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Reopening Disneyland

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BuzzedPotatoHead89

Well-Known Member
I agree with all the thoughts on all the recall, however politically speaking one of the biggest logistical hurdles on the top of his mind right now is opening public schools. The unfortunate thing for every other industry in the mix right now that’s hoping for a revisitation of the tiering is that this school opening issue is likely to take precedent before “leisure industries” are heavily weighted in the mind of the Governor and his staff.

While this would seem easy to hash out opening schools for even TK-6 grade is proving to be a logistical challenge both in California and nationwide. In part because in spite of what science and data suggests education interests have pushed for 100% staff vaccinations and other additional safety measures.

In full fairness to Newsom, I know the Governor now plans in putting aside a portion of the state’s vaccine supply for education staff specifically with the hope to begin in person education this Spring. I’d suspect that once we get cross this bridge, then “lesser priorities” like theme parks and other “non-essential” business reopenings will move more to the forefront.

With respect to the recall, from a a pure political perspective there are many more voting parents of school age kids that understandably care much more about this issue, and frankly the political power/capital of the educators and faculty unions in California dwarfs any concerns of the theme park industry (as many may argue should). Even then, I’d like to think that our elected officials can take a more nuanced and less myopic approach (and be capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time on these varied issues at once).
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I agree with all the thoughts on all the recall, however politically speaking one of the biggest logistical hurdles on the top of his mind right now is opening public schools. The unfortunate thing for every other industry in the mix right now that’s hoping for a revisitation of the tiering is that this school opening issue is likely to take precedent before “leisure industries” are heavily weighted in the mind of the Governor and his staff.

While this would seem easy to hash out opening schools for even TK-6 grade is proving to be a logistical challenge both in California and nationwide. In part because in spite of what science and data suggests education interests have pushed for 100% staff vaccinations and other additional safety measures.

In full fairness to Newsom, I know the Governor now plans in putting aside a portion of the state’s vaccine supply for education staff specifically with the hope to begin in person education this Spring. I’d suspect that once we get cross this bridge, then “lesser priorities” like theme parks and other “non-essential” business reopenings will move more to the forefront.

With respect to the recall, from a a pure political perspective there are many more voting parents of school age kids that understandably care much more about this issue, and frankly the political power/capital of the educators and faculty unions in California dwarfs any concerns of the theme park industry (as many may argue should). Even then, I’d like to think that our elected officials can take a more nuanced and less myopic approach (and be capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time on these varied issues at once).

A family friend is on a school board in LA County, and from what I understand the topic of reopening schools is a hot issue that has the board split and also has them fighting with the Teacher's Union.

Not unlike Disneyland and Unite Here 11 a few years ago. Which makes me wonder- if you're a union and all of your union members can't work due to a closure, why aren't they campaigning the state to either reopen or provide additional assistance to the union members due to the closure?
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Original Poster

Love this! It's not the flashiest park- but I attended Six Flags Magic Mountain almost monthly from '08 until '15, and worked there from late '13 until late '15. Lots of great memories at the park- from the employee ride preview for Twisted Colossus, employee parties, dates, and visiting with various friend groups often. Disneyland replaced Six Flags as my park of choice in '14 and '15 when I would go once or twice a month- but Six Flags does have a level of nostalgia for me and after a year of no theme parks I'd be willing to make the trip out to Magic Mountain.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
I agree with all the thoughts on all the recall, however politically speaking one of the biggest logistical hurdles on the top of his mind right now is opening public schools. The unfortunate thing for every other industry in the mix right now that’s hoping for a revisitation of the tiering is that this school opening issue is likely to take precedent before “leisure industries” are heavily weighted in the mind of the Governor and his staff.

While this would seem easy to hash out opening schools for even TK-6 grade is proving to be a logistical challenge both in California and nationwide. In part because in spite of what science and data suggests education interests have pushed for 100% staff vaccinations and other additional safety measures.

In full fairness to Newsom, I know the Governor now plans in putting aside a portion of the state’s vaccine supply for education staff specifically with the hope to begin in person education this Spring. I’d suspect that once we get cross this bridge, then “lesser priorities” like theme parks and other “non-essential” business reopenings will move more to the forefront.

