Disneyland, Universal Studios Can Reopen in California Next Month

After almost a year of being closed due to state restrictions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, theme parks in the state of California have been given a plan to start the reopening process and it could begin next month. The ability for the parks in the Golden State to reopen on April 1, and at what capacity, hinges entirely on what tier the county they're located in lands in according to California officials. In a statement, secretary of California Health and Human Services Agency Dr. Mark Ghaly said, “California can begin gradually and safely bringing back more activities, especially those that occur outdoors and where consistent masking is possible. Even with these changes, California retains some of the most robust public health protocols in the country.”

The capacity limits for theme parks in the State of California are limited to 15% capacity for counties in the red tier, 25% for counties in the orange tier, and 35% for counties in the yellow tier. Currently most counties in the state are in the purple tier, the most restrictive, but it's believed that Los Angeles and Orange counties could move to the red tier soon. In addition to the capacity limits theme parks will be expected to limit indoor rides for guest and have no indoor dining. Furthermore only California locals will be allowed admittance for the time being, so don't plan the family vacation just yet.

“We are encouraged that theme parks now have a path toward reopening this spring, getting thousands of people back to work and greatly helping neighboring businesses and our entire community," Disneyland Resort president Ken Potrock said in a statement (H/T THR). "With responsible Disney safety protocols already implemented around the world, we can’t wait to welcome our guests back and look forward to sharing an opening date soon."

Due to theme parks closures state wide, Disneyland has been forced to consider alternatives to being open and cut back on elements that have been staples for years like annual passes. A "Touch of Disney" event is scheduled to take place at the Disney California Adventure Park later this month but is exclusively a dining and shopping experience, with tickets already selling out.

During the most recent Disney Investor Call, the company said that their mask mandates would likely be in place until 2022, but expected to ramp things up at the parks in the country well before then, turns out they were right.

"This past year has presented extraordinary challenges, but that has not curtailed in any way our ability to move forward with a spirit of optimism," Potrock said when the upcoming event was announced.

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Check back here for official word from Disneyland and the other California theme parks about their reopening plans as we learn more about them!

(Cover photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)