With COVID-19 vaccinations being distributed among many Americans, it seems that Disneyland’s super POD (point-of-distribution) for vaccines could be exactly what Orange County needs to reopen both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks.
During the Walt Disney Company’s first-quarter 2021 earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Chapek noted stated the following regarding the COVID-19 mass vaccination site and the distribution site at the Toy Story lot on Disneyland Resort property:
“Fortunately, there have been some encouraging developments, particularly with the availability of the vaccine. And we’re pleased to be doing our part by providing space at Disneyland for one of Southern California’s major vaccine distribution sites. To date, more than 100,000 doses have been administered at our location.”
The Disneyland vaccination site opened on January 13, and in under a month, has been able to vaccinate 100,000. This progress is much needed, given the current theme park reopening guidelines in place that indicate COVID-19 cases must significantly decrease in Orange County in order for Disneyland to reopen. It seems that Disney CEO Chapek is looking at the vaccination site in a positive light, as well, and it it appears that the trend of getting more Orange County citizens vaccinated against coronavirus at steady pace is exactly the goal.
Later during the presentation, Chapek recalled, “I believe that Dr. Fauci said earlier today that he hopes that there are vaccines for everyone who wants them by April this year. If that happens, that is a game-changer. And that could accelerate our expectations, and give people the confidence that they need to come back to the parks.”
When saying this, Chapek was referring to how long mask-wearing and social distancing would last in the parks, but, if vaccines can be widely distributed and the United States can achieve herd immunity by April, that can also mean that Chapek’s “accelerated expectations” could include progress for the reopening of the theme parks of the Disneyland Resort.
At the moment, the theme park reopening guidelines enacted by Governor Newsom will not allow Disneyland Resort, or any other large California theme park (including Universal Studios Hollywood which resides in Los Angeles County) to reopen until the county in which each park is located has only one new COVID-19 case per 100,000 residents, per day. At the moment, Orange Country is sitting in the state’s most restrictive tier and has a long way to go. That being said, having a super POD in the Toy Story parking lot is only moving Disneyland toward that goal.
It should be noted that the Disneyland vaccination center is open to appointments only. Those looking to get their COVID-19 vaccine cannot just show up but instead must make an appointment through their employer or doctor if qualified. The vaccination site is also only open to Orange County residents or to those who work in Orange County — more information can be found here.
Disneyland has been quite supportive of being able to provide the space for the testing center for quite some time now. Disney Parks News (@DisneyParksNews) released a statement alongside a map of the testing site:
“Disneyland Resort is proud to help support Orange County and the City of Anaheim with the use of our parking lot, and we are grateful for all of their efforts to combat COVID-19 after a year in which so many in our community have faced unprecedented hardship and uncertainty, there is now reason for optimism with the administration of a vaccine.” – Dr. Pamela Hymel, Chief Medical Officer, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products
“Disneyland Resort is proud to help support Orange County and the City of Anaheim with the use of our parking lot, and we are grateful for all of their efforts to combat COVID-19…" https://t.co/w0FsRM1hJ2 pic.twitter.com/lqAPRxXCtT
— Disney Parks News (@DisneyParksNews) January 13, 2021
When the vaccine site opened, off of Katella Ave was a sign for the Disneyland super POD which read:
OC VACCINE SITE
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
LEFT AT SIGNAL
As we have previously reported, the parking lot that is currently hosting Orange Country’s super POD is the Toy Story lot, which is a few blocks from Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, and the Downtown Disney District.
Although the Disneyland theme parks remain temporarily closed, Downtown Disney is operating with modifications at a limited capacity for shopping and dining only. Since the super POD site has opened, California’s stay-at-home order has been lifted, and food and drink can once again be consumed in the Downtown Disney District (and by extension, Buena Vista Street in DCA).
From the moment the Disneyland vaccine site opened, the healthcare workers have exceeded expectations. The goal in the first three days of the opening was to administer 3,000 vaccinations, and the super POD surpassed 10,000 and also made over 60,000 appointments instantly. The only reason the site did not make more was due to supply. That being said, if we recall that by April full supply will be available, it is quite promising that the site will be able to get a lot more people vaccinated.
For those getting vaccinated at the super POD, we suggest you show up early, as the site has seen long lines. For those receiving their second dose, all you need to bring is a photo I.D. and your vaccination card which will have a return date noted on it.
Do you think that that Disneyland Resort will reopen this Spring? When do you think it will open?