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The assassination of President Kennedy led Disneyland to close for a day in 1963.

Universal Studios Hollywood closed just long enough to complete safety inspections after the Northridge earthquake struck in 1994.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shut California’s largest theme parks for more than a year, creating an unprecedented challenge for the operators of Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and other parks who are now scrambling to prepare to reopen under more relaxed safety protocols issued by the state.

It’s a big job: They must prepare dozens of attractions for daily use, rehire and train thousands of workers, and adopt a slew of new safety protocols that in many cases dramatically alter how attractions will operate and how visitors will be expected to behave.

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