Hundreds of Disneyland Resort employees will return to work as a “limited-time ticketed experience” opens next month inside California Adventure, which has been closed for nearly a year now due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cast members — Disney parlance for its employees — received notice of the new offering Monday in a letter from Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock as DCA celebrated its 20th anniversary.
The experience will feature “world-famous food and beverage offerings from around the resort, the latest merchandise and unique, carefully crafted entertainment experiences,” according to a statement from the Disneyland Resort. It will take place multiple days per week.
“Teams across the resort are currently developing this distinctly Disney experience, different from a traditional visit to the theme parks,” the statement said.
As is true at the resort’s Downtown Disney District, the experience will have limited capacity and coronavirus health and safety measures in place.
Other details were not immediately released, including the entry cost, how to get tickets and an opening date. More information is expected soon.
Officials are stressing that while the new offering may be at California Adventure, the theme park itself remains closed and “attractions will not be operating during this experience.”
Like other major theme parks in the state, DCA and Disneyland have been closed since last March and unable to resume operations due to state-imposed restrictions.
Under California’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” the state’s plan guiding reopenings during the pandemic, large theme parks can’t welcome back visitors until their county is in the yellow tier,” the least restrictive fourth and final stage.
Orange County, where the resort is located, is currently in the “purple tier”; that’s the first stage and has the most restrictions.
However, legislation unveiled last week is looking to put pressure on Gov. Gavin Newsom to speed up the reopening timeline for larger theme parks. Under that proposal, the state’s major theme parks would be permitted to open again in the third or “orange tier” — the stage when smaller amusement parks are currently allowed to resume operations.
It’s unclear whether the bill will pass and, even if it does, whether Newsom would sign it, however,
Even with the theme parks shut down indefinitely, recent moves by the state and Disney will allow hundreds of employees to go back to work.
Last month, the state lifted restrictions on outdoor dining in most of California, paving the way for 350 of Disney’s operating participating employees to go back to work, according to the company.
The ban on in-dining operations was part of a regional stay-at-home order enacted in December as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surged statewide.
The reopening of outdoor dining at the Downtown Disney expansion of DCA’s Buena Vista Street coupled with the new, upcoming experience will directly affect nearly 1,000 additional cast members.
And while the food and beverage experience is a ticketed event, entrance to Downtown Disney, as always, remains free.