Last week was a massive one for theme park news. We learned not only that Universal Orlando Resort is moving forward on the construction of the Epic Universe theme park much sooner than anticipated, but that Disneyland Resort now has a pathway towards reopening. While nothing is set in stone, starting April 1 it's at least possible for Disneyland Resort to reopen its theme parks in a limited fashion. And over the weekend Chairman of the Parks, Experiences, and Products division, Josh D'Amaro was at Downtown Disney with former Disney CEO Bob Iger giving his appreciation to cast members, and looking forward to welcoming so many more of them back once the park opens.
Josh D'Amaro posted a gallery of images to his Instagram where he's seen taking socially distant selfies with cast members, giving elbow bumps, and just talking to the people who have been able to get back to work at Disneyland Resort. Friday was National Employee Appreciation Day, and D'Amaro, Bob Iger, and Disneyland President Ken Potrock were on hand to show appreciation for the work that so many are doing. In the accompanying post, D'Amaro echoed the statement made by Potrock following California's revised guidelines...
We are encouraged by the announcement today that California theme parks now have a path forward toward opening responsibly this spring and getting thousands of people back to work.
According to California's revised guidelines, if Orange County California is able to drop from the "Widespread" infection tier down a level to "Substantial," then theme parks in the county can open to 15% capacity, though only residents of California will be allowed to visit. If the county continues to drop, then capacity levels increase accordingly.
Disneyland has not revealed an official reopening date, it's unclear at this point if the county will even hit the necessary goal to allow opening at all. Plus, it will take time for the park to get the wheels turning again. Disneyland also has it's Touch of Disney Festival planned to open at Disney California Adventure next week, and a few weeks of tickets have already been sold to the event. So don't expect that park to reopen April 1, even if Disneyland park somehow does.
Disneyland Resort has always focused on the fact that keeping the theme parks closed has kept thousands of people out of work, and so Josh D'Amaro's post focuses on this as good news that someday soon a lot more people will be working. D'Amaro ends his post by thanking all the employees under his division, both those working and not.
I wish I could have walked every property and thanked all of our Cast, Crew, Imagineers and employees around the world in person. I want to share my sincere appreciation to everyone in our organization, working and furloughed, who is part our magic!
Check out Josh D'Amaro's full statement in the Instagram post below.
While a lot is still unknown, the path to Disneyland reopening is now clear. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend as we'll have the news of exactly when the parks will be reopening as soon as it's revealed.