Disneyland Postpones Planned July 17 Return

June 24, 2020, 7:47 PM · The Disneyland Resort announced this afternoon that its theme parks will not reopen on July 17, as earlier planned.

"The State of California has now indicated that it will not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4," the resort said in a statement issued to reporters. "Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials. Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date."

The Downtown Disney district will reopen on July 9, as previously announced. But Disneyland will need to negotiate terms of return with its various labor unions, a coalition of which has been campaigning against the July 17 reopening plan.

Regardless of when the eventually return, the Disneyland Resort theme parks will be the last Disney theme parks worldwide to reopen. Tokyo Disney will be reopening on July 1, followed by Walt Disney World's theme parks on July 11 and July 15, and Disneyland Paris' parks on July 15.

As Disneyland's press release mentioned, the state of California has yet to issue guidance on theme parks reopening in the state, preventing any California parks from returning. Theme parks in Los Angeles and San Diego counties, including Universal Studios Hollywood, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Legoland California and SeaWorld San Diego, had petitioned their local county officials to reopen at the beginning of July. For now, though, everyone's plans are on hold.

Update (June 25): California Governor Gavin Newsom responded to Disneyland's decision in his daily Covid-19 briefing.

"You may have seen... the report that came out that Disney has not now decided to move forward next month opening up their theme park. I want to just compliment Disney and their team for making that determination. It was referenced in their press release that the state of California had paused on providing guidelines in that space. That is an example of the data informing decision making, and that is exactly what we'll be doing as we move forward. We look at conditions as they change in real time, based upon the data, and based upon local conditions."

Replies (31)

June 24, 2020 at 7:56 PM

I wonder if this will also affect WDW? Seriously, can we (and by we, I mean the collective world) just agree that 2020 isn’t happening, and chalk it up to a ground breaking Black Mirror episode where the entire population is part of it? Then start fresh, next year!

June 24, 2020 at 8:03 PM

Walt Disney World would be Disney's decisions, as I cannot imagine that Florida's governor would order any businesses in that state to close, no matter how bad it gets. But if Disney World's unions were to demand a closure, that could change things.

In Anaheim, it's clear that Disney wants to reopen, but the company just lacks the state approval that it got much more easily in Florida.

June 24, 2020 at 8:17 PM


June 24, 2020 at 8:42 PM

There has obviously been a big difference in regards to re-openings in R and D ran states really only time will tell who made the right choices.

The main thing to note is the way these parks and many other businesses have setup their businesses, knowing what we now know about the virus, its basically impossible to transmit if everyone is following the rules. The problem is people not following the rules. There are also a lot of small businesses that re-opened and pretended the virus didn't exist anymore and all of their customers had the same mindset, places like that are causing all the issues with the re-openings.

June 24, 2020 at 8:54 PM

Also one more thing I want to add is that if there was a guarantee that if we locked down again that the virus would go away I think a lot of businesses, including parks, would be more than happy to oblige. But as soon as people [on both sides of the political isle for different reasons] started to come out again cases of the virus surged right back up. So knowing that even if we lock down its not going to go away I think businesses have no choice but to re-open and try to do it as safely as possible. They can't just stay closed until there is a vaccine that is an unrealistic expectation everyone will go bankrupt.

June 24, 2020 at 9:36 PM

Not going to lie and say I'm relived of the postponement. Obviously I'd rather be in a world where we didn't have a pandemic and the parks were open, but the data doesn't support opening at this time.

I would like to see some sort of ceremony live streamed from Disneyland park for the anniversary. Doesn't need to be lavish, just enough to mark the 65th anniversary.

June 24, 2020 at 9:47 PM

The real issue I see is that these re-openings have been too rushed.

Of course it’s not reasonable to expect businesses to stay closed forever, but it’s not logical to continue to proceed with more re-openings in a state where the virus cases are spiking.

There was supposed to be a ‘balance’ and ‘compromise’ in these ‘phased re-openings,’ but all of that just really seemed to be an illusion, with businesses just re-opening as quickly as they can - regardless of employee or customer safety.

The spikes that we’re seeing now is telling - the current re-opening plans are not working and something is wrong.

June 24, 2020 at 10:10 PM

@NYPark: I know I bring it up but Illinois should have been a key example: Shut down dining March 16th, shelter orders on 21st and Pritzker stayed tough on it until May 29th. We're planning Phase 4 this weekend with indoor dining and other places and rules on masks and distancing and such.

