Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park, which closed their gates on March 14 last year, are among the last of the company’s properties to welcome back customers.
Walt Disney Co. plans to reopen its two California theme parks on April 30, more than a year after it shut them down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, which closed their gates on March 14 last year, are among the last of the company’s properties to welcome back customers. While Disney’s Paris resort is still shuttered, the four theme parks in Florida have been open since July.
Prolonged closings in California became a contentious issue between park operators and Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, who kept the properties shuttered long after those in other states reopened. Owners, local officials and related businesses have been lobbying to reopen for months, arguing theme parks haven’t been a significant source of Covid-19 outbreaks.
Disney has laid off 32,000 employees over the past year, most of them in the theme-park unit. The business, one of the company’s most profitable historically, has been crawling back slowly, with social-distancing precautions limiting attendance to about 35% of capacity in Florida. The company said it plans bring back more than 10,000 furloughed employees for the Disneyland reopening.
Protocols such as mask wearing would likely be in place through the end of the year, the company said in February.
Disneyland, in Anaheim, California, is the company’s original resort. It was the second-most-visited theme park in the world in 2019, behind Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Florida. That year, 18.7 million people went to Disneyland and 9.86 million to neighboring California Adventure, according to data from the Themed Entertainment Association and the consultancy Aecom.