Disneyland has decided not to do a phased reopening starting in July as first planned. They announced the news on Wednesday.
We previously announced a proposed phased reopening of our theme parks for July 17, pending government approvals. 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.
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. Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date.
Our Downtown Disney District will reopen on July 9 as previously announced with health and safety protocols in place for our cast members and guests. The opening of our Downtown Disney District has been previously approved in line with restaurant and retail openings throughout California. The Master Services Union, which represents our retail cast at this location, previously signed an agreement for members to return to work.
In order to reopen our theme parks we need to negotiate agreements with our unions to return employees to work. 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.
We thank our cast and guests for their patience during this unprecedented time while we await approval from government officials.
This could also be due to the push back that has been going around not only from cast members but also from attendees. As Disneyland goers talk among themselves in the Disney groups that I’m a part of it seems clear that there are two camps. Those who don’t want to wear a mask and will be skipping. And those worried for the cast members that are going to go back to work in close proximity with many people who may or may not respect the rules.
Other concerns for cast members is that their recreational space behind the scenes is very cramped and often times there is no air flow. So the likelihood of coronavirus spreading through cast members is high should someone get into the park.
This story is developing.