After previously announcing a tentative reopening for the Disneyland Resort theme parks for July 17, pending government approvals, the plans have been delayed. The news comes on the heels of Cast Member concerns and a severe increase in reported cases of COVID-19 with the state of California reporting over 211,000 cases and Orange County, where the Disneyland Resort is located, reporting over 12,000 reported cases and 325 fatalities. This is in contrast to the other parks around the globe where cases have seen a steady decline on top of Disney developing rigorous safety protocol for those opening parks.
Following the Disneyland Resort’s original announcement for opening plans targeting July 17th, Cast Member Unions sent a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom expressing their concern over the aggressive timeline. Following the June 18th letter, the State of California made it clear that they were planning on issuing theme park reopening guidelines sometime after July 4. Given the ambiguous date, the tight timeline, and the growing numbers of COVID-19 cases, Disneyland Resort made the right move and chose guest and Cast Member safety as opposed to celebratory headlines. “
In a released statement from the resort, Disneyland Resort stated “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 resort also referenced the growing concerns among Cast Members and stated that they were in negotiations with unions to return to work. “In order to reopen our theme parks we need to negotiate agreements with our unions to return employees to work.” The Resort statement explained, “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.”
As for everything outside the theme parks, the plan is still to have Downtown Disney District reopen on July 9 as previously announced with health and safety protocols in place for our cast members and guests. The opening of the shopping and dining district was previously approved in line with restaurant and retail openings throughout California. The Master Services Union, which represents the retail cast at this location, previously signed an agreement for members to return to work.
This is tough news for any Disney fan and especially those who love theme parks. However, it is good to see the right choice being made in this instance.