Disneyland reopened on Friday, April 30, in Anaheim, California, at 25% capacity — 293 days after Disney World reopened in Orlando, Florida, without incident.
The lag illustrated the difference in reopening policies in Florida under Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, and in California under Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom, now facing a recall election.
As Breitbart News noted last year, Disney World reopened on July 11, 2020, and thousands of fans returned. There were new rules: “Disney’s new rules include mandatory masks and social distancing. Visitors will need reservations to enter a park, and they won’t be allowed to hop between parks. Both visitors and employees will receive temperature checks when they enter. Fireworks shows and parades have been suspended to prevent drawing too many people together,” the Associated Press noted.
The media suggested a looming disaster. “Disney World reopens as coronavirus cases surge in Florida,” the Associated Press headline read.
Trevor Noah of The Daily Show was among those who mocked the “dumbass” parkgoers: “It’s crazy that we’re in the middle of a pandemic that’s killed hundreds of thousands of people and there are still folks out there like, ‘Life isn’t scary enough. Let’s go on a rollercoaster.’ … Basically what we’re saying is, why are you at Disney World, dumbass?”
Thus far, there have been no major outbreaks associated with Disney World. The New York Times reported in October 2020: “At Disney World, ‘Worst Fears’ About Virus Have Not Come True.” The article noted:
In July, one infectious disease expert said Walt Disney World’s reopening was a “terrible idea” that was “inviting disaster.” Social media users attacked Disney as “irresponsible” and “clueless” for pressing forward, even as coronavirus cases surged in Florida. A few aghast onlookers turned Disney World marketing videos into parody trailers for horror films.
As tumultuous as the three months since the reopening have been, however, public health officials and Disney World’s unions say there have been no coronavirus outbreaks among workers or guests. So far, Disney’s wide-ranging safety measures appear to be working.
Disneyland was able to reopen under new rules that state authorities announced in March. Falling case numbers and rising vaccinations have helped much of the state move toward reopening. The effort to recall Newsom also appears to have given state authorities additional motivation to move toward reopening.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new e-book, We Told You So!: The First 100 Days of Joe Biden’s Radical Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.