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Disneyland Resort has been closed since March and at this point, there is no known plan for reopening Disney's first theme park. The ongoing closure has been tough for fans of the park to be sure, but a protest over the weekend that took place in front of the park wasn't about people getting a chance to ride Space Mountain or eat a Dole Whip, as one former cast member who helped organize the protest, says it's about getting cast members back to work in their dream jobs.
It's certainly true that in the seven months that Disneyland Resort has been closed, much of the focus has been on the guests. There have been people with Annual Passports that can't use them, those with hotel reservations that have had to continually reschedule or cancel outright. However, Natasha Ramirez, a former cast member who recently organized a protest outside Disneyland, says the reason the parks should be reopened is not for the guests, but for the people who have spent seven months out of work. As Ramirez recently told USA Today...
People ... think we just want Disneyland open so we can go buy a churro. The cast members, who are the people we did it for, have been reaching out to thank us because they want to go back to work, and the ones that still have a job there don't want to lose theirs.
Disney recently saw a significant layoff across the division that includes theme parks, and specifically referenced Disneyland's ongoing closure as one of the factors that led to the decision. Certainly, there's a fear that if the closure continues more layoffs could be needed.
Natasha Ramirez says that other cast members have been reaching out to thank her for the support, implying that there are many people who would be willing to go back to work if the Disneyland Resort was open to do so. While there are certainly health and safety concerns, many theme parks, including all of Disney's other parks around the world, are now open for business and operating under these new conditions, and so the feeling from many is that Disneyland could, and should, do the same.
Of course, while there may be many cast members who are ready to go back to work, there are likely others who, even under the circumstances, may want to wait. While one expects Disneyland will use every conceivable safety precaution to keeps guests and cast members safe, some might not be ready to go out into that world just yet, and if the parks do open, those cast members who do not feel safe going to work may end up losing their jobs.
The state of Califonia and the theme park industry, including Disneyland, are currently working together to put together guidelines for reopening after the initial plan reportedly did not sit right with the parks. California's Governor Gavin Newsom has since stated he's in "no hurry" to reopen the parks, so it could still be sometime before an announcement is actually made. Another protest is reportedly planned at Disneyland for a future date.