Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park temporarily closed on March 14, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Anaheim Disney property was originally slated to reopen on July 17, 2020, its 65th anniversary.
That opening date, however, was delayed and California Governor Gavin Newsom’s theme park reopening guidelines have not allowed Disneyland Resort to reopen since then. For large theme parks — defined as those with capacities over 15,000 Guests per day — to reopen at 25% capacity, the counties where they are located must be in the state’s least restrictive COVID-19 tier, also referred to as the yellow tier or tier 4.
Now, following pressure from the California State Assembly’s AB-420 bill, L.A. County (where Universal Hollywood is located), the City of Anaheim, and the California Attractions and Parks Association (CAPA), the state’s theme park reopening guidelines have been revised and all theme park properties can now reopen in tier 2. This means that the theme parks of the Disneyland Resort could reopen in a matter of weeks!
There are a number of guidelines that theme parks must abide by in order to reopen in the red tier. Local Southern California news source, the OC Register, reported:
The Newsom administration’s “Blueprint Refresh” allows Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, SeaWorld San Diego, Legoland California and other California theme parks to reopen as early as April 1 once the counties they are located in reach the red/substantial tier 2 risk status.
Starting on April 1, California theme parks can reopen at 15% capacity in the red/substantial tier 2. Capacity levels will shift in the orange/moderate tier 3 and yellow/minimal tier 4.
Theme park attendance will be limited to California residents. Updated guidelines will be worked out over the next couple of weeks in partnership with theme parks.
California Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, one of the sponsors of AB-420, posted to her official Twitter account:
I, along with my colleagues, am excited to get our businesses reopened, our families coming back to theme parks and live performances, and our athletes back to doing what they love. @CAgovernor‘s new guidelines will allow us all to do just that #reopen!
I, along with my colleagues, am excited to get our businesses reopened, our families coming back to theme parks and live performances, and our athletes back to doing what they love. @CAgovernor's new guidelines will allow us all to do just that #reopen!https://t.co/oHWPFOUnRL
— Sharon Quirk-Silva (@QuirkSilva65th) March 5, 2021
OC Register’s report also included a portion of a statement from CAPA:
“We appreciate the administration’s willingness to work with the state’s theme parks on the finer details of the plan so parks can responsibly reopen soon, putting people safely back to work and reinvigorating local economies,” California Attractions and Parks Association executive director Erin Guerrero said in a statement.
Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock has also issued a statement regarding California’s updated theme park reopening guidelines on Disneyland’s social media accounts.
It is, however, important to note that the Downtown Disney District has been operational since last summer, even opening a brand new Star Wars Trading Post store in the former Rainforest Cafe building in February 2021.
Disney California Adventure’s Buena Vista Street area has been open for shopping and dining as an extension of Downtown Disney since the 2020 holiday season.
On March 18, 2021, the Touch of Disney food festival event will begin at DCA. This will allow Guests to visit the entire park, including previously closed areas like Pacific Wharf, Cars Land/Radiator Springs, and the ever-popular Pixar Pier.
Avengers Campus will not be available for a Touch of Disney.
To reiterate, the Blueprint For a Safer Economy refresh includes the reopening of ALL California theme parks — in both the large and small categories — at limited capacity beginning in tier 2. At this time, it is unclear if only tier 2 reopenings are limited to California residents or if this will extend into tier 3 and tier 4 as well.
Are you excited that Disneyland Resort and other large California theme parks can open in tier 2 instead of tier 4 now?