With respect to the recall, from a a pure political perspective there are many more voting parents of school age kids that understandably care much more about this issue, and frankly the political power/capital of the educators and faculty unions in California dwarfs any concerns of the theme park industry (as many may argue should). Even then, I’d like to think that our elected officials can take a more nuanced and less myopic approach (and be capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time on these varied issues at once).

Oh my gosh, don't even get me started on the criminality of the Teacher's Unions and the politicians they buy off keeping the schools closed across California!

And I don't even like children. :cool:

But your point is quite valid. The ongoing closure of California public schools is a big part of the Recall Campaign.

It should be noted that Governor Newsom and First Partner have 4 children (busy couple!), and all four of the Newsom children attend the private and expensive Sacramento Country Day School in person. That private school has been allowed to operate normally, five days per week with full school days for Sacramento's most privileged families for many months.

While Sacramento public schools remain closed, per the Teachers Union.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
A family friend is on a school board in LA County, and from what I understand the topic of reopening schools is a hot issue that has the board split and also has them fighting with the Teacher's Union.

Not unlike Disneyland and Unite Here 11 a few years ago. Which makes me wonder- if you're a union and all of your union members can't work due to a closure, why aren't they campaigning the state to either reopen or provide additional assistance to the union members due to the closure?

It's not just you. I don't get it either, especially not for Unite Here Local 11.

I can kind of get it for the Teacher's Union, since the teachers are able to half-work from home via Zoom but don't have to actually go in to work and, you know, teach.

But Unite Here Local 11?!? Their position back in 2020 that Disneyland should stay closed and their union members should be put out of a job indefinitely never made sense to me. I doubt they thought it would last this long, maybe that's part of it? But without those union members working at the Disneyland Hotel and such, the union isn't getting dues money.

And the longer this closure continues, the more likely it is that those CM's won't be called back ever again. The Paradise Pier Hotel will go to a limited service model that doesn't require valet parkers or bellhops, the Grand Californian will add more technology to replace most of those union jobs, and the Disneyland Hotel will just stay closed for now. The union loses big time in that scenario.

So why on earth would they want to keep all those California hotels closed??? Las Vegas mega-hotels are all back in business. Orlando hotels are all back in business. New Orleans hotels are rocking out for Mardi Gras.

It makes no sense to me the position on indefinite closure that Unite Here Local 11 took up, and still maintains. If that union even still exists almost a year after their members stopped paying dues?
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
And the longer this closure continues, the more likely it is that those CM's won't be called back ever again. The Paradise Pier Hotel will go to a limited service model that doesn't require valet parkers or bellhops, the Grand Californian will add more technology to replace most of those union jobs, and the Disneyland Hotel will just stay closed for now. The union loses big time in that scenario.

It really is amazing how many CM roles will be replaced with automation, or simply eliminated altogether. You can't have a valet if someone can infect your car with covid. And if mobile ordering for food and pre purchasing tickets online are required, you don't need cashiers or 'vacation planner' ticket salesman in those booths.

There are two trains of thought when it comes to using people or tablets/mobile apps for basic transactions like ordering food or buying tickets.

One is that the person is essential since they create a connection with the guest and anticipate guest needs in a way that can create 'magical moments' (which anywhere else would be called 'good service'). And, creating connections can help drive future attendance- a good waiter can be a determining factor in someone's decision to return to a restaurant. Or, that CM who was able to cheer up a child who dropped their ice cream or something can completely turn the kid's day around, and in turn win over the parents.

The other is that simple transactions are better served with tablets/mobile apps, since it decreases the opportunity for error. The waiter doesn't write down the order wrong because they misheard the person. Sure, there isn't that human 'touch' but the service itself is improved by decreasing the opportunity for error.

If you're dining at Applebees or Olive Garden I'm all for getting rid of the frumpy waitstaff who complain about how that last table wanted a ketchup refill but didn't tip 20% in the back, and often make little effort to connect with the table or actually provide any level of exceptional service.

But Disneyland? Assuming the CM's are invigorated, personable, professional, and well trained- having quality personnel for guest interactions instead of tablets/mobile apps is essential for providing quality service. Of course, this often isn't the case and CM quality has varied significantly over the years. I just hope someone at TDA understands this and is able to find a proper balance between automating basic park transactions but also creating new opportunities for CM's to shine and make a meaningful difference in their guest's day as they reopen the park and are deciding which roles to axe and which to bring back.
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
Well, a San Diego Judge has ruled against Newsom and his administration.

