Disneyland’s potential reopening has been pushed back for at least another month, given new booking options for hotel and dining reservations. In this post, we’ll share details and how this squares with recent announcements by Disney, California’s four-stage reopening plan, plus info about San Diego’s Attractions Reopening Plan.
Via the Disneyland app and website, the earliest date resort and restaurant reservations may now be booked is July 1, 2020. This new date also is now reflected in the revised “Temporary Closure of Disneyland Resort” bulletin. Previously, guests could book new hotel stays and dining beginning June 1, 2020.
While this is not an official announcement that Disneyland and Disney California Adventure won’t reopen in June, it strongly suggests that. With that said, it should not be construed as definitive confirmation that Disneyland and DCA will open on July 1, 2020. As we’ve noted, all booking timeframes are tentative and based upon internal targets. In our view, July 1 represents the best-case potential opening date, which squares with updates coming out of California…
Again, it’s almost certain that procedures used there will need to be “localized” for the predominantly American audiences at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, but it’s still a fascinating window into what’s happening elsewhere. Some of those policies will likely be identically replicated at the US Disney Parks. Others almost certainly will not.
Back to California, Governor Gavin Newsom announced during a recent press conference that the state will move into Stage 2 of the state’s four-phase reopening plan by the end of this week, per the Los Angeles Times.
Stage 2 will allow for the reopening of retail, manufacturing, and other “low-risk” businesses, including an array of pickup options and other retailers can start reopening Friday if new physical-distancing measures are implemented. (New guidelines are expected to be released soon.)
Additionally, California has announced that some stay-at-home rules will be modestly eased later this week. Other rules will remain, including the requirement to wear a face mask or other covering while on trails and when running errands, wash hands throughout the day, and stay six feet away from people who don’t live with you.
As part of the process, localities will have more autonomy in deciding the speed of their reopening. The Bay Area has decided to reopen slowly, as a faster approach there could cause new outbreaks and exacerbate issues. By contrast, rural counties with few or no cases will be empowered to reopen more quickly.
There is no established timeline for when California will move on to Stages 3 and 4. The next stage will encompass “higher risk” businesses and gatherings that include close contact. These businesses would need to make adaptations to operate, while also imposing limits on the size of gatherings.
Stage 4 is when the “highest risk” venues such as concerts, conventions, and live-audience sports would reopen. In his recent comments, Governor Newsom has not offered a revised timeline for subsequent stages. Previously, he indicated Stage 3 was months away, and Stage 4 would “require therapeutics.”
It remains unclear where Disneyland and Disney California Adventure fit into the state’s reopening plan, and Newsom has not clarified thus far. Although less so than in Florida, Disney is still crucial to California’s economy, and is one of the state’s 5 largest employers.
For a few hours prior to Disneyland announcing the parks would close, Governor Newsom controversially called Disneyland “a nation-state,” and exempted the theme park operator from closure requirements. It should go without saying, but a lot has changed since then.
A plain reading of California’s reopening plan would suggest Disneyland’s parks fall into the final phase, which could occur in 2021. To avoid this fate, other California attractions are taking precautionary measures and making adjustments to pave the way for reopening in Stage 3.
The San Diego Tourism Authority has released its own Attractions Re-Opening Plan for Legoland California, SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego Zoo & Safari Park, and more. We highly recommend giving that document a read. It almost certainly offers insight into some of the plans Disneyland will implement to reopen. Unlike Shanghai Disneyland, San Diego is located not just in the United States, but in California…so these measures should be very similar to what’s done at Disneyland.
In its summary section, the San Diego Attractions Re-Opening Plan states that it was developed in coordination with expert epidemiologists and is designed to protect guests and employees.
The plan is a “living document” that will be adjusted as needed based on the implementation of new programs, guidance from the CDC or mandates from federal, state and local government agencies.
As you can see from the screenshots, there are a lot of commonalities between San Diego’s plan and the one Disney will be utilizing at Shanghai Disneyland. In addition to it being unclear whether Disneyland will implement the same or substantially similar policies, it remains to be seen whether California will deem these measures satisfactory for theme parks to reopen in Stage 3.
Ultimately, this still doesn’t offer certainty about when Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will reopen. It probably does rule out June 2020, so there’s that. It’s also promising (we think) that California is moving in Stage 2 this week. Likewise, that San Diego’s Tourism Authority has set forth a plan that would allow its parks to reopen in Stage 3. This at least opens the door for Disneyland Resort to reopen at some point this summer…even though that happening is still pretty far from a sure thing at this point. Incremental progress, but progress nonetheless!
Do you think Disneyland Resort will reopen on July 1, 2020 or at some point this summer? If not, what’s your predicted timeframe? Halloween? Christmas? Do you think the measures set out in the San Diego Attractions Re-Opening Plan will be utilized at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure? Any questions we can help you answer? Keep comments respectful, apolitical, and on topic. Anything not following these requirements will be removed, as will excessive back and forth arguments.