ANAHEIM (CBSLA) — Disneyland Resort announced Wednesday it is delaying plans to reopen Disneyland and Disney California Adventure pending government approval.
“The State of California has now indicated that it will not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4. 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. Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date,” the park said in a statement.
Downtown Disney is still scheduled to reopen on July 9 as previously announced.
“The opening of our Downtown Disney District has been previously approved in line with restaurant and retail openings throughout California. The Master Services Union, which represents our retail cast at this location, previously signed an agreement for members to return to work,” Disneyland said.
Disney Parks, Experiences and Products previously announced proposed plans for a phased reopening of the Disneyland Resort as early as July 17.
Some Disney fans, including well-known MiceChat blogger Dusty Sage, are concerned the closure could crush the local economy as the usually-bustling businesses outside Disneyland are now boarded up.
“I’m very sad for the people I know and work with who are out of work,” Sage said. “Sadly (Anaheim) is the city with the largest number of COVID cases in Orange County so it really puts them in a difficult position,” Sage said.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel were also originally planned to reopen on July 23.
Following the announcement, thousands of people signed a petition urging Disneyland to delay reopening. The petition stated reopening at the proposed time would endanger cast members and guests.
In an open letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom last week, the Coalition of Resort Labor Unions wrote that “despite intensive talks with the company, we are not yet convinced that it is safe to reopen the parks on Disney’s rapid timetable.”
Upon announcing the delay, Disneyland also mentioned, “In order to reopen our theme parks we need to negotiate agreements with our unions to return employees to work. We have had positive discussions and are very pleased to have signed agreements from 20 union affiliates, including the Master Services Council, which represents more than 11,000 of our cast members. The signed agreement details plans that include enhanced safety protocols that will allow us to responsibly reopen, and get thousands of our cast members back to work.”
Both parks have been closed since mid-March when stay-at-home orders went into effect.