>>High school athletes in San Diego secured a second victory on Friday, Feb. 19 as a court granted a temporary restraining order requested by two football players seeking an immediate return to competition under the same coronavirus protocols as players in the college and professional ranks.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Earl H. Maas issued the order against Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health’s guidelines for youth and high school sports hours after Newsom announced restrictions for outdoor, high-contact sports such as football would be loosened to allow competition starting Feb. 26 if certain coronavirus metrics and testing criteria were met.

The temporary restraining order, Maas ruled, allows the football players or “other youth in the County (of San Diego) to participate in high school or youth sports as long as (they) follow the same or similar COVID-19 protocols imposed for competition in professional and/or collegiate sports within the County.”<<

 

1HAPPYGHOSTHOST

Well-Known Member
Wonderful summary, Darkbeer. Thank you!

I signed the petition to recall Governor Newsom months ago. I also have "Recall Newsom" bumper stickers on two of my cars, which are a de rigueur automotive accessory in my neighborhood.

But... I don't really expect Newsom to lose his job this fall. I just signed the petition to try and prevent him from being subjected onto the greater American populace as a Presidential candidate in '24 or '28. I'd like him and First Partner to forget politics and go run a minor Napa winery no one cares about for the rest of their lives and be very happy together, thanks to a pile of cash from the Getty family.

There's no need to subject the rest of America to him, and a Recall getting validated for the ballot should do that nicely.
I have a "NEWSOM IS A DOPE" t-shirt with fine stitching on the word "DOPE" I might add.
 

Disney Irish

Premium Member
If that's the case, then they might as well hype it up as if it was a new park. I wonder if @Disney Irish could maybe explain that, as it will surely take many months to reopen after cases do go down. And speaking of...
Why would it take months to reopen? They've already done a lot of the prep work needed to reopen. By all accounts the only major thing left is the CM training. And if its an initial limited capacity opening it would only required a limited number of CMs, meaning a small training group to start. This would mean a quicker reopening once they are able to. So no its not going to take months to reopen, a couple weeks at most in my opinion.

Also why would they hype it as a brand new park, that is just plain silly. That would literally be erasing all the history of the last 65 years.

Considering the number of cases needed to get down to the yellow tier, it would seem almost impossible to get there if the virus is just going to be with us forever. I also would imagine that Disneyland would be THE last park to reopen, if that's even possible.

Anyway, I wonder if @Disney Irish could maybe weigh in on the notion if it would not be until August before fun places could even think to reopen.
It is expected at this point that the "Yellow tier" requirement will be gone by spring. As California will have vaccinated a large portion of the population by then and case numbers will stay low due to that.
 

mharrington

Well-Known Member
Why would it take months to reopen? They've already done a lot of the prep work needed to reopen. By all accounts the only major thing left is the CM training. And if its an initial limited capacity opening it would only required a limited number of CMs, meaning a small training group to start. This would mean a quicker reopening once they are able to. So no its not going to take months to reopen, a couple weeks at most in my opinion.

Also why would they hype it as a brand new park, that is just plain silly. That would literally be erasing all the history of the last 65 years.

Another difficulty that has been brought up is that coming from the employee unions, which have apparently voted (months ago, granted) against reopening, and unless I'm mistaken, they still seem resistant to it.

It is expected at this point that the "Yellow tier" requirement will be gone by spring. As California will have vaccinated a large portion of the population by then and case numbers will stay low due to that.

Wouldn't counties need to be in certain tiers for weeks at a time before they can move on to another tier? Also, what about the prospective bill to force reopenings of all parks in the orange tier?
 

Disney Irish

Premium Member
Another difficulty that has been brought up is that coming from the employee unions, which have apparently voted (months ago, granted) against reopening, and unless I'm mistaken, they still seem resistant to it.



Wouldn't counties need to be in certain tiers for weeks at a time before they can move on to another tier? Also, what about the prospective bill to force reopenings of all parks in the orange tier?
A lot of unknowns still at this point. We don't have all the answers right now, I'm sorry.
 
