I just wrapped up a virtual conference where leaders from Walt Disney World and Disneyland shared updates on the parks and resorts since their reopening. The call was no longer than 30 minutes, and to be honest, offered very little new information.
Leaders expressed gratitude towards guests and cast members for complying with all new social distancing and health guidelines, talked about making testing more readily available for cast members and their families, as well as stating that 8 out fo 10 Walt Disney World guest feel comfortable and say new safety measures are “just right.”
The last five minutes of the call was what grabbed my full attention. Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, came onto the screen. He was alone in Disneyland, and removed his mask to address everyone directly. The entire time this was happening, myself and everyone on the call, were waiting for him to drop the information we’ve all been dying to hear, “Disneyland will reopen on…..”
But sadly, we didn’t get that news. What was saw was D’Amaro essentially pleading with local and state Goverment officials to reopen Disneyland.
Looking directly into the camera, D’Amaro said;
“The longer we wait, the more devastating the impact will be for Orange County.”
He went on to say that they are ready and it’s time. He also strongly urged the government to treat theme parks as they would any other sector. They need guidance to reopen and are willing to work with officials to make that happen. D’Amaro also mentioned that nearly 80,000 jobs rely on Disneyland’s operations. Operations that are still not up and running.
Backing up D’Amaro’s plea was Patrick Finnegan, VP of Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney. He stated, “We are ready to open and we hope to have guidance from the state soon.”
From the two quotes above, it’s clear that the California government has offered little to no guidance towards Disneyland regarding its reopening. A stark contrast to the state of Florida, where our governor from day 1, was on board with whatever the theme parks decided to do and actively supported them in reopening the safest way possible (and as soon as possible).
The end result of today’s call is, Disneyland still does not have an official reopening date and it seems as though they are on their own without the support of the state.