I sadly do agree that all the protests in the last month were a contributing factor but also the sad fact that too many in various states just never took it seriously. Because certain elements continue to press that it's "all overblown, numbers are inflated' Or even refusing to accept this is for real.

Sadly, I don't expect some places to do shelter orders again after the fuss of the first time and too many are pushing "better the economy than lives" and the effects are going to be felt for a while.

June 24, 2020 at 10:26 PM

Reopening the economy without follow through on safety measures by businesses and citizens will be unsustainable. The virus will spread, more will die and more and more people will not spend. This will result in more layoffs and less spending. Then the cycle will repeat.

If you want the economy to move forward you have to become a huge advocate of face masks, testing, social distancing and washing your hands. Without it the economy will not have a clear path forward.

June 25, 2020 at 12:55 AM

Disneyworld will be next, with other parks to soon follow. The last three months of quarantine were meaningless, and we now face a more dire situation than ever before. The curve in many places is proceeding exponentially, and entirely unchecked. Several states are about to make NYC's tribulations look quaint. No reasonable business, and certain not one aimed at families, will stay open in that situation.

And why? Because the deluded fools who said the virus wasn't serious, or that the economy is more important that lives, pushed for an early opening, too early. Worse than that, those same sad idiots refuse to do the most basic, effective thing and wear their masks. Their self-righteous ignorance has not just destroyed the gains we made, but cursed us to at least three, and maybe nine more months of lock down. Even now they bray about how they'll never wear a mask, even now they refuse to do the reasonable thing and wear a mask. Every day those same idiots are only further extending the lock-down.

What's the over/under on when Disneyworld pushes back it's opening? I say less than a week.

June 25, 2020 at 3:06 AM

This is disappointing, but it is not surprising. While I'm skeptical of the data being reported right now for a couple reasons, we're definitely seeing a notable increase in cases and we need to maintain where we're at right now until the trend reverses or at the very least levels out. I don't think going backwards is a good idea unless absolutely necessary, as that will probably make things worse in the long run at this point, but a combination of moving a little too quickly and playing a little too loose mean a pause is necessary before continuing.

That said, I do have to wonder at what point most will decide to accept the risk, as I don't foresee significant improvement in conditions until mid-fall at best. My gut feeling says when the extra unemployment stimulus runs out at the end of July, many are going to suddenly want to be back at work. We really need to get our act together and put out a more sustainable reopening plan, because while it will carry some risk, remaining closed indefinitely is not sustainable, and I fear a lot of corporations may opt to make an exodus from California should we remain significantly less friendly to their operation than a majority of the other states.

June 25, 2020 at 5:37 AM

Thecolnel - You are 100% correct, and it is frightening how the USA has chosen to react to this situation (I know, not everybody, but WAY too many of the people in charge).
Yesterday, America had the second most number of new CoVid-19 cases since it began. While other places in the world are starting to see the end of the disease, the US is now trending upwards (and I'm not sure if DaveDisney is just a bothersome troll, or represents actual thinking in the USA, but if he does...wow).
Very sad that some people think that there is a reasonable number of lives that can be given up of the elderly and immuno-suppressed, in the name of the mighty American economy. AND that the number is somewhere significantly higher than 125,000 people!
Lots of places in the rest of the world have effectively brought the disease under control, by being patient, diligent, responsible and supportive of each other. And in the end, it is difficult to fathom the thinking that ignoring the virus will be good for the economy, especially the tourism/themepark industry.
If things don't change, when other borders open, there's still going to be a travel ban to the USA from much of the rest of the world, until a vaccine comes around. About eighty million tourists, and two-hundred and fifty billion of their dollars will be missing from the US economy, until something happens to the disease.
I feel bad for those who were responsible and worked so hard, and gave up so much to try and supress the disease. But the reality is, the USA would have to start over with its isolation efforts to try to stop the disease. Either that, or choose to watch the death of their weak and vulnerable, and eventually the long-term tanking of the economy.
Make America Great Again, indeed.

