*Updated 3:30PM PST 3/5/21
That ground shaking you felt from Southern California was not the famed San Andreas fault acting up, rather, it was the sound of princesses, fairies, dwarves, and a famous mouse, shaking off the quarantine dust and replacing it with pixie dust as news from Sacramento, California electrified the nation.
After a yearlong shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it appears that Disneyland will be able to open once again on April 1st, 2021. This comes as California Governor Gavin Newsom adjusts Covid-19 guidelines as case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths associated with the pandemic fall and the vaccination rates soar.
Newsom’s administration is referring to the changes as a Blueprint Refresh, in this update large theme parks will be allowed to reopen when the county which they reside moves into the tier 2 “red” risk status. Back in fall of last year, the guidelines required the counties to reach the overwhelmingly high bar of tier 4 “yellow” minimal risk status. At the time the theme parks and their advocates argued publicly that that requirement was unrealistic and would cause irreparable harm to the economy.
The new rules would allow large theme parks to reopen at a limited 15% capacity when their counties reach tier 2, at tier 3 they can increase capacity to 25%, and at tier 4 they can increase capacity to 35%. Any reasonable person looking at these changes would conclude that once these counties started moving into tier 3 and begin to close in on tier 4, that these capacity restrictions will likely be lifted completely. However, this is not expected to occur until late in the year, if not early next year.
Disneyland sits in Orange County, which is currently in tier 1 “purple” widespread risk level, however, recent trends indicate that the county will move into tier 2 “red” at some point next week.
Capacity will not be the only restriction, indoor rides and attractions must be limited to 15% of capacity in tier 2 and 25% capacity in tier 3, while outdoor rides and attractions can have more guests, as long as proper social distancing can be maintained.
This is great news for fans of the Disneyland Resort and even better news for furloughed and laid off cast members, many of whom will be recalled as the park prepares for and eventually reopens.
The process will slow and there will be changing rules, procedures, and timelines, so stay with The DisInsider as we will be covering every aspect of the reopening.
At the time this news broke, the US stock market was closed, but after hours trading showed a significant +3.3% jump in Disney’s stock price (as of 3:30PM 3/5/21).