featured graphic for Visit Anahim during COVID-19, logo courtesy of Visit Anaheim

Anaheim prepared and ready to reopen safely as closures are lifted for theme parks

Anaheim and Orange County leadership joined with local community members to showcase the world-class health and safety measures in place to reopen safely. Anaheim’s Mayor Harry Sidhu along with city and county leaders thanked Governor Newsom for authorizing theme parks and ballparks to reopen with limited capacity as of April 1, 2021.

“This is the brightest moment yet in the pandemic. Cases are coming down and vaccinations are going up across Anaheim and Orange County,” said Mayor Sidhu. “After months of uncertainty, we now have a path forward for the Disneyland® Resort and Angels Baseball®. I proudly declare the Anaheim comeback!”

“The leadership of our city and preparation of our great partners has brought us to this moment, and everyone should feel safe visiting Anaheim for the reopening of our theme parks and to celebrate the return of Major League Baseball on Opening Day,” added Mayor Sidhu.

Local leaders and community members also acknowledged State Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D- Fullerton) for her leadership and legislation, AB 420, to accelerate reopening of theme parks statewide.

“I am thrilled that the new guidelines recently set by Governor Newsom provide our Amusement Parks and surrounding businesses an opportunity to reopen and recover,” said Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva. “As the chair of the Arts and Entertainment Committee, I have advocated for re-opening these industries, which are so central to our economy and history. With the return of our Amusement Parks and outdoor activities, let’s also continue following COVID-19 protocols, move Orange County into the next tier, and further business reopenings.”

“Reopening the Anaheim Resort™ and Angel Stadium cannot come soon enough for all the businesses and workers whose existence and futures have been disrupted by the closures,” said Anaheim Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Ament. “We are ready to reopen and bring hope and opportunity back to our community.”

While theme parks and baseball stadiums have been authorized to reopen with limited capacities, the state has yet to release guidelines for convention centers and business meetings putting California at-risk for losing substantial convention-based industry events to states that reopened their facilities last year; a key economic driver for our region and state.

The Anaheim travel industry is a worldwide leader in tourism and is prepared to meet the Governor’s standards for reopening. The Disneyland® Resort, Anaheim Convention Center, Honda Center, Anaheim Transportation Network, and resort-area hotels have all led the way to secure the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC STAR™) facility accreditation for cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention. This international industry gold standard is the only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation.

“Visit Anaheim, working in partnership with the City of Anaheim and County of Orange, is confident the necessary infrastructure and public health measures are in place to support the safety of residents, employees, and visitors to Orange County,” said Jay Burress, President and CEO of Visit Anaheim.

Representatives of local labor organizations and small business owners also shared the devastating impacts that state-mandated closures have had on service workers and small businesses in Orange County, especially in tourism destinations such as Anaheim, which suffered unprecedented unemployment and small business closures since the Disneyland® Resort closed its gates nearly one year ago.

Service workers have disproportionately felt the impact of the continued closures, as several labor representatives noted.

“We applaud Governor Newsom for allowing theme parks and ballparks to reopen after a year of closures. This is an essential step forward to get employees back to work and begin to restore our economy,” said Ernesto Medrano, Los Angeles/Orange County Building & Construction Trades Council Representative. “The closures cost our workers months of lost wages and local small businesses lost revenue that can never be recovered. It’s time to get our economy off life support and safely reopen.”

The unprecedented, year-long closure of the Disneyland® Resort has resulted in countless Orange County businesses shutting down multiple times, with many closing permanently. Unemployment in Anaheim and Orange County has reached historic highs throughout the pandemic.

“Our local businesses, big and small, are prepared to safely reopen in concert with the Disneyland® Resort who sets the highest industry standards for consumer safety pre- and post- pandemic,” said Dara Maleki, owner of the Pizza Press restaurant across the street from Disneyland. “We are ready to reopen and provide a safe environment for employees to earn a living and provide entertainment for our visitors.”

Video featuring the Disneyland® Resort health and safety protocols: www.disneylandnews.com.

This article was released by Visit Anaheim.