It is expected at this point that the "Yellow tier" requirement will be gone by spring. As California will have vaccinated a large portion of the population by then and case numbers will stay low due to that.
I think this is the key takeaway. As of June 1, 2020 California had 39.78M people. Based on Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine efficacy (~90-95% for original strain and somewhat less effective for UK and South Africa variants, two CA variants still TBD), a minimum of 1,989,000 - 3,978,000 people could still get/transmit COVID assuming 100% of the California population is vaccinated.

COVID testing rates have varied from our peak of 473,076 tests/day in January to 192,222 tests/day yesterday - while less testing can mean less cases are identified, those with vaccine can still test positive, perhaps transmit (Mayo study and several others waiting for peer review show this may be less of a factor) and less people may get tested as the vaccine lessens symptoms if you do happen to get COVID.

Also, the other vaccines (Janssen, AstraZeneca, Novavax, Sputnik V, EpiCoronaVax, CoronaVac, and six others in the pipeline worldwide) have varying levels of efficacy so far. FDA requires minimum of 50% efficacy to approve - just like flu vaccines.

So bottom line, the current yellow tier aka 1 case per 100k (ie ~400 cases across entire state of California) is NOT possible or attainable, EVER. They will need to rethink tiering and where theme parks fall within that tiering. There are examples across other states and the world where theme parks are operating today that have data that can be shared and safety protocols are well established. This same reality of vaccines will also need to be taken into account for the cruise industry as it eventually reopens.

Finally, while I think vaccination will help get the current situation under better control, I also think it may be part of the new normal to get an annual flu/COVID booster shot...so everyone will need to adjust to that new paradigm.
 
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AL2000HS

Well-Known Member
Why would it take months to reopen? They've already done a lot of the prep work needed to reopen. By all accounts the only major thing left is the CM training. And if its an initial limited capacity opening it would only required a limited number of CMs, meaning a small training group to start. This would mean a quicker reopening once they are able to. So no its not going to take months to reopen, a couple weeks at most in my opinion.

Also why would they hype it as a brand new park, that is just plain silly. That would literally be erasing all the history of the last 65 years.


It is expected at this point that the "Yellow tier" requirement will be gone by spring. As California will have vaccinated a large portion of the population by then and case numbers will stay low due to that.
On some major e tickets it takes 5 to 6 days of training. I know at rise it took almost 3 months to get a decent amount of CMS to work it. Yes it could take less due to less CMS needed. It could do a month minimum depending on how many they need. Plus who knows how many have CMS they have left that were trainers. That could cause it to take time
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
On some major e tickets it takes 5 to 6 days of training. I know at rise it took almost 3 months to get a decent amount of CMS to work it. Yes it could take less due to less CMS needed. It could do a month minimum depending on how many they need. Plus who knows how many have CMS they have left that were trainers. That could cause it to take time

Yep, reopening will likely take longer then it would had the park reopened in July of last year as initially intended.

First, TDA will have to contact every furloughed manager and see who's actually coming back. And if my Linkedin is any indication, many have moved on to new jobs. Then they'll have to contact each hourly- since it'll be a lot easier to reopen if the people staffing the park have actually worked the attractions/shops/restaurants before.

But I expect there to be many gaps- and I wouldn't be surprised to see an external hire campaign.

Perhaps a partial reopen with some shops/restaurants/attractions closed as they ramp up will be necessary. I doubt the Subs will return in the near future, for example.
 

Disney Irish

Premium Member
On some major e tickets it takes 5 to 6 days of training. I know at rise it took almost 3 months to get a decent amount of CMS to work it. Yes it could take less due to less CMS needed. It could do a month minimum depending on how many they need. Plus who knows how many have CMS they have left that were trainers. That could cause it to take time
You’re expecting they’ll go from closed to fully opened, I don’t have that same expectation. I expect a sort of phased reopening at first.
 

PiratesMansion

Well-Known Member
The most logical thing to do might be to fully open up DCA first before they go about touching DL.

They'll already have the food festival going on theoretically, it'll be easier to distance (operating under the assumption that for a little while distancing and masking will still be a thing in the parks), and if the park already has shops and restaurants operating it's less of a leap to pivot to the attractions. And as I've said before, better to screw up in DCA than in the park people care about.

