Disney World has reopened, so why can’t Disneyland?

It’s been more than three months since Walt Disney World Resort reopened to the public. In fact, even the other continental Disney Parks have successfully reopened. But why not Disneyland Resort? Why are we still waiting for the West Coast Disney parks to reopen?

disneyland resort

Walt Disney World is running again under new standards for safety of guests. They strictly enforce a face mask policy and encourage physical distancing while a guest inside their Florida theme parks. The extensive efforts taken is helpful to both guests and Cast Members.

It’s wonderful to see health and safety protocols being properly enforced in Florida. But what about California? Can’t we enforce similar practices there and successfully reopen? Unfortunately, it’s not so simple. The Walt Disney Company has made great effort into preparing Disneyland for the public, but the California state government is concerned. It’s ultimately a decision for the state to let Disneyland Resort reopen.

Current Situation for California

It’s only been a little over a week since Bob Iger quit California Governor Newsom’s Economic Recovery Task Force. When asked about Bob Iger leaving, Newsom said he wasn’t surprised. He also acknowledged that there were some disagreements regarding opening a certain major theme park saying, “we’re going to let science and data make that determination.”

Newsom also acknowledged that he knows local businesses are frustrated and want to reopen but the state will be led by a “health-first framework” and they will be “stubborn” about it. He also said they feel there “is no hurry to put out guidelines” for theme parks to reopen.

The state is continuing to work with the theme park industry to figure out the safest way to reopen all theme parks, not just the major ones like Disneyland. Newsom said he does not anticipate any of the larger theme parks reopening until “we see more stability in terms of the data.”

The California theme parks, including Disneyland and Universal Studios, remain in limbo waiting for the state to allow them to reopen.

What next for California?

However, California Governor Gavin Newsom recently gave an update on theme park reopening guidelines. He shared that a team from his administration traveled to Florida to inspect the reopening protocols of Walt Disney World. Inspecting how other theme parks are operating will help his administration issue guidelines for Disneyland and other California theme parks.

“We sent health officials to open and operating theme parks out of state last week, independently of operators, to assess the health safeguards in practice,” said California Health and Human Services Agency spokesperson Kate Folmar. “These visits will help inform our pending theme park guidance.”

Newsom’s team was looking to see what California could learn from other states that have successfully reopened sectors of the economy. They also looked for best practices happening in the Florida theme parks.

“We’re trying to get a better handle on what we’re being told, what we’re reading about, and our own concerns and our own environment as it relates to what makes our theme parks distinctive and unique,” Newsom said during the news conference. “What’s worked in their states and what hasn’t worked in their states as it relates to guidance, as it relates to mandates as it relates to messaging.”

California’s theme parks remain in limbo while state officials give conflicting reopening statements. Newsom said last week that he’s in “no hurry” to reopen Disneyland and other parks while his chief medical officer said state officials plan to issue theme park reopening guidelines “as soon as possible” the day before.

Hopefully, Newsom’s team learned that theme parks like Disneyland can reopen safely and responsibly and they will issue reasonable reopening guidelines soon. It’s ok if we didn’t see Disneyland reopen for it’s 65th anniversary. We are sure it’ll be a magical occasion once Disneyland Resort is open again!



Kevin Koszola

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