The Real Reason This Disney Park Won't Be Reopening Soon
Disneyland won't be opening its doors on July 17 as planned, due to confusion about safety guidelines.
Disney fans who've been organizing trips to the company's California parks for next month will have to rethink their plans. On Wednesday, Disney announced that Disneyland will not be reopening on July 17 as it was previously announced that it would. No rescheduled date was provided for the Anaheim destination, but in a statement, the company did lay out the reasons why the reopening is being pushed back indefinitely.
The statement, which was posted to the official Twitter account of Disney Parks' Public Affairs team, acknowledges that the proposed July 17 date was "pending government approvals." Disney does not expect to have safety guidelines from the state of California until after July 4 and has determined that that schedule does not leave adequate time to implement those protocols at its parks and resorts.
It's also worth noting that on June 23, California reported nearly 6,500 new coronavirus cases—its record single-day new cases.
"Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials," the statement reads. "Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date."
In Anaheim, Disney is still moving ahead with the reopening of its Downtown Disney District—a retail and dining promenade—which is scheduled for July 9.
As of right now, this delay only applies to the California parks and resorts. Disney has the government safety guidelines and permission to reopen its Disney World parks in Orlando. The company has not indicated that the plan to open Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios in phases beginning on July 11 has been altered, even as Florida has seen its number of coronavirus cases continue to rise. Among the safety measures that will be in place at those attractions are mandatory temperature checks and face coverings for any guests over the age of two.
Meanwhile, a petition to delay the reopening of Disney World and other Florida parks has gathered nearly 10,000 signatures at the time of this article's publication. The appeal, which reportedly comes from Disney Parks employees, argues that theme parks are not an essential business and that resuming operations is "only putting our guests, employees, and families at higher risk for contracting COVID-19." Florida saw 5,511 new COVID-19 infections on June 24, which is the state's highest daily total so far. And for more on major theme park changes, there are 7 Things You Won't See at Disney World Ever Again After Coronavirus.