Although amusement parks in other states have been reopening, such as Disneyworld in Florida, the one that started it all – Disneyland in Anaheim, California – remains shut down. In fact, all theme parks in California are not operating.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said today that for now, California theme parks must remain closed. This has put him in disagreement with Disney Chief Bob Iger as well as some California legislators.
“We’re going to be led by a health-first framework, and we’re going to be stubborn about it. We don’t anticipate in the immediate term any of these larger theme parks opening until we see more stability in terms of the data,” the Governor stated to reporters.
Just last week, Disney announced that it is laying off 28,000 US employees, which represents about one-fourth of its resorts workforce.
An association of amusement-park operators in the state pushed back on proposed state rules that would have limited their guests to a 120-mile radius of the properties, among other restrictions. Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, said California was continuing to review its guidelines, which he originally planned to release last week.
“We don’t anticipate in the immediate term any of these larger parks opening until we see more stability in terms of the data. We feel there’s no hurry to put out guidelines, and we continue to work with the industry,” the Governor added.
Although California is home to the most US coronavirus cases, it’s far from having the most cases per capita, and its outbreak has significantly improved since a surge in infections over the summer. The state’s average rate of positive tests over the last 14 days fell to 2.6% on Wednesday, the lowest since the pandemic began.
Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger stepped down from a state reopening task force last week, in part due to frustration over the continued closing of parks.
Iger’s move “didn’t come to me as a surprise at all,” Governor Newsom said. “There were disagreements in terms of reopening a major theme park.” And so, Disneyland remains lonely and closed.