrictive) tier:
As of Monday morning, California’s regional stay home order is lifted, with Anaheim and Orange County returning to purple Tier 1 guidelines. See more at http://Anaheim.net/reopening.
As of Monday morning, California's regional stay home order is lifted, with Anaheim and Orange County returning to purple Tier 1 guidelines. See more at https://t.co/7mhv2Bmq2n. pic.twitter.com/h6uUBjPMQy
— City of Anaheim (@City_of_Anaheim) January 25, 2021
At this time, Disney has not yet shared that outdoor dining is coming back to the currently open areas of Disneyland Resort property. We will update Inside the Magic as more information is released, as we are expecting an update from Disneyland soon.
Currently, even amid the ongoing closure, Disneyland fans have a lot to look forward to, including the opening of the new Disney California Adventure Avengers Campus land.
What do you think about this change to California’s COVID-19 restrictions? Do you think it signals good things ahead for Disneyland fans?