Disneyland and other California theme parks might be able to open sooner than originally expected. Disneyland, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Knott's Berry Farm, Universal Studios, Sea World, and other parks have been shut down for nearly a year now because of the public health crisis. The Disneyland parking lot is now offering vaccines to residents 65-years old and up, which many believe has been a great benefit to the community. However, the park might be able to finally open its doors again in the near future.
California legislators are introducing a new bill that will allow theme parks to open earlier than what Governor Gavin Newsom has planned. Two California Assembly Members are set to co-sponsor a bill "that will place all theme parks in the Orange - Moderate - Tier 3 of the state's Covid-19 Industry Guidance for Amusement Parks and Theme Parks." Governor Newsom's Blueprint for a Safer Economy currently "restricts theme parks from reopening until the county they are located in achieves the Yellow - Minimal - Tier 4." The bill will make sure that California theme parks will be able to open at 25% capacity.
Disney has been very vocal about their disappointment in Governor Gavin Newsom's recommendations for reopening. However, other parks have come out to speak publicly about Newsom and his orders too. Back in October, Karen Irwin, President and COO, Universal Studios Hollywood, said, "We should be in Tier Three, along with other industries that have proven they can reopen responsibly. Our employees are ready to go back to work and the fact that they won't be able to do so until well into next year is shameful." The Universal Florida and Walt Disney World theme parks have been open with limited capacity since last summer.
The California Attractions and Parks Association (CAPA) is standing behind AB 420, the bill which is being sponsored by Assembly Members Sharon Quirk Silva and Suzette Valladares. "We deeply appreciate Assembly Members Quirk-Silva and Valladares for their leadership and for introducing legislation on Safe Theme Park Reopening," said Erin Guerrero, Executive Director, California Attractions and Parks Association. You can read the rest of what Guerrero had to say below.
"Worldwide, theme parks have proven they can reopen responsibly while protecting the health of guests and staff. Science and data show it can be done. California should allow theme parks to reopen responsibly in the Orange - Moderate - Tier 3."
California Governor Gavin Newsom said this week that he sees a "light at the end of the tunnel," but for many, he isn't working fast enough to get people back to work. "Nearly a year after parks closed in response to the pandemic, tens of thousands of employees remain out of work, while local businesses, communities surrounding theme parks, and local governments face ongoing negative consequences," said Erin Guerrero. With that being said, the pandemic is greatly effecting the state of California. Deadline was the first to report on AB 420.