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Disneyland Delays Theme Park, Resort Reopening

Park was set to reopen on July 17, but no new date was announced

Disney said on Wednesday it will delay the reopening of its Disneyland resort and theme park and did not offer up a new date.

“The State of California has now indicated that it will not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4. 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,” the company said. “Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date.”

Disney said earlier this month that it was hoping to reopen the park and resort on July 17. That announcement came less than a week after the company laid out plans to reopen its Disney World park in Orlando. That opening is still set for July 11.

The Disneyland phased reopening plan called for Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel to reopen on July 23, with the Downtown Disney District being the first part to come back on July 9. The company said that the Downtown District will still open at that time.

“We developed enhanced health and safety protocols for both cast and guests at Shanghai Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort that have been approved, allowing us to reopen in a responsible manner and bring our cast members back to work,” Disney said in a statement.

“In order to reopen our theme parks we need to negotiate agreements with our unions to return employees to work,” the company continued. “We have had positive discussions and are very pleased to have signed agreements from 20 union affiliates, including the Master Services Council, which represents more than 11,000 of our cast members. 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.”

Disney closed its Disney World and Disneyland resort and theme parks in Orlando and Anaheim, as well as others around the world, on March 14.

Disney’s parks, experiences and products division, which includes all of the company’s theme parks, resorts, and cruise lines, is its biggest contributor to revenue. In 2019 the division contributed $26.2 billion to Disney’s overall revenue of $69.6 billion.

During its most recent quarterly conference call with Wall Street, the company said that it estimates that its parks business took a roughly $1 billion hit to operating income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shanghai Disneyland reopened to the public in May after shutting its doors for roughly three months, implementing several new policies to enforce social distancing and visitor cleanliness.

Disneyland and Disney World proposed implementing similar protocols for guests and cast members, requiring them to wear face masks, submit to temperature screenings before entering — in addition to at-home temperature checks for cast members — and obey physical distancing guidelines. Disney would also temporarily cancel all parades, firework shows, character greetings and kids play areas.