Disneyland’s initial reopening proposal is being scrapped, the resort announced Wednesday evening, delaying the planned reopening of its theme parks on July 17 and two of its on-site hotels on July 23. 

In a Twitter post, Disney said the reason for the delay is a lack of governmental approval in California. 

“The State of California has indicated that it will not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4,” Disney said. “Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials. Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date.” 

The reopening of shops and restaurants at Downtown Disney will go ahead as planned on July 9. Disney said it had signed an agreement with the Masters Services Union, which represents retail employees at the shopping and dining district, on recalling workers from furloughs. 

Other unions representing workers at the Disneyland Resort, however, had publicly criticized Disney for its reopening timetable. The Coalition of Resort Labor Unions have planned a caravan protest outside Disneyland on Saturday, saying they were “not yet satisfied that it’s safe to open Disneyland.” 

Disney mentioned union talks in its Wednesday night statement, saying it already signed agreements with 20 union affiliates — a claim that Theme Park Tribune could not independently verify. Those agreements, Disney said, include “enhanced safety protocols.” 

At other Disney parks that are scheduled to reopen, Disney plans to implement a variety of measures aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19, including physical distancing, limited capacity and requiring guests over the age of 2 to wear face masks

Disney did not attribute the delay to signs that the pandemic is worsening in southern California. In Orange County, there has been an average daily increase of 32 COVID-19 hospitalizations between Memorial Day and the week ending June 21, according to the Los Angeles Times

This will mark the first July 17 that Disneyland has ever been closed since it opened on that date in 1955.

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