It’s been a month since Walt Disney World reopened its gates after a COVID-19 induced shutdown. Most Disney Parks across the globe have reopened, but one that’s noticeably absent is the park that started it all, Disneyland.
According to Johns Hopkins data, as of Sunday, California has more than 550,000 cases of the virus. Making California the national leader in coronavirus cases. Because of this, state officials are hesitant to reopen the theme park.
Kate Folmar, a spokeswoman for California Health and Human Services, told USA Today;
“Theme parks are not permitted to open in California at this time, under current public health orders. We will continue to review health data to determine when and how theme parks may consider reopening at lower risk to staff and visitors.”
Disneyland was initially scheduled to reopen on July 17, but that was put on hold as coronavirus cases surged. Disneyland Unions also applied pressure to the Walt Disney Company, to push back their reopening.
Anaheim and surrounding Orange County are in early Stage 3 (of four) of their reopening plan. The guidance posted on the city’s website indicates that Disneyland Resort hotels, shopping, dining, and theme parks will open in phases among Stages 2, 3, and 4, but no date has been set for the theme parks.
J.D. O’Connor, an associate professor of cinematic arts at the University of Southern California, told USA Today;
“Disney is watching what’s happening in Florida closely. Disney World is a nice prototype for what it’s like to be open in a pandemic.”
Many are suggesting that Disneyland will also look to see what happens once schools in Orange County, California, reopen with students in the classroom.
Orange County is on the state’s monitoring list, meaning schools are not able to have in-person instruction immediately. O’Connor predicts that if coronavirus cases don’t surge again after school starts, it might be a sign that Disneyland can reopen as well.