Theme parks in Los Angeles and neighboring Orange County are eligible to reopen at 25% capacity, thanks to those counties today moving into a less restrictive tier under the state of California's pandemic rules.
The change puts the two counties into California's Orange Tier 3, which allows theme parks to move from 15% to 25% capacity, pending county approval. This affects Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain.
Update: Los Angeles County officials have announced that the Orange tier changes will take effect on April 5, meaning that Magic Mountain will begin at 15% capacity for its first days back. Orange County is approving the move tomorrow, March 31.
San Diego County, home to SeaWorld and Legoland, remains in the Red Tier 2 for the time being, meaning that its parks must remain at 15% when they return. California theme parks may begin reopening starting Thursday.
All parks must continue to limit attendance to California residents, regardless of their county's tier status. Here are the current reopening dates for California theme parks:
Knott's Berry Farm has announced that it will reopen in May, though it has not yet specified a date. San World San Diego remains open as a zoo, with no set date yet to resume theme park rides.
For the latest on specific rules, please see our article, California Details Theme Park Reopening Rules.
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(As for "I KNOW they haven't been vaccinated," it's not because I asked because I'm aware of the health privacy laws, but because they have been very vocal about not being, nor WANTING to be, vaccinated -- I know it because they volunteered the information).
@Kenny: always appreciate your perspective and POV, both on theme parks and the hospitality industry in general. Interesting thoughts.
Went to the Magic Mountain Team Preview today and while it was great to ride on some rollercoasters after 55 weeks, it should be interesting to see how the park functions when it’s open to the public. Riders per hour will be extremely low due to not only social distancing but sanitizing after each ride. Also only accepting cashless transactions should be “fun” for parents who are not tech savvy/wary of using credit cards(Though should be great for cashier team members since they don’t have to worry about coming up short on their tilt at the end of their shift.
@Joseph thank you. I know I tend to ramble on a bit, so I'm glad to read that it's not unwelcome.
@Agustin It's going to be interesting to see how crowd flow works, even with limited attendance. We've seen things go relatively smoothly in Florida, so we'll see how lessons learned are applied in California (I am not aware of a Six Flags park in Florida, but they've seen what other parks have done so they're not going into this blindly).
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This is such a strange time.
I mean, I live closer to Disneyland than some California residents and in just over two weeks I will get my second dose of the vaccine (I'm not being bitter about that -- I chalk it up to the strange times, even if I will be supposedly "immune" two weeks after that second dose). Things are weird right now, and we're all playing it by ear.
I'm 100% good with masks and other precautions whether I'm vaccinated or not. I'm tired of having to tell people who I KNOW are not vaccinated to put a mask on (this happens literally EVERY SHIFT at the casino in which I work because some people still pretend this is no big deal).
And nobody would know that I'm vaccinated without me showing that CDC card, which HIPPA laws may or may not prevent someone for asking to see. So the "California residents only" rule by California's Governor doesn't upset me. Again, people and governments are doing the best they can under unprecedented circumstances. I WANT to go to Disneyland when they reopen, but my "want" isn't reasonable under the circumstances.
I'm fortunate to have been able to visit Disneyland in September of 2019, just about six months before they closed.
But these are not easy times for ANY Disney parks fans, and they've been even worse for cast members. I'll wait my turn to visit again, just like I waited my turn until Nevada decided that hospitality workers (where we've been reopened for about nine months, working side-by-side with the same co-workers and guests for hours at a time, which I think qualifies as close sustained contact) were deemed eligible to become vaccinated. I'm glad that those who are older and those with preexisting conditions came first, but I was glad when I my turn came around.
But that doesn't preempt me from any other restrictions. 95% effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine I'm getting means that 5% of people aren't immune after this. So keep the safety protocols in place until we reach herd immunity.
Until then, KEEP me out of Disneyland just in case. I don't have to be happy about it, but the reality is what it is, and I get that.
It hurts to not be able to go when they reopen, but I will respect the rules in place until it is safe to lift those rules, for myself and ESPECIALLY for others.