Orange County Health Officials Recommend State Allow Disneyland, Knott’s Parks to Reopen in “Moderate” Tier

As Southern California theme parks continue to wait for reopening guidelines so they can announce plans to welcome guests back, the Orange County Health Care Agency is ready to give the green light to Disneyland and Knott’s. The agency has reportedly recommended to the state that Disneyland and Knott’s parks be allowed to reopen once the county COVID-19 risk level moves from “substantial” to “moderate.”

What’s Happening:

  • The Orange County Register is writing that local health officials in Southern California are ready to give Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm the go ahead to reopen.
  • In fact, the Orange County Health Care Agency director Clayton Chau has said they are recommending the state allow the parks to reopen once Orange County enters the “moderate” tier on the Governor’s Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
  • Chau also said that Orange County Health officials have been working closely with Disney to prepare the parks for reopening.
  • Currently Orange County is in the “substantial” tier which reports between 4-7 new daily COVID cases per 100K people and positive tests in the 5-8% range.
  • It’s likely the county could shift to the “moderate” tier in the coming weeks which means 1-3.9 new daily cases per 100K and positive tests at 2-4.9%.
  • Both Disneyland and Knott’s have been closed since March and are awaiting reopening guidelines from Governor Newsom before they can proceed with bringing guests back to their parks.
  • While California has allowed businesses such as restaurants and shopping centers to reopen, they are seemingly dragging their feet theme parks guidelines.
  • Last week, the state was prepared to issue reportedly rigid guidelines that would require the parks wait until the county moved into the “minimal” tier before reopening. Even at this point they’d only be able to operate at 25% capacity.
  • As theme parks across the southern part of the state learned of the restrictions, they requested the new guideline not be issued until modifications could be discussed and California agreed to postpone the release of the new rules.
  • While no one is downplaying the severity of COVID-19 and the devastating impact it's had on the country, theme parks have asked the state to work with them on setting guidelines that will be helpful and beneficial to all parties involved.
  • At this time all of Disney’s resorts worldwide have reopened, except for California’s Disneyland. The Resort had previously anticipated opening their gates in July, but was forced to cancel that date due to the lack of reopening guidelines.  

  • Knott’s has been able to reopen for their Taste of Knott’s and Taste of Fall-O-Ween food and shopping festivals, operating at limited capacity and without attractions.

What They’re Saying:

  • Disney officials: “Once we have a clearer understanding of when theme parks can reopen from the State of California, we will be able to work with the state and Orange County Health Care Agency towards a reopening date.”