Disneyland and other theme parks announced they plan to reopen to California residents in late April with reduced capacity. This created mixed feelings among Orange County residents regarding whether or not it is safe to enter the parks and if any precautions are needed prior to visiting them.
“I love Disneyland so I’m coming as soon as they reopen. I’ve waited and social distanced long enough,” said Erika Downey, a 22-year-old OC resident.
The parks abruptly closed back in March 2020 in the midst of COVID-19.
“The parks are only open to California residents. I’d want to take advantage of that,” said Matt Larkin, a 23-year-old OC resident.
The question remains about whether people visiting the park will continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines and try to remain as safe as possible.
“There’s not really a way to social distance or take precautions while being around that many people, even if it is reduced capacity. So, might as well just enjoy ourselves,” Larkin said.
“I think I would take precautions. I’d still try my best to social distance, wash my hands throughout the day, and make sure I’m wearing my mask. I’d still want to be somewhat safe,” Downey said.
Although some residents seemed happy to see the parks reopen, there were also many people who weren’t thrilled about it.
“I definitely wouldn’t come as soon as it opens. I think it’s a bit irresponsible, especially because there are still a lot of people who are being affected by COVID,” said Alicia Ramirez, a mother of two. “As a mother, I would not put my kids at risk or my family, no matter how much I miss Disney.”
Disney employees also have mixed views on the parks reopening.
“I’m kind of on the fence about the parks reopening. I’m happy that I’ll be working and I have a job to come back to, but it is also a little scary,” said Michael Lara, a Disney restaurant employee. “I’ll be in contact with a lot of people and then go home to my family. I don’t want to get anyone sick.”
While some employees still aren’t sure on how to feel about the parks reopening, some are just grateful to still be employed by Disney.
“I’m one of the lucky ones who wasn’t let go so I’m just happy to still have a job with them. There's not much room for me to complain because a lot of people are still struggling to find a job,” Grand Californian Hotel supervisor Ana Laura Galindo said.
Health experts say practicing social distancing and taking COVID-19 precautions is necessary in any social environment. Learn how to take precautions from COVID-19 here.