California Governor Gavin Newsom is sending a team to Walt Disney World in Florida to gather feedback about reopening Disneyland. The Florida theme park has been opened since July, while the California park remains closed down. Walt Disney Studios, Disneyland employees, California residents, the California Attractions and Parks Association (CAPA), the city of Anaheim, and others have been pressing Newsom to reopen the park for months now, while he has no interest in rushing to open everything back up again, out of precaution.
The public health crisis is still showing spikes in a number of states, including California and Florida. However, Walt Disney World has seemingly been able to open without any real serious incidents. A man was publicly thrown out for not obeying their mask policy in a video that went viral, but other than that, the park has relatively been out of public safety news. Instead, the park has been seeing much lower than expected attendance levels, which has more than likely helped out with the safety measures.
After stating that he was in no hurry to open Disneyland, Gavin Newsom is now open to hearing more arguments. During a press briefing today, Newsom announced that he wanted a team to go visit Walt Disney World to provide feedback. "I want folks to come back and tell me what they saw, what their experience was," he said. As with most talk of Disneyland reopening, Newsom did not reveal much else. It's not clear who in his team will be going, or even when they will be going, so it could be a while before Newsome gathers his intel.
On Disneyland's side of the fence, they claim that they have been ready to open since the middle of July. It was announced back in June that the park was going to reopen alongside the Florida park, only one week later. However, California ended up seeing a pretty major case spike, which caused Gavin Newsom to pull the plug. Since then, there has not been a lot of movement on reopening the iconic theme park. With that being said, there are some key differences between the two parks on opposite coasts.
The main difference between Disneyland and Walt Disney World is the fact that the Florida park mainly relies on tourists for business. Since travel has been limited, they have seen less people coming into the park. As for the California park, there are a ton of Southern California residents that visit the park on a daily basis. People who live 3 or 4 hours away still buy annual passes and with areas like Los Angeles still spiking, there could be a chance for Disneyland to contribute to more cases. Movie theaters aren't even open in LA yet, so Gavin Newsom is a bit wary about opening a giant theme park. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to announce the Disneyland news.