Don’t look for Disneyland and other major theme parks in the state of California to be reopening anytime soon. California Governor Gavin Newsom said today that the state would be “stubborn” about preserving a “health-first framework” toward theme parks’ return, with “no hurry” to put out guidelines.
When asked about Disney Chairman Bob Iger’s resignation from the governor’s economic recovery task force, Gov. Newsom said,
“It didn’t come to me as a surprise at all — there’s disagreements in terms of opening a major theme park. We’re going to let science and data make that determination. I understand the dialectic, the friction, the frustration that many business leaders have — that they want to move forward sectorally to to reopen. But we are going to be led by a health-first framework, and we’re going to be stubborn about it. That’s our commitment — that’s our resolve. We feel there’s no hurry putting out guidelines.
“We’re continuing to work with the industry, and, by the way, amusement parks aren’t just Disney. You’ve got all kinds of amusement parks, including smaller parks that are out there — the piers like down in Santa Cruz and others that may be impacted. And so we’re trying to work through all of those things. It’s very complex. These are like small cities, small communities, small towns, but we don’t anticipate, in the immediate turn, any of these larger theme parks opening until we see more stability in terms of the data.”
California today reported 2,764 new Covid-19 cases and 51 new deaths due to the disease — both a 0.3 percent increase from the previous day.
Update: Disney Parks on Wednesday evening released a statement from its Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pamela Hymel.
“We absolutely reject the suggestion that reopening the Disneyland Resort is incompatible with a ‘health-first’ approach. The fact is, that since March we have taken a robust science-based approach to responsibly reopening our parks and resorts across the globe. Our health and safety protocols were developed in consultation with epidemiologists and data scientists, and after considering guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and experts in local government and health agencies. All of our other theme parks both in the United States and around the world have been allowed to open on the strength of our proven ability to operate with responsible health and safety protocols.”
* * *
We wanted you to read this article before we make our newsletter pitch, unlike so many other websites. If you appreciate that — and our approach to covering theme park news — please sign up for our free, three-times-a-week email newsletter. Thank you.