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Disneyland postpones its reopening amid COVID-19

Disney is delaying the phased reopening of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, the company’s flagship theme parks in California, the company said on Wednesday. Disney has said it “has no choice” but to delay them. The announcement came on Wednesday night after the state of California decided not to grant approval of the plans, which called for a phased reopening of Disneyland Resort starting early next month.

The plans were first announced on June 10

At the time, a Disney Parks blog penned by Josh D’Amaro, the chairman of Disney Parks, experiences, and products, announced that Disney was “purposefully taking baby steps during this very intentional phased approach.”

n a separate blog post, Disneyland Resorts public relations director Michael Ramirez shared that the fun would kick off on July 9, with the reopening of the Downtown Disney District. Parkgoers wouldn’t be able to hop on rides just yet, but many of the district’s dining and shopping experiences would be open for business on that date, with new health and safety restrictions in place.

But the real fun was set to begin on July 17

The resort, located in Anaheim, California, was set to welcome back guests on July 17 after being closed for months because of the coronavirus pandemic. Disney (DIS) did not give a new reopening date for the Disneyland Resort.

The date was significant for a few reasons – not only would it mark four months since the park was last open, but July 17 is also the 65th anniversary of Disneyland’s original opening.

Phase 3 was planned for July 23, when Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel would follow suit, too, and allow visitors to return.

Why was this decision suddenly taken?

The company said that the State of California had indicated it would not issue theme park reopening guidelines “until sometime after July 4,” according to a statement. “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.”
The news of Disneyland’s delayed reopening comes as coronavirus cases are spiking across the country, especially in California.
California blew by its previous single-day high with more than 7,149 cases reported Wednesday, according to data from the state Department of Public Health.

Disney had devised some major new safety precautions

Disney is implementing several measures to reopen safely and prevent the spread of coronavirus at its parks, including requiring employees and guests to wear face coverings. Disney also will reduce capacity at the parks and the resort will temporarily suspend parades, fireworks and other events that create crowds.

But now it looks as if those plans are once again on hold

According to a June 24 tweet by Disney Parks, the July 9 reopening of the Downtown Disney District will proceed as planned, but the reopening of the theme parks remains a question mark.

Here is the tweet:

Public reactions were mixed

Some were glad and felt it was for the best, given the recent uptick in coronavirus cases. Also an online petition on MoveOn.org is urging Disney and government officials to reconsider opening Disney World next month as coronavirus cases surge in Florida. The petition has been signed by more than 8,500 people as of Wednesday night.

“Thank you! This is a good move, for both the health of attendees and cast members,” one person tweeted in response to the news.

Written by Sandipan Kundu

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