ANAHEIM, Calif. (CNS)—Disneyland officials on June 24 scrubbed the planned July 17 reopening of the Anaheim theme park, citing a delay in the release of state health guidelines and the time it will take to bring all of its employees back to work.
A new opening date was not immediately announced.
“The state of California has now indicated that it will not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4,” according to a statement from Disneyland officials.
“Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials. Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date,” the statement said.
“Our Downtown Disney District will reopen on July 9 as previously announced with health and safety protocols in place for our cast members and guests. The opening of our Downtown Disney District has been previously approved in line with restaurant and retail openings throughout California. The Master Services Union, which represents our retail cast at this location, previously signed an agreement for members to return to work.”
While blaming the delay in reopening the Disneyland and California Adventure theme parks on the state, Disney officials also conceded that they need to work to get the support of all employee unions. Some unions and employees have been expressing safety concerns about the reopening plans.
Some union members had been planning to conduct a protest parade on June 27 in opposition to the July 17 reopening plan.
Disneyland officials in their June 24 statement said, “In order to reopen our theme parks, we need to negotiate agreements with our unions to return employees to work.”
Park officials said they have had “positive discussions” and reached agreements with 20 union affiliates, including the Master Services Council that represents more than 11,000 workers.
“The signed agreement details plans that include enhanced safety protocols that will allow us to responsibly reopen, and get thousands of our cast members back to work,” according to Disney.
Disneyland has been closed since March 14 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Orange County health officials reported their highest one-day total of deaths from COVID-19 on June 24, announcing 26 fatalities, along with 354 newly confirmed cases.
The numbers bring the county’s totals to 11,016 cases and 299 deaths, and continue the recent trend of increased cases and fatalities as more sectors of the local economy are reopening following three months of lockdown orders.