Disneyland Opening Delayed – Tokyo Disney Opening Announced!

Image via Wikimedia Commons//Boris Dzhingarov

There’s a lot of Disney park news to cover! First, the scheduled opening of Disneyland in California is delayed. But second, Tokyo Disney is going to open next week!

Let’s dive right in with the news coming out of Disneyland in California.  Two weeks ago we reported that Disneyland would be opening on July 17th, just in time for its 65th anniversary.  While it felt celebratory to open on their anniversary, it was still a little uncomfortable that they would reopen when cases in California are skyrocketing.  I’m originally from California and known many people who work at the park and none of them were happy about this proposed date.

Disneyland seems to have heard the outcry and the opening date has been pushed back indefinitely. They released the following statement:

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.

I applaud this decision and I applaud the Disneyland workers who put in so much effort to make this happen.  As I’ve said repeatedly, we just aren’t ready for this here in the United States.  Many of our citizens still refuse to wear masks, which is one of the most basic things you can do to help keep others safe.  Our inability to follow guidelines and help slow the spread is most obvious in our statistics, which flattened for a while, but then started going up again when people just seem to have gotten bored with the virus and decided to move on or whatever.  I’m continually perplexed with how we seem to be handling the virus in America and I’m glad people made enough noise to stop one terrible decision from being seen through.

Walt Disney World in Florida hasn’t had their opening pushed back yet, but I hope it does.  Florida isn’t doing too well either.  Fingers crossed they get their stuff together out there, too.  At the very least, the workers are pushing back out there just like they did in California, so maybe they’ll have some luck.  But it’s hard to say.  California and Florida are very different places and Disney may feel increased pressure out there to stick to their opening date.

For the billionth time, I’m going to beg and plead with readers to put off their Disney vacation in the United States.  I miss them, too.  My trip was scheduled for just three weeks from now.  I would have been slowly packing my suitcase over the next couple of weeks and daydreaming about what ride I’d go to first.  I’d have my airfare and my hotel locked into place and rambling about it across all my social media.  But I’m not.  Even when it was announced that the park would be reopening just a few days after my previously scheduled trip, I decided it wasn’t worth the risk.  The virus is still going strong here and we all need to do our part to help curb that.

But let’s bounce out of the United States for a bit and talk about Tokyo Disney Resort, which is way more uplifting.  It was announced a couple days ago that they plan on opening on July 1st.  Like the other parks that are currently open (Shanghai and Hong Kong), there will be intense protocols in place to keep guests safe.  There will be a cap of 15,000 people admitted to the park per day and they will be assigned an entry time in an attempt to stagger the guests showing up at the gate.  Guests will be required to wear masks and they will have their temperature checked upon entry.  So it’s all pretty standard as far as theme park openings go.

Now while I’ve been fairly critical of the American parks for opening so soon due to our rising levels and our propensity for ignoring safety protocols, I’m feeling pretty good about the Tokyo park opening.  They’ve been on top of things there.  In fact, they may have done a little too well there as it’s now apparently getting in the way of discovering a cure.  That’s a weird thing to complain about, but that’s the reality of the situation.  They were too good at curbing the virus.

Getting into Japan as a foreigner might be a bit difficult right now, though, so unless you are already there, you probably won’t be visiting that park.  I don’t expect that to change any time soon.  Please sit tight. Wash your hands. Wear a mask in public and social distance when you can.  When the numbers actually go down to a manageable level, you’ll get to enjoy some Disney magic yet again.  But we have to get through this crisis first.

Author: Angel Wilson

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They identify as queer.

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