California Releases Guidelines for Theme Parks Reopening

By Joey Tack on October 20, 2020
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 19: Pedestrians walk near the entrance to Disneyland Resort on February 19, 2009 in Anaheim, California. With the worsening economy, declining attendance and reduced operating income, the Walt Disney Company announced that it plans to restructure its domestic theme-park operations, which will result in the layoff an unspecified number of employees in the coming weeks. Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida will reportedly be consolidated into a single unit headed by Worldwide Operations President Al Weiss. Attendance at Disney theme parks in the US dropped 5 percent in the last quarter of 2008 compared to the previous year and in January, Disney offered buyout packages to 600 US executives. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

California theme parks now have guidelines on when they can open with modifications. Large theme parks (like Disneyland, Six Flags) will be able to open at 25% capacity once the county they reside in is in the YELLOW tier. For reference, Disneyland (in Orange Co.) is currently in the RED tier. Smaller theme parks can open with modifications (below) once they reach the ORANGE tier. Official guidance from California says:

Tier status:

Widespread (purple):

  • Closed

Substantial (red): 

  • Closed

Moderate (orange):

  • Smaller parks can open with modifications
  • Capacity must be limited to 25% or 500 people, whichever is less
  • Outdoor attractions only can open
  • Reservations required
  • Local attendees only (from the same county as the park’s location)

Minimal (yellow):

  • Larger parks can open with modifications
  • Park capacity must be limited to 25%
  • Reservations required

Follow this guidance for theme parks and amusement parks. Review the guidance and prepare a plan to support a safe environment for workers and visitors. 

This guidance includes additional considerations for:

  • Admission, entry, and security
  • All rides and attractions
  • Dining and concessions
  • Performances, interactive exhibits, and events
  • Uniform, costume, and wardrobe protocols

Around the site