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Disneyland Plans To Reopen In Late April

Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland, California. (Chava Sanchez/ LAist)
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Get your mouse ears and Disney-themed face masks ready. At Tuesday's Disney shareholders meeting, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced that they expect to be able to reopen their Southern California parks with limited capacity by late April.

"Here in California, we're encouraged by the positive trends we're seeing and we're hopeful they'll continue to improve," Chapek said in the meeting.

While he didn't offer a specific date, he said it should be announced "in the coming weeks." The state announced last week that theme parks could reopen as soon as April 1, but there are some logistics that mean it won't be happening quite that soon.

Chapek said:

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"The fact is it will take some time to get [the parks] ready for our guests — this includes recalling more than 10,000 furloughed cast and retraining them to be able to operate according to the state of California's new requirements."

That's expected to be a big benefit for Anaheim and the surrounding community. Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu, noting a severely impacted economy, has been among the loudest voices calling for Disney's SoCal parks to reopen.

There's also the issue of Disney's food event, "A Touch of Disney," which opens March 18 and has sold tickets through early April. It's only taking place in California Adventure, but it's giving fans the chance to get a taste of what they've been missing.

But it won't be that long until they get something closer to the real deal. Parks will still have limited capacity, with attractions within the park also likely to be significantly limited. Several Disneyland parking lots have also been in use as a mass vaccination center in the area due to the parks’ closure; it’s unclear when those lots will reopen for attendees, though the need may not be there at the moment due to the limited capacity.

While Disney has been hurting during the pandemic, with billions lost between everything from their parks and movies to their cruise line, they had a big piece of news to announce during that shareholders meeting: their Disney+ streaming service now has more than 100 million paid subscribers worldwide.

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