The Happiest Place on Earth is going to have to keep waiting, at least for the foreseeable future.
Disneyland and other large theme parks have learned they can’t reopen until the cases in their counties drop to below one per 100,000. Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s secretary of Health and Human Services, announced the theme park reopening guidelines Tuesday.
That means Los Angeles County, home to Universal and Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Orange County, the location of Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, would have to move to the least severe tier, yellow.
Orange County is still in the red tier and would have to move into the orange tier before ending up in the yellow. Los Angeles County remains in the most severe tier, purple. Currently only nine counties in the state are in the yellow tier.
Dr. Ghaly, who called theme parks a “high-risk setting,” said he couldn’t predict when parks will reopen. “There is a path forward. We don’t know when, but we know how.”
When parks reopen, they’ll be restricted to 25% capacity and face masks will be required except when people are eating or drinking. The state also would require a reservation system that screens guests in advance of COVID-19 symptoms.
Not unexpectedly, Disney objected to the state’s guidelines.
“We have proven that we can responsibly reopen, with science-based health and safety protocols strictly enforced at our theme park properties around the world,” Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock said in a statement.
“Nevertheless, the State of California continues to ignore this fact, instead mandating arbitrary guidelines that it knows are unworkable and that hold us to a standard vastly different from other reopened businesses and state-operated facilities,” Mr. Potrock said.
In Florida, Walt Disney World reopened in July.