In a COVID-19 and Wildfire Update that primarily focused on vaccination implementation when that time comes, California Governor Newsom announced that tomorrow new guidelines for industries, including theme and amusement parks, would be announced.

What’s Happening:

  • In today’s update that focuses on the state’s current COVID-19 situation and wildfire conditions, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that tomorrow, Dr. Gahley will release the long-awaited theme park guidelines so that parks like Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm and even smaller parks around that state can finally reopen.
  • While warning that the state is now entering the winter season, a time in which families and groups gather together inside, he stated this is part of the reason that the state has been “stubborn” about some industries (theme parks) in the state to receive reopening guidelines.
  • Newsom also stated that they were going to “break up the theme parks” specifying that it’s not just one or two brands that want to open, and recognized small parks are part of the industry as well.
  • The guidelines to reopen the theme parks have been anticipated since June, when Disneyland Resort announced they would be opening on their 65th anniversary on July 17th, then delayed waiting further guidance from the state. The state and parks have publicly gone back and forth, with parks asking for the delay of the release, reportedly because the guidelines were too strict, including the departure of former Disney CEO Bob Iger stepping down from Newsom’s Economic Recovery Task Force.
  • Last week, Newsom announced that he sent a team to parks that had already reopened elsewhere in the country to get a hands-on look at how the parks are operating with new safety protocols in place. He then sent a team to inspect the parks of the Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood and are trying to get a grasp on how guest behavior at these parks would differ from their Florida counterparts.

What They’re Saying:

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom: “This is what we anticipate in the season where more of us begin to move inside, moving into a season where more of us begin to mix and come back, extended family members for the holidays. This is an area of obvious and real concern And that’s why we’re being very slow and sober and forgive me, stubborn, about some industries in the state that I know are eager to get guidelines. Tomorrow, Dr. Gahley will update you on some of those industries and guidelines including sports and some of these theme parks. We’re going to break up the theme parks, it’s not just one or two brands, it’s many different parts that are part of the theme park industry. Dr. Gahley will be updating you tomorrow on those guidelines. Again, I hope one recognizes our stubbornness on a “health first” data driven decision making process is done with our eyes wide open on what's happening around the world and not just what’s happening across the United States.”