“Help us reopen.” Disneyland Publicly Pleads With California Governor to Provide Guidance
The company has made it clear that they are ready to shoulder the responsibility of reopening to the public. Disney has also been open about the lack of communication and guidance from California’s government, particularly the Governor’s office. It appears their course of action will be to continue to put pressure on the state in a very public way to urge Governor Newsom to act.
Disneyland President Ken Potrock recently stated publicly that Disney is “disappointed” with the lack of progress from California Governor Newsom.
Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products and Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu continue to vocalize their concerns about the lack of action, communication and lack of a plan regarding the reopening of Disney.
Although many have criticized Disney’s insistence on reopening, Disneyland makes up over $5.7 billion of Southern California’s revenue. For such a player in this large economy, Disneyland deserves to be communicated with. The company deserves a seat at the table and a discussion with the Governor to establish a plan.
According to an independent study , Disneyland is
Orange County’s largest employer with 28,000 cast members. The Disneyland Resort has been an economic engine for Southern California for 60 years, drives 80 percent of hotel occupancy in Anaheim, and accounts for one-third of all Anaheim Transient Occupancy Tax revenue.
“Help us reopen,” D’Amaro pleaded with state officials “We need guidelines that are fair and equitable.” He went on to say that the “longer we wait” the more “damage” would be done economically to the local economy and furloughed employees.
Here’s what Disneyland President Ken Potrock had to say about the current state of Disneyland (via OC Register):
Without those guidelines, we’re quite honestly in limbo. We are ready to open responsibly, it is the time to open responsibly and it’s important to open responsibly. We’ve been waiting for guidelines from the governor’s office. We’ve made many, many, many recommendations as to what those protocols should be. We’ve offered to help with guidance so that we can get to a place that would be reasonable for us to open. Unfortunately we haven’t received that guidance.
We continue to read things from the governor’s office and press clippings that talk about guidance is imminent and coming soon and we’re really, really close. I hope that’s true. I was walking the streets of Anaheim earlier this week and unfortunately it’s a ghost town. The same thing could be said for many of the surrounding towns as well. There’s just no one there.
It’s just so incredibly heart wrenching. The governor used the term ‘negotiating’ with the amusement park industry in one of his quotes and I hope it’s not a negotiation. I hope it’s a good collaboration and that’s what we’re attempting to achieve.
I would challenge you to find any other industry that is doing what we’re doing to open safely. We’re not asking to be treated differently. We’re asking to be treated equitably based upon what we believe we bring to the table.Ken Potrock
Disney is making it clear they are done beating around the bush.
Walt Disney World on the opposite coast has been open for over two months now. Obviously, these are two very different states dealing with the virus in very different ways. But Florida is a COVID-19 hot spot and local officials have yet to link a COVID-19 outbreak to the theme parks despite combing over the data to search for one. Disney World has created a safe environment and established strict guidelines, policies and procedures to ensure the health and safety of their cast members and guests.
Stay tuned for more on this story as it unfolds.