Home » Despite Pressure, California Governor in “No Hurry” to Issue Theme Park Reopening Guidelines in California

    Despite Pressure, California Governor in “No Hurry” to Issue Theme Park Reopening Guidelines in California

    Despite trading scathing public statements and blaming their own layoffs on the California government, it looks like the war between Disney and California Governor Gavin Newsom will rage on as the governor said in a statement today that the government is in “no hurry” to issue reopening dates or guidelines, despite very public pressure: “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.”

    Though last week, it seemed like theme park reopening guidelines were finally going to be issued, there was severe pushback from several in the theme park industry, which culminated in Bob Iger resigning  from the Governor’s Economic Advisory Council. Governor Newsom addressed Iger’s departure today too, saying it was due to “disagreements” over reopening guidelines, and added that “[California’s government is] going to let science and data make that determination. 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.”

    Of course, while all these shutdowns are still in place theme park operators have found some creative ways to keep employees working, with Knott’s Berry Farm operating its own fall-themed  food festival, which is allowed under the current California guidelines. In fact the park’s recently announced Taste of Fall-O-Ween event (which costs $35 to attend) has completely sold out for the season, which is helping keep theme park workers employed during this time.

    In addition SeaWorld San Diego is hosting its Halloween Spooktacular event, complete with characters, entertainment, trick-or-treating, scavenger hunts, limited-time food and more. So far no events like these have been scheduled at Disneyland, but perhaps with the shutdown now extending into the fall Disney will come up with something to keep their Cast Members working. 

    Though there’s no telling when this impasse between the state of California and theme park operators (Disney, specifically) will come to an end, hopefully we’ll hear more concrete news soon about when to expect a reopening. Do you think theme parks in this state will be able to open fully before the end of the year?