Last week California Governor Newsom announced a new 4-tier plan for reopening the state. The two theme parks at the Disneyland Resort could reopen in stages under this new tiered plan. The plan allows businesses to return with outdoor-only operations followed by reduced capacity for indoor services.
The new plan does not include guidelines for theme parks reopening. The Disneyland Resort originally planned on opening the parks in July but had to delay due to state guidelines not being available.
Orange County, where Disneyland is located, is currently in Tier 1, the most restrictive tier. It could move into the next tier soon if the COVID-19 conditions continue to improve.
In Tier 1, retail locations and restaurants are allowed to be open with retail operating at 25% capacity and restaurants only serving outdoors. Most locations in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort have reopened. Also under the first Tier, Disneyland’s hotels could reopen and operate at full capacity. At this time, Disneyland has chosen to keep its hotels closed.
Even though amusement/theme parks are not listed on the reopening tier guidelines, museums, zoos, and aquariums are. Those businesses are typically grouped with theme parks because of their themed environments.
Under California’s new system, museums, zoos, and aquariums are allowed to have outdoor operations in Tier 1, indoor operations limited to 25% capacity in Tier 2, and 50% in Tier 3, followed by full operations in Tier 4. If the theme parks at the Disneyland Resort were to follow these same guidelines, it could mean for an interesting phased reopening.
The Disneyland Railroad, Mark Twain Riverboat, Columbia Sailing Ship, and possibly even the Disneyland Monorail could open immediately in Tier 1 under public transportation guidelines. Outdoor theater shows like “Mickey and the Magical Map” and “Storytelling at the Royal Theatre” could reopen in Tier 1 as well with social distancing protocols.
Under Tier 2, attractions including Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Main Street Cinema, and Enchanted Tiki Room could reopen under indoor theater guidelines. Star Wars: Launch Bay could return in Tier 2 as well under museum guidelines.
If theme parks do follow these tiered guidelines, some outdoor attractions at Disneyland could reopen before indoor attractions. Attractions including Big Thunder Mountain, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Jungle Cruise, Autopia, and Mad Tea Party could reopen during an outdoor operations only tier.
Indoor attractions such as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Star Tours, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones Adventure, and the Fantasyland dark rides could reopen at 25% capacity in Tier 2, and 50% capacity after that.
We hope that state guidelines for theme parks will be released soon so that we no longer have to speculate and we can finally look forward to a reopening date for the Disneyland Resort parks.
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