California Governor Says State is in “No Hurry” to Issue Theme Park Reopening Guidelines

After weeks of back and forth discussions, it sounds as though Disneyland Resort and other theme parks won’t be opening any time soon. During a press conference today, California Governor Gavin Newsom gave an update on the State’s stance on reopening these businesses.

UPDATE (10/7/2020 7:30 pm PT):

  • This evening Disney responded on Twitter in regards to news that California will not be issuing guidelines for theme parks to reopen anytime soon.
  • Chief Medical Officer for Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, Dr. Pam Hymel shared a statement on the Disney Parks News Twitter saying, “We absolutely reject the suggestion that reopening the Disneyland Resort is incompatible with a ‘health-first’ approach.”
  • She also mentions that the Walt Disney Company has taken a “science-based approach to reopening our parks and resorts across the globe.”
  • Dr. Hymel notes that every other Disney resort around the world (five others in total) has been allowed to reopen on the “strength of our proven ability to operate with responsible health and safety protocols.”


  • As Deadline reported, California Governor, Gavin Newsom has stated that Disneyland Resort and other Southern California parks will not be opening anytime soon and that the state is in no rush to issue reopening guidelines for the industry.
  • The news follows weeks of debate amongst businesses, state officials, and county officials who all have different views about when it’s safe to reopen.
  • Most recently, Orange County health officials announced support for reopening the theme parks once the county entered the “moderate” infection category.
  • While many industries in Southern California are reopening such as select schools, theaters, restaurants and zoos, theme parks have not been issued guidelines from the state on how they can safely reopen.
  • Recently, Disney Chairman Bob Iger resigned from Newsom’s Economic Recovery Advisory Group as the two disagreed on when it would be safe to resume operation.
  • Governor Newsom acknowledged this, saying of the departure, “It didn’t come to me as a surprise at all. There’s disagreements in terms of opening a major theme park. We’re going to let science and data make that determination.” However, he added, “I had a wonderful conversation with Bob, who’s been very active and participatory. I’m incredibly grateful for his support, his insight, his counsel.”

What They’re Saying:

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom: “We don’t anticipate in the immediate term any of these larger parks opening until we see more stability in terms of the data. We feel there’s no hurry to put out guidelines and we continue to work with the industry.
  • Governor Newsom on when theme park businesses will reopen: “I understand the dialectic, the friction that many business leaders have that they want to move forward…but we’re going to be led by a health-first framework and we’re going to be stubborn about it.”