Disneyland reopening: Theme park fires back over state's 'arbitrary guidelines'

ByBrittany Cloobeck WABC logo
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
CA issues reopening guidelines for theme parks, outdoor stadiums
California officials on Tuesday issued guidelines for reopening theme parks and outdoor sports stadiums.

ANAHEIM, California -- Disneyland is firing back at California following the release of the state's theme park guidelines.

In an online statement, Ken Potrock, president of the Disneyland resort, said the following:

"We have proven that we can responsibly reopen, with science-based health and safety protocols strictly enforced at our theme park properties around the world. Nevertheless, the State of California continues to ignore this fact, instead mandating arbitrary guidelines that it knows are unworkable and that hold us to a standard vastly different from other reopened businesses and state-operated facilities. 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 irreparable devastating the Anaheim/Southern California community."

Disneyland will have to wait to reopen until Orange County reaches the yellow or minimal tier of the state's reopening framework and even then, the park can only open with 25% capacity.

With the county still being in the red tier (which indicates substantial COVID spread), Disneyland may not be opening until 2021.

"Personally, I think that we can look forward to a yellow tier by next summer, hopefully. Hopefully," said Dr. Clayton Chau, director of the Orange County Health Care Agency.

In September, Disney announced it was laying off about 28,000 employees in its Parks, Experiences and Products division, blaming the state's "unwillingness to lift restrictions" as the cause of Disneyland's layoffs.

The Anaheim theme park closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and during the initial closure, employees were placed on furlough.

Walt Disney World in Florida reopened in July with changes in place like limited capacity, mask requirements and physical distancing.

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The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of this station.