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Why people are protesting outside of Disneyland

Disneyland saw a massive amount of protests. Here’s why

In this March 13, 2020 file photo, visitors take photos at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., the last day the park was open due to the COVID-19 pandemic
In this March 13, 2020, file photo, visitors take photos at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., the last day the park was open due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amy Taxin, Associated Press

There were massive protests outside of Disneyland over the weekend, as employees, fans and others called for California to reopen the theme park amid the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Disneyland has been closed since March 14.

Key quote:

  • “We want to see Disneyland reopen. I’m one of the 28,000 cast members that’s currently been laid off, have been furloughed since March,” one employee told KABC in Los Angeles. “If Disneyland is open worldwide, why can’t Disneyland in Anaheim be open? I think the governor needs to give us a chance to open, and they keep asking but he keeps pushing the bar farther back.”

Back story:

Disneyland has been closed since the pandemic began. Disney planned to open the theme park during the summer on July 17 to celebrate the park’ 65th anniversary, as I wrote for Deseret.

  • However, California did not issue guidelines for how theme parks within the state can reopen, causing Disneyland to keep its doors closed.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently sent state health officials to Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood for review of how the closure policies are working. He recently sent people down to Disney World, too, as I wrote for Deseret.

  • “I have a whole team that spends their time not only getting the answer to that question, but asking those same questions,” Newsom said during the news conference, according to reports. “And so this week, as a proof point of that, we have supported an effort to actually find out directly by sending our own team to these sites, as relates to theme parks, to get a better sense of what’s going on. While we absolutely take people’s word for information that they provide us, we want to see things for ourselves.”

Disney’s reaction:

Disney CEO Bob Chapek recently criticized Newsom for how he’s developing the guidelines in an interview with CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”

  • “It seems to me that the guidelines that are set up by the state of California are more stringent than any state across the country,” he said. “If you look at the history of Disney and what we’ve been able to do during the reopening — rather than arbitrary standards set up without regard to actual fact — and what we’ve been able to do as a company, I think you’d come to a different decision about reopening Disneyland.”