California Theme Parks: When Does the Ride Begin?


Orange County Register

Stephanie Powers, left and her daughter Alani Powers, 4, and Brittany Losey and her daughter Madison Losey, 7, take pictures outside the entrance to Disneyland at the Disneyland Resort is closed in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, October 22, 2020. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Laritza Tello

Disneyland, Six Flags, SeaWorld, and other amusement parks around the world were all shut down in March due to the Coronavirus pandemic. State officials in California have not allowed theme parks to reopen because of the increase in Coronavirus cases.

Josh D’ Amaro, the chairman of Disney’s parks,  announced that “as soon as a date and those guidelines are set, I can tell you we’re ready.” The State’s other theme parks such as Universal Studios  Hollywood, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Legoland, etc. are all waiting for the same guidance.

Arielle Lopez, a Senior at Sultana High school said  “I would go to a theme park during the pandemic because I have been in quarantine for months and I just want to get out of the house.” 

Alyson Orozco, a Senior, said, “I will attend a theme park under strict circumstances because the workers are being careful  for the people which will make me feel safe going to an amusement park.” 

Across the country in Florida, SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Studios Orlando, have been reopened since June. Walt Disney World reopened its four parks in mid-July. These parks have implemented a series of safety procedures to ensure their guest’s safety.  Looking at Florida, California parks have an idea of how to proceed.  

The California Health and Human Services secretary Mark Ghaly discussed the timeline for issuing theme parks reopening during a virtual online news conference at the end of September.

Under state guidance, aquariums, museums, and zoos can all open as long as they keep attendance for indoor activities to a 25% capacity. “If we reopen here in California, the reality is that there will be strict attendance limits and social distancing measures like in Florida.”  The petition’s creator, Jose Martinez said in an open letter to Newsom. 

Reopening theme parks to the public will potentially boost the number of cases that are surging right now.  Considering that people have been in quarantine for several months, many are looking for a reason to get out of the house.   It is important that Californians proceed with caution.  It is one thing to enjoy a day at a theme park, but another to bring home COVID as a souvenir.