California’s Disneyland Faces Major Challenge to Reopen during Pandemic


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The iconic castle greets visitors at California’s Disneyland. COVID-19 spread and restrictions have made it difficult, if not impossible for Disney and other theme parks to reopen for business as usual.

The sound of your favorite Disney songs. The smell of your favorite childhood foods. The laughter of friends and families on the magical Disney rides. Nothing beats a sunny, family fun day at Disneyland; and that’s why so many Disney fans are eager to get back to the theme park paradise.

Theme parks around the world were forced to close in early 2020 due to COVID-19. Now, they are starting to reopen with many precautions to keep visitors safe. Even though some smaller theme parks are re-opening, Disneyland is still working towards that goal.

Disneyland, located in California, is one of the biggest theme parks in the world and one of the most popular. California currently has a four tier system to decide whether to open up theme parks. There are the yellow, orange, red, and purple tiers – yellow being the lowest and purple being the highest. States are divided into counties. Because some of California’s counties are in the red tier, Disneyland cannot re-open.

The yellow tier means less than one positive test result of COVID-19 for every 100,000 people. A California county needs to be in the yellow or orange tier as a mandatory precaution before re-opening. Even if a county is in the yellow tier, all attractions at the park can re-open but at only 25% capacity. In the orange tier, only outdoor rides will be available. Visitors will also be required to wear masks when Disneyland opens its gates.

The Disney company is getting tired of waiting. According to a recent article, “Disney struggles with reopening global theme parks as Disneyland Paris closes again,” Disneyland president Ken Potrock says that he thinks Disney has proven that they are responsible enough to open the park safely. California Gov. Gavin Newsom disagrees. Newsom believes that it is best to wait because California is currently in the third wave of COVID-19.

Even if Disneyland only ends up partially reopening, Disney fans are more than willing to get a taste of the Disney adventure that they have been waiting for all these months.