June 25, 2020 at 6:31 AM

Gov. DeSantis has repeatedly said (including again yesterday) that Florida is moving forward no matter what. So WDW not opening will solely be at the discretion of Disney. FloriDUH's strategy is doubling down on moving forward, so the numbers are basically meaningless at this point. We are just blowing past the stop signs, warning lights and sirens. Could our State possibly do any more to shoot itself in the foot to ensure that the tourism industry will be negatively impacted for as long as possible?

June 25, 2020 at 7:42 AM

I have to say I'm not as surprised as others with the postponed opening. As eagered as I am with the parks opening, im also cautious and hesitant.

@B Goodwin you too are correct. Some individuals critical thinking of the matter eludes me. "Lives over economy", well there doesn't appear to be enough lives willing to compromise their own health to stimulate the economy. Interesting how people pick and choose which states the protest affected while overlooking those states with the highest rate of infections that didn't produce the highest protesting turnouts. Choosing what we want to believe?

June 25, 2020 at 9:23 AM

As a Los Angeles County resident and a Disneyland and Universal AP holder, I am so sad to read this news. I was happily going to go back as soon as I could wearing a face mask, hand sanitizer in pocket, and would socially-distance away from all but my household. That said, I am sadly not surprised by the spike. I don't want to take this to anywhere political, but the reality is a lot of the new cases we are seeing according to the news is people in their 40s or younger. These same people are the ones I see at stores less likely to wear masks correctly, meeting up with friends, hugging others, at protests, and skirting social distancing practices. For reference, I am 45, and am thankfully employed, with 19 and 18 year old children. I have resisted being in close contact with everyone but my home (husband and 2 kids), and my parents. Many teens I see locally are now openly meeting up, not at someplace safer like outdoors, but at each others' homes, in each others' cars. I just wish wearing a mask properly and socially distancing was done by all, as it is simple, and for the most part, much of our economy could be open today. And, seems to me via photos and what I have read going to Universal Orlando looks safer than going to the gym, so why couldn't Disneyland do the same? And really, where is personal responsibility in this debate? Why is it all so political when it is really up to each and every American to not just publicly but privately abide by well-known safety protocols if we want to see this Virus go down in numbers and less deaths?

June 25, 2020 at 12:46 PM

Comparatively, our (US) case per capita of 100,000 is significantly above that of China, Korea, Hong Kong, and Europe. We have cases increasing at more than 7 times that of other nations.

It is not the appropriate time to reopen. This is not because Disney has not done their research. The risk factor and traveling to the parks and all the people you come in contact is being ignored. With "Phased" reopening of businesses has seen an uptick that now shows more cases than during stay at home orders. I think we have to stop ignoring the data and acknowledge a lot needs to happen (that we have no control over) before we get to park reopening(s) in the US.

Testing in the US needs to expand. Parks need to implement quick tests as a requisite for entry to further mitigate risk. (The temperature test) While a good tool only makes me view the park entry as the TSA (security theater). It's intent is honest, however it's result is not certifiable.

We have not left the 1st wave and the 2nd wave will be far worse. Does Disney really want to completely obliterate consumer confidence? Quick answer ...NO

June 25, 2020 at 1:01 PM

Well, there isn't a comment section on the news that Disney is going to overlay splash mountain with characters and images taken from the Princess and the Frog. Sigh. I appreciate the problems around Song of the South, but consider:

1. The Uncle Remus tales are taken from the black oral tradition, which is to say that the story of Splash Mountain was the only Disney ride to feature stories created by black people.

2. Those black stories will be replaced by Princess and the Frog, which is German folklore.

3. Princess and the Frog was created in part by John Lasseter, sexual predator.

So, in short, Disney is removing the one ride dedicated to black stories and replacing it with German folklore as presented by a white sexual predator. Yay 2020!!

June 25, 2020 at 1:22 PM

Didn’t take long to demonstrate why there’s no comment section on the Song of the South article, did it?

June 25, 2020 at 1:25 PM

Face palm... Don't touch my face!!!

June 25, 2020 at 1:51 PM

Why do you say that? Because people have charged opinions about white-washing? Which part of what I said do you think is untrue?

Alice Walker called Joel Harris a thief because he in effect stole a major part of the black folk legacy from its authentic African American creators.

The Brothers Grimm wrote the first recorded telling of the Frog King, the story on which the Princess and the Frog is based.

And Lasseter's problems are well documented.

