ANAHEIM, Calif. - Disneyland executives are demanding Governor Gavin Newsom allow California theme parks to reopen, warning of devastating impacts if it doesn't happen soon after more than six months of coronavirus closures.
On Tuesday, Disney Parks and Resorts held a private press conference from inside the Anaheim theme park to discuss operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Citing the fact that Walt Disney World in Orlando successfully reopened its doors to parkgoers back in July, Disney Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro said, "We are ready, and more importantly… it is time."
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Downtown Disney has already reopened and park officials say that model and that of Disney parks around the globe which have reopened, shows they can do the same thing in Southern California.
D'Amaro also warned that extending the park's closure would continue to have a devastating impact on the local economy. Disneyland supplies nearly 80,000 regional jobs, according to D’Amaro.
All California theme parks, including Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Legoland California closed in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Newsom hinted that an announcement on California theme park reopening guidelines was coming "very, very shortly."
"We will be making announcements soon as it relates to theme parks and amusement parks," Newsom said during a news conference on Sept. 16. "Making announcements soon as it relates to some areas, industries as well as sectors and putting out additional guidelines in those spaces very very shortly."
However, the announcement has yet to be made.
Statement from Jesse Melgar, Press Secretary for Governor Gavin Newsom:
“The governor and our public health experts continue to be in contact with the company and Labor representatives — as well as other theme parks in the state — as we track and combat the spread of the virus with a focus on protecting public health.”