A few dozen Disneyland enthusiasts and cast members gathered outside the park on Saturday to protest its continued closure, resulting in the loss of more than 28,000 jobs at Disney’s two U.S. theme parks.
Disneyland has been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, while Walt Disney World in Florida reopened with reduced capacity in July. The United States has reported more than 8.1 million cases and 219,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data.
“If the other parks have opened safes, why can’t Disneyland do the same?” read a protester’s sign.
Some protesters, wearing Mickey Mouse masks or mouse ear bands, held up signs calling for the park to reopen with Disney references. “Tell the guards to open the doors,” one sign said, quoting a line from “Frozen.” “Oh bother! Why is Disney still closed?” another asked with a picture of Winnie the Pooh.
USA TODAY has contacted Disneyland and the protest organizers for their comments.
When will Disneyland reopen?Disney slams California governor after slowing reopening of California theme parks
Earlier this month, California Governor Gavin Newsom said Disneyland and other surrounding major theme parks wouldn’t reopen anytime soon. The state “is in no rush to release guidelines,” he added, referring to the rules that theme parks would need to operate safely as the pandemic continues to rage.
The statement marked a turnaround from last month, when Newsom said it expected the guidelines to be released “very, very soon” as the state negotiated with industry.
“We don’t plan to open any of these big theme parks right now until we see more stability,” Newsom told a press conference.
A business group representing theme parks, the California Attractionsand Parks Association, has said there is no reason for attractions to stay closed when there is ample evidence they can safely reopen.
“We find it disconcerting that Governor Newsom does not have a schedule for the release of the theme park guidelines, and it is of great concern that he does not anticipate the upcoming opening of the theme parks,” wrote the Managing Director Erin Guerrero.
Officials at Disneyland and Anaheim have tried to step up pressure on Newsom to publish the guidelines. “As soon as a date and these guidelines are set, I can tell you that you were ready,” Josh D’Amaro, president of Disney’s Parks, Experiences and Products unit, told Roger Dow, CEO of the US Travel Association business group in August. .
Contributor: Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY
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