Major California theme parks remain closed and are unlikely to return to full operation until early 2021 or next summer as per COVID-19 health and safety reopening guidelines issued by the State.
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California has issued separate reopening guidelines for small and large theme parks. Small theme parks with a capacity of less than 15,000 visitors can reopen in orange / moderate level 3, while large theme parks can revert to yellow / minimum level 4.
All of California’s major theme parks are now in the state’s most restrictive risk level with movement from Orange (Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Knott’s), Santa Clara (California’s Great America) and Solano counties (Six Flags Discovery Kingdom) in purple / widespread level 1. Los Angeles (Universal Studio Hollywood, Six Flags Magic Mountain) and San Diego (SeaWorld San Diego, Legoland California) counties were already in purple / widespread level 1 .
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Most of California’s major theme parks have partially reopened with no rides for dining and shopping. Slipping backwards into purple / widespread level 1 shouldn’t have too much of an impact on California theme park restaurants and shops – beyond eliminating inside meals and l ‘longer queues for certain points of sale.
Switching to purple / widespread level 1 means restaurants can only allow outdoor dining. Bars are closed in the two most restrictive levels of Newsom’s master plan for a safer economy.
Businesses in downtown Disney will need to stick to open-air restaurants and limit retail purchases to 25% of capacity. The same goes for Buena Vista Street when the main entrance area of Disney California Adventure partially reopens for shopping and dining on Thursday, November 19. Expect virtual queues for Downtown Disney and Buena Vista Street stores to lengthen with the change to more stringent regulations. . Carthay Circle Restaurant will offer al fresco dining while other restaurants on Buena Vista Street will serve take out.
Downtown Disney’s Splitsville Luxury Lanes remains closed under guidelines from the state’s Family Entertainment Center that keep bowling alleys closed in the two most restrictive levels.
Disney is expected to limit the number of visitors allowed on Buena Vista Street to manage crowds and promote social distancing.
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Universal CityWalk next to the still-closed Universal Studios Hollywood was already operating under the tightest restrictions in the state’s multi-level system.
SeaWorld San Diego and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom had partially reopened without rides in accordance with state guidelines for zoos and aquariums. SeaWorld had previously closed indoor aquariums and Legoland’s SeaLife Aquarium had temporarily closed with San Diego’s previous crossing to purple / widespread level 1. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom will also have to close indoor animal shows with the slide of Solano County in the most restrictive level.
Knott’s offers a series of outdoor food festivals while the park rides remain closed. The Taste of Merry Farm event at Buena Park theme park should not be affected by Orange County going to purple / widespread level 1.
Six Flags Magic Mountain will allow visitors to browse millions of Christmas lights from the comfort and safety of their cars starting Friday, November 20.Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk became the first amusement park in California to reopen under state guidelines for small parks. The Beach Boardwalk closed after just two days of operation when Santa Cruz County went from Orange / Moderate Level 3 to Red / Substantial 2. Santa Cruz County has now moved back another rung to Level 1 purple / spilled – pushing the Beach Boardwalk even further back.