After announcing plans to reopen theme parks on April 1, the Walt Disney Company has announced it will recall 10,000 previously furloughed Disney employees to begin retraining for reopening protocol.

In a company-wide statement on Tuesday, March 9, Bob Chapek, The Walt Disney Company, Chief Executive Officer alluded to relaxed COVID-19 restrictions across the state. While Chapek’s statement does not specifically mention COVID-19, the Disney CEO did say the company would need to retrain employees in accordance with the state’s new requirements.

Disney has not confirmed an official reopening date at this time.

“Here in California, we’re encouraged by the positive trends we’re seeing and we’re hopeful they’ll continue to improve and will be able to re-open our parks to guests with limited capacity by late April — we look forward to publicizing an opening day in the coming weeks. While last week’s announcement stated that theme parks may open starting on April 1, the fact is that we will take some time to get them ready for guests – this includes recalling more than 10,000 furloughed cast and retraining them to be able to operate according to the state of California’s new requirements. I am pleased to say the response has been great thus far are cast members our excited to get back to work. And this is also good news for the Anaheim community which depends on Disneyland for jobs and businesses generated by visitors.”

The state’s updated COVID-19 reopening guide will allow for theme parks and stadiums within “Red Tier” counties to reopen starting April 1.

In a statement via Twitter on Friday, March 5, Ken Potrock, President of Disneyland Resorts said he is looking forward to announcing a date in the near future.


“We are encouraged that theme parks now have a password re-opening the spring, getting thousands of people back to work and greatly helping neighbor businesses in our entire community. With responsible Disney safety protocols already implemented around the world, we can’t wait to welcome our guest back and look forward to sharing an opening date soon.”

Once a county is in the Red Tier for the “Blueprint For a Safer Economy,” health officials will allow amusement parks such as Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm to reopen at 15% capacity for California residents only— still maintaining restrictions on indoor dining within the parks.

Outdoor sport stadiums will be allowed to open at 20% capacity in the Red Tier, and can increase to 33% capacity if the county enters the less restrictive “Orange Tier.”

The four color-coded tiers have been used by California counties as a guide for tracking infection rates and deciding what sectors may be open for the public.

As of Tuesday, March 9, Orange County was still in the Purple Tier, with expectations to move into the Red Tier on March 17.

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