June 25, 2020 at 2:13 PM

Replacing a ride based on a film so racist that Disney can’t show it anymore with one that centers the only black princess to date is a massive upgrade for inclusivity and representation in the parks.

I don’t think little girls of color relate more to Uncle Remus characters than to Princess Tiana, any more than modern women of color see themselves reflected more in Aunt Jemima than Oprah Winfrey.

June 25, 2020 at 2:38 PM

Flip flopping is a core qualification for politicians, i´m optimistic that whichever madman is in charge in Florida is capable of doing a Boris Johnson like U turn eventually. Remember the guy was braging about shakeing hands with corona infected at the hospital which is in all likelyhood how he got sick himself and planned for "herd immunity" (read do nothing and just let people die) initally. At least 30000 dead too late he still did largely the right thing.

June 25, 2020 at 3:16 PM

@kevinC Uncle Remus isn't on the ride. The movie doesn't exist. And the characters represent the only African-American _stories_ told in all of Disney. Black spirituals didn't stop being black just because Elvis sang them, and B-rer rabbit didn't stop being black just because Disney filmed him.

But you're right, Disney needed yet one more European standard, as told by white folk. Why have the African trickster character when you can have another princess??

June 25, 2020 at 3:35 PM

You’re seriously arguing that a rabbit is black and better for black audiences than a black princess in a princess park. It’s just a tortured argument that reveals how little you care about the actual experience of black park goers, just so you get to hold on to your racist movie ride.

Thank goodness Disney is disregarding such nonsense and moving forward with a ride redesign, even if it makes for some grimaced faces spouting disingenuous nonsense.

June 25, 2020 at 5:01 PM

Regarding Splash Mountain the fact of the matter is Disney, like many other companies, have people who do tons of research these things to see which decision will make more $ and your individual opinion doesn't really change that outcome. Personally I loved Splash Mountain but also fully acknowledge that when you're running a business, especially a publicly traded one where you have to answer to your shareholders, you do what is in the best long term interest of the business. They have a saying in PR: "whether its true or not, perception is your reality" Young people and young people who have kids (Disney's core customers) are going to drive changes in the company.

Regarding Disneyland delayed opening this is a perfect example of why I can't stand the media, they are putting a false narrative out there with their misleading headlines and making it sound like Disney made the decision to delay their opening. Disney was definitely gung-ho on their opening date as evidenced by the fact WDW is still opening regardless of Florida being in just as bad of a position with cases. The state government told them no, they can't open, its simple as that. The headline should read "State of California puts kibosh on Disneyland's re-opening plans" or something like that.

June 25, 2020 at 5:17 PM

Yes Kevin, I'm arguing to preserve black cultural artifacts, a handful of african-american characters that survive from that dark time, because I want to hold onto a "racist movie ride."

This is why America can't have nice things. Enjoy your additional European princess ride, maybe Lasseter and the white writer-directors of Princess and the Bride can be there for the big unveiling.

June 25, 2020 at 7:23 PM

Splash Mountain is a black cultural artifact now?

That’s down there with the lady who claimed Aunt Jemima was a powerful symbol of emancipation.

June 25, 2020 at 9:14 PM

Hans I really don’t understand why you keep UK bashing with false facts. The uk has been in lockdown for the same time, and longer, than most countries and there were no u turns. The uk now reports all cases and deaths whereas some eu countries do not, the figures are skewed ( some EU countries do NOT include care home numbers at all - the uk didn’t initially but added them in later and since). please stop writing rubbish.

June 26, 2020 at 12:26 PM

Hu? https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/03/uk-backed-off-on-herd-immunity-to-beat-coronavirus-we-need-it/

June 26, 2020 at 9:33 PM

@thecolonel I'm assuming you aren't aware that one of the writers, Rob Edward's, isn't white.

June 28, 2020 at 6:44 PM

Hans, herd immunity was a topic that was considered very early on in the outbreak, and very briefly. there is actually some real science to it, but it takes too long unfortunately. this was only ever very briefly discussed and considered by the government and then put aside. (It was seriously considered by other governments around the world and in Europe, but many don’t operate as openly as the uk does). Of course since then it has been completely locked in the news and taken out of context, as you have done yourself. you are just listing articles that are off the point and out of context. I assume by the fact you are ignoring the points about care home deaths and how they are reported you are admitting that your original arguments and points against the uk were somewhat incorrect and exaggerated

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