Disneyland Could Reopen Soon If New Bill Passes

Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, and other major California theme parks are the focus of a proposed bill.

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It's been nearly a year since the gates of Disneyland closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, other California theme parks like Universal Studios Hollywood and Knott's Berry Farm have also remained shuttered due to state guidelines. It's possible those guidelines could be changing, though.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, two California assembly members have proposed a new bill that would accelerate the opening of the state's larger theme parks. Currently, larger parks like Disneyland are in Tier 4 of the state's reopening plans. That essentially means the counties the parks are located in have to achieve a COVID-19 infection rate of fewer than one new daily case per 100,000 people and fewer than 2% positive tests.

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Under the new bill, all theme parks would be able to open once their home counties entered Tier 3, which allows for 1-3.9 new cases per 100,000 people and a 2-4.9% positive test rate. Assembly members Sharon Quirk-Silva and Suzette Valladares have sponsored the bill, AB 420, and it shouldn't be surprising that they have the support of the theme park industry.

In a statement, California Attractions and Parks Association executive director Erin Guerrerro said, "Worldwide, theme parks have proven they can reopen responsibly while protecting the health of guests and staff. Nearly a year after parks closed in response to the pandemic, tens of thousands of employees remain out of work, while local businesses, communities surrounding theme parks, and local governments face ongoing negative consequences."

While major theme parks remain closed in California, Disney and Universal's parks in Florida have been open since last summer, though they are operating at a reduced capacity. Meanwhile, Disney's parks around the world have had a bumpier road. While the company's international locations opened at different points in mid-to-late 2020, both Disneyland Hong Kong and Disneyland Paris closed toward the end of last year.

Meanwhile, while Disneyland in California has been closed, big changes have been made to the park. Most notably, the company has ended the annual pass program popular with Southern California residents. Additionally, one of the resort's parking lots has been transformed into a COVID-19 vaccination distribution site.

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