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Disneyland Article
California Theme Parks Must Close Some Indoor Rides And Shows State Guidelines Say

Orange County Register
Brady Macdonald
March 27, 2021
April 02, 2021
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Revised state guidelines will force Disneyland, Universal and other California theme parks to minimize attraction lines, close some indoor rides and shutter indoor shows once they reopen starting next week after more than a year of coronavirus closures.

California has issued revised COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for theme parks that detail new rules and regulations regarding attendance, arrivals, queues, rides, shows, dining and shopping.

The latest revised theme parks guidelines update initial rules issued in October under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s four-tier Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

California theme parks can return to limited capacity operations with rides and attractions on Thursday, April 1 provided the counties they reside in reach the red/substantial tier 2 risk status of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s updated Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

Orange (Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Knott’s Berry Farm), Los Angeles (Universal Studio Hollywood, Six Flags Magic Mountain), San Diego (SeaWorld San Diego, Legoland California) and Solano (Six Flags Discovery Kingdom) counties are in the red/substantial tier 2. Santa Clara County(California’s Great America) has moved into the orange/moderate tier 3.

California theme parks can reopen at 15% attendance capacity in the red/substantial tier 2, 25% capacity in the orange/moderate tier 3 and 35% capacity in the least-restrictive yellow/minimal tier 4.

Attendance and capacity Attendance levels for each park will be determined by the fire department capacity limit or the park’s operating design capacity, under the revised state guidelines.

Only in-state visitors are permitted at California theme parks during the red, orange and yellow tiers.

Theme park employees must undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. Tested employees are not counted toward the park’s attendance capacity limit.

Arrival and entry Theme park parking needs to be configured for physical distancing and parking lot shuttle services should be limited whenever possible, under the revised state guidelines. Theme parks should consider staggering arrival times to minimize lines at the front gate.

Walk-up ticket sales are permitted in the red, orange and yellow tiers — although online advance reservations are recommended. The names and phone numbers of every visitor must be collected in case contact tracing is necessary in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak at a theme park.

Touchless ticket scanners should be installed and used to avoid passing paper tickets or smartphones between visitors and employees.

Rides and shows Lines must be minimized throughout the park and virtual queues should be considered for attractions, under the revised state guidelines.

Indoor rides and attractions can be no longer than 15 minutes and can only have outdoor queues. Only outdoor live performances and shows are allowed in the red, orange and yellow tiers.

Theme park performers can remove their face coverings during performances provided they remain 6 feet from each other. Unmasked performers in close contact with each other must get COVID-19 tests twice a week.

Shops and restaurants Indoor shops at theme parks are limited to 15% capacity in the red tier and 25% in the orange and yellow tiers.

No indoor dining at theme parks is permitted in the red tier — increasing to 25% capacity in the orange tier and 50% in the yellow tier.

Quick-service restaurants in the parks must provide outdoor seating, under the revised state guidelines. Food or drinks are not permitted in attraction queues. Parks should provide no-touch trash cans.

California theme parks must follow the now-familiar “new normal” of COVID-19 health and safety protocols with mandatory face coverings, social distancing, enhanced sanitization and contactless payments.

Visitors who do not comply with the mask requirements “should be removed from the facility immediately,” according to the revised state guidelines.
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