They COULD do some stopgaps for DL that could be phased in if they so chose (an upcharge Main Street experience, open the Monororail and go round trip only from DTD for a small fee, etc.), and I suppose if they really wanted/had to they could open the lands in phases, which would inevitably start with MSUSA and Fantasyland. This might be especially tempting if they're really having a hard time bringing a lot of their veteran staff back; they could even go back to tickets as a throwback because you just know that some people would eat that up.

But I think it will be harder for the fans to accept a DL that isn't operating more closely to what is typical, so they will probably wait until they can open all of the foundational experiences of the park at once and then add in the "extras" as Disney sees them over time. Inevitably entertainment other than maybe a Fantasy in the Sky won't return right away, and I imagine self-guided attractions where it's harder to monitor how people are progressing or keep people apart from each other will stay closed at first (SBC walkthrough, Treehouses, Subs, TSI). If park capacity is limited, it will also likely be awhile before full dining capacity returns, though DL might be somewhat helped there in that their dining spaces tend to be smaller than average compared to Disney's other parks.

Just my spitballing. It will be interesting to see how it plays out for DLR and the other parks in the area too.
 

mharrington

Well-Known Member
You’re expecting they’ll go from closed to fully opened, I don’t have that same expectation. I expect a sort of phased reopening at first.

Apparently, almost everyone here is of the mindset that if it's not fully opened, then it might as well not be open at all. Which, frankly, I'm kind of the mindset as well. Mind you, I'm not blind to the fact that its opening will probably be phased, but honestly, it won't be the same.

Incidentally, I have found an article where Anaheim is backing a bill that would allow Disneyland and hopefully other parks to reopen sooner. I'm not sure if it's the same bill that the assembly people have sent in (probably not), but if it isn't, then it looks like Newsom has not one, but two bills to contend with on the matter of reopening. It will be interesting to see what happens, if anything does happen. In any case, here's the article on the bill in question:
https://www.themeparkprofessor.com/...mr9HLwRgVB1X_B5Z6xqmnqE8-vHrWVYJR1HgQWYmayBIU

It will probably take a long time for the bill to reach Newsom's desk, and even if it does in a reasonable amount of time, I have to expect that he won't sign off on it.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
The most logical thing to do might be to fully open up DCA first before they go about touching DL.

They'll already have the food festival going on theoretically, it'll be easier to distance (operating under the assumption that for a little while distancing and masking will still be a thing in the parks), and if the park already has shops and restaurants operating it's less of a leap to pivot to the attractions. And as I've said before, better to screw up in DCA than in the park people care about.

They COULD do some stopgaps for DL that could be phased in if they so chose (an upcharge Main Street experience, open the Monororail and go round trip only from DTD for a small fee, etc.), and I suppose if they really wanted/had to they could open the lands in phases, which would inevitably start with MSUSA and Fantasyland. This might be especially tempting if they're really having a hard time bringing a lot of their veteran staff back; they could even go back to tickets as a throwback because you just know that some people would eat that up.

But I think it will be harder for the fans to accept a DL that isn't operating more closely to what is typical, so they will probably wait until they can open all of the foundational experiences of the park at once and then add in the "extras" as Disney sees them over time. Inevitably entertainment other than maybe a Fantasy in the Sky won't return right away, and I imagine self-guided attractions where it's harder to monitor how people are progressing or keep people apart from each other will stay closed at first (SBC walkthrough, Treehouses, Subs, TSI). If park capacity is limited, it will also likely be awhile before full dining capacity returns, though DL might be somewhat helped there in that their dining spaces tend to be smaller than average compared to Disney's other parks.

Just my spitballing. It will be interesting to see how it plays out for DLR and the other parks in the area too.

I would like to keep Disneyland pristine in the memory bank. Ideally of course, depending on how long it takes to reopen. Not sure I want to see it in its COVID regulated, shopping mall, food festival state. With that said, I’m bored to death so who knows. I also don’t want to see a Disneyland without Splash Mountain but I’m sure that will happen as well.

Why do you think they would open Fantasyland first? For the kids and because of its location? I would think they would open the west side of the park first if they were to take that phased approach considering dining options and the signature rides and larger queues that exist there. The Fantasyland courtyard and its queues are tiny. A socially distanced queue to get on Peter Pan’s Flight would start in Toontown. Regardless, I don’t think they re interested in opening Disneyland in phases.
 
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