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Theme Parks Included in Stage 3 Reopenings, State Officials Say

May 27, 2020 by Juliet Bennett Rylah
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Universal Studios Hollywood Photo Credit: Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

For those of you who’ve been following California’s reopening guidelines closely, this next one may come as a surprise. According to state officials, theme parks are part of Stage 3, alongside personal grooming businesses, gyms, and movie theaters. Theme parks will come later in Stage 3 than barbershops and salons, which are already beginning to open in certain counties. Meanwhile, the gradual reopening of nightclubs, concert venues, and sporting arenas remain in Stage 4.

California Health and Human Services Agency spokesperson Kate Folmar confirmed theme parks’ place in the stages to the Orange County Register, with the caveat that theme parks were slated to reopen in Stage 3 “if the rate of spread of COVID-19 and hospitalizations remain stable.”

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Granted, it won’t feel the same when you go back to Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios Hollywood, or another one of SoCal’s beloved parks. Like every other reopening, these too will come with modifications likely including reduced capacity, physical distancing, and wearing facial coverings. 

For some insight into what that might look like, one could look to other parks that have already reopened.

Shanghai Disneyland opened earlier this month. Guests must have their temperatures taken before entry, wear a mask, and practice physical distancing from those outside their households. According to CNN, most of the attractions were open, save the children’s play area and some high-touch areas.

In Florida, Universal Orlando will open to the public next Friday at reduced capacity, with mask-wearing and physical distancing in effect. The park also issued a warning on its website, stating it “can’t guarantee that you will not be exposed during your visit.”

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