Los Angeles County will progress into the next tier of California’s reopening guidelines, allowing theme parks to increase capacity. 

L.A. County qualified for the Yellow tier thanks to continued improvement on COVID-19 metrics and vaccinations. Under California’s guidelines, this means the two major theme parks in the county can operate at 35 percent of their pre-pandemic maximum capacity — the same level allowed by Orlando theme parks.

Additionally, Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain can increase capacity on indoor rides (up to 25 percent) and indoor dining locations (up to 50 percent). 

Orange County, home to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, remains in the more-restrictive Orange tier, as its rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents remains at 2.4, just above the 2 per 100,000 required to move to the Yellow tier. 

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser not opening until 2022

Disney World’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will not open this year as originally planned

The cruise-like hotel experience, which promises immersive elements that sound like live-action “Star Wars” roleplay, will now open in 2022, Disney announced Tuesday.   

The Mouse softened the blow of the bad news with some new updates on the hotel. First, it will feature a restaurant called the Crown of Corellia Dining Room, with dinner entertainment provided by what Disney called “a galactic superstar who can captivate an entire room with the crook of one jewel-encrusted purple Twi’lek finger.”

Second, Disney revealed what had been described by reporters as a “real” lightsaber after a sneak peek last month

Disney said in a post on its officials Parks Blog:

“Yes, that’s a new type of lightsaber Rey is holding in her hand, created by Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development. Guests who experience Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be the first to see it in action – along with so much more – starting in 2022 when this amazing new two-night adventure debuts. Watching that lightsaber activate right before your eyes will be just one of the countless ways that, from the moment you arrive to the moment you depart, you’ll be plunged into a Star Wars story where your decisions and actions – or even the casual conversations you may have – determine how your personal journey unfolds.”

Disney, Universal keeping mask requirements despite Florida governor’s order

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an order Monday stopping local governments from mandating face masks — but if you’re going to Disney World or Universal Orlando, you’ll still be required to wear one. 

DeSantis’ order, which was harshly criticized by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, does not affect private businesses like theme parks.

Disney issued a statement Monday on its website and its parks app for clarification, stating, “We are aware of the state of Florida’s plans to modify COVID-19 guidelines. We will evaluate this latest guidance and maintain our current health and safety measures at this time, including face covering requirements. We will continue to make thoughtful adjustments to our policy. As COVID-19 vaccines become available, we encourage people to get vaccinated.”

There has also been no charge in mask policies at Universal Orlando or SeaWorld Orlando. 

It wouldn’t be the first time Central Florida theme parks have been out of step with the DeSantis COVID-19 strategy. In September 2020, he removed capacity limits on businesses, including theme parks, but all of the state’s major parks kept their caps in place voluntarily.

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