Disneyland Reopening Chaos Drags On
While theme parks reopened in other states and other industries in California, Disneyland and its competitors in the Golden State remain closed by decree by Governor Gavin Newsom. The continued shutdown has opened a rift between Disney and Newsom, and Disney chairman Bob Iger resigned from Newsom's recovery task force last week. And the governor's recent comments don't bode well for those looking to visit Sleeping Beauty's Castle anytime soon.
"We don't expect these larger parks to open in the short term until we see more stability in terms of data," Newsom said on Wednesday. "We believe there is no rush to issue guidelines and we continue to work with the industry."
The governor alludes to the fact that his "Design for a Safer Economy" doesn't include any information relevant to theme parks, which is strange considering how many Californians they employ. Disney is laying off 28,000 people in California, two-thirds of whom are part-time workers. With no rules they can follow to open, Disneyland will remain closed indefinitely.
“On behalf of our California government officials, especially at the state level, I encourage you to treat theme parks like any other sector and help us reopen. We need guidelines that are fair and equitable so that we can better understand our future and find a way to reopen, ”said Josh D’Amaro, the new chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
The governor continues to insist that science guide his decisions. Predictably, Disney pushed that claim back as well.
"We absolutely reject the suggestion that reopening Disneyland Resort is inconsistent with a 'health first' approach," said Pamela Hymel, Disney Parks chief medical officer, in a statement. "The fact is, since March, we've been taking a solid science-based approach to responsibly reopening our parks and resorts around the world."
Disney's reopening record isn't quite as flawless as Hymel says, but Newsom has provided no indication that the track record of Disney parks outside of California is a factor in his decision-making. Nor has he really outlined what specific information he needed to issue theme park guidelines or why that information was not needed.
Unfortunately for Disney, Newsom holds all the cards. Legal intervention aside, it looks like Disneyland won't reopen until the governor receives the evidence he's looking for.
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The post-Disney chairman, California Governor Feud over Disneyland Reopening, first appeared on Fatherly.
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