Disneyland Resort is slowly opening more parts of its parks to the public amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. On Thursday, the company announced the reopening date for a portion of Disney's California Adventure Park seven months after it was first shuttered.
On Thursday, the Disney Parks Blog announced that a portion of Disney's California Adventure Park will be reopening November 19, including several shops and restaurants along its main drag, Buena Vista Street. The news marks the first opening at the Anaheim, Calif., attraction beyond Downtown Disney, the shopping and dining district that connects California Adventure to Disneyland, which reopened in July with extensive new health and safety protocols.
On Buena Vista Street, guests can "find even more places to enjoy a memorable meal or a fun shopping excursion," according to the post. Open shopping destinations will include Elias & Co., Julius Katz & Sons and Kingswell Camera Shop, offering an array of Disney-themed exclusives for the holiday season. Food options will be Trolley Treats; Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe; Carthay Circle Lounge; and Smokejumpers Grill.
According to the blog post, there will be a $10 fee per car for parking at the Downtown Disney District in the Simba lot, and the number of guests allowed inside will be limited to ensure physical distancing.
The rest of Disney's California Adventure remains shuttered in compliance with current government mandates.
Per the park's guidelines, there will be temperature screenings prior to entry and all guests must wear masks and socially distance, among other new measures.
News of the incremental reopening came days after the state government of California released new and lengthy guidance on how theme parks in the state will be able to safely reopen. The document notes that attractions such as Disneyland will be allowed to welcome visitors again only after the county they are in located in reaches a lower level of COVID-19 cases — a feat that could take some time to accomplish.
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According to the document, smaller theme parks can resume operations once their county hits California's phase three of COVID recovery, while larger theme parks, such as Disneyland, will not be allowed to reopen until their county hits phase four.
Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Disneyland
Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Disney California Adventure Park
"We have proven that we can responsibly reopen, with science-based health and safety protocols strictly enforced at our theme park properties around the world," Potrock said. "Nevertheless, the State of California continues to ignore this fact, instead mandating arbitrary guidelines that it knows are unworkable and that hold us to a standard vastly different from other reopened businesses and state-operated facilities."
Disney originally planned to reopen its California resort as early as July 17, but the company announced at the time that the approval they had expected imminently from state and local government officials would not be granted in time.
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In his statement, Potrock added that he, along with Disney's labor unions, want to "get people back to work" but said the new state guidelines will keep them unable to reopen for the foreseeable future, "forcing thousands more people out of work, leading to the inevitable closure of small family-owned businesses, and irreparably devastating the Anaheim/Southern California community."
In September, Disney announced it would be laying off 28,000 employees — of which 67 percent are part-time. Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D'Amaro said the extended closure was a factor in the "very difficult decision" to reduce the parks' "workforce" in a statement.
Once Orange County does hit phase four, parks will be limited to 25 percent capacity and guests will be required to wear face masks throughout their visit, except while eating or drinking. Similarly, reservations will be required for all parks, with temperature checks taken at the gate upon entry.
Walt Disney World in Orlando reopened in July with strictly limited capacity and significant new safety measures.