The magic is returning to California a little slower than expected, as Disneyland's anticipated July 17 reopening has been delayed. After announcing earlier this month its plans to reopen Disneyland Resort and Disney California Adventure Park pending approval from state and local government, Walt Disney Co. on Wednesday announced that state officials will not be issuing theme park reopening guidelines until after July 4.
In a statement shared to Twitter, the company said that the July 4 time frame left them "no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels" due to the "time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business." At this time, a new reopening date has not been revealed. The company said the date will be announced "once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released." The company did say, however, that Downtown Disney, which includes restaurants and retail shops, will still open on the scheduled day of July 9.
The delay of the California park's reopening comes as states across the country see an alarming surge in confirmed coronavirus cases. On Tuesday, according to Reuters, California saw its largest ever spike in confirmed new cases with an additional 7,149 infections taking the state total to 190,222. The rise in new cases has sparked concern that the nation is in the midst of a second wave.
Following the June announcement that the California theme parks would be reopening, with Josh D'Amaro, the Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, writing in a blog post that the company was "purposefully taking baby steps during this very intentional phased approach," there was considerable pushback. Unions representing 17,000 workers at its Disneyland Resort in Southern California said they were not convinced the theme park would be safe enough to reopen by the target date. Fans also voiced their concerns, with a Change.org petition, which has garnered more than 50,000 signatures, encouraging the company to delay the reopening.
Similar concerns have been voiced over the reopening of Disney World in Orlando, Florida next month. Although a number of new safety measures are being put in place, more than 8,500 people have signed a petition pushing for the company to abandon the July reopening dates, according to CNBC.
Disney started reopening its theme parks in May, starting with Shanghai Disneyland. Last week, Hong Kong Disneyland reopened. The Disney Springs entertainment and shopping complex in Florida has partially reopened, and Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks are currently scheduled to reopen on July 11, followed by EPCOT and Hollywood Studios on July 15.