ANAHEIM (CBSLA) — Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and other theme parks will have to wait until their counties reach the least restrictive yellow tier, under the state’s new guidelines released Tuesday.
Major theme parks will only be allowed to reopen in the yellow tier, and even then, with only 25% capacity and other health restrictions. Smaller theme parks will be able to open outdoor attractions if and when their home counties reach the orange, or third, tier of the reopening roadmap.
The decision to reopen Disneyland, in particular, has been a struggle. Fans, Anaheim’s surrounding businesses, and employees who need to get back to work have been calling on the Magic Kingdom to reopen, but on the other hand, unions and other workers are calling for more caution before reopening the gates.
Disneyland President Ken Potrock said in a statement released on Twitter that the new guidelines ignored the work that the park has put in to reopen safely.
— Disney Parks News (@DisneyParksNews) October 20, 2020
“Together with our labor unions we want to get people back to work, but these State guidelines will keep us shuttered for the foreseeable future, forcing thousands more people out of work, leading to the inevitable closure of small family-owned businesses, and irreparably devastating the Anaheim/Southern California community,” Potrock said in his statement.
Disney announced last month it would have to lay off 28,000 employees in California and Florida due to the ongoing closure of its U.S. parks.
In spite of the push and pull, Orange County has already moved from the purple tier into the red tier, and if its numbers continue to improve, could move into the orange tier very soon. But the yellow tier — which would mean less than 1 new case per 100,000 people — could be hard to reach achieve in a large county with “folks coming in from outside the county and outside the state,” according to Dr. Clayton Chau, director of Orange County’s Health Care Agency.
“Personally, I think that we can look forward to a yellow tier by next summer, hopefully. Hopefully,” Dr. Chau said in a statement.
New guidelines were also issued for sporting events at outdoor stadiums. Some sports can resume once their county moves into the orange tier, but capacity will be limited to 20%. Once a county improves to the yellow tier, capacity can go up to 25%.
Ticket sales at these venues will be restricted to customers within a 120-mile radius, and must be purchased in advance. Venues will not be allowed to sell tickets on the day of an event, and eating and drinking must be done in assigned seats.
Masks will be required when not eating or drinking, and tailgating at sports events will not be allowed.