By Robert Niles
Now that California’s theme parks have approval to reopen, starting April 1, when will they actually start welcoming back guests?
Only one California theme park has announced an official reopening date at this point. But we can take very educated guesses about the rest. First, it is appearing unlikely that any California theme park will be cutting short their current special events to reopen their rides and other uniquely “theme park” operations. So looking at the closing dates for these events provides us our first clues about potential reopening dates.
Right now, all California counties with big theme parks – except San Diego County – are in the “Red” Tier 2 where theme parks can reopen at 15 percent capacity on April 1. And San Diego should be moving into that tier very soon. But if California can administer two million more Covid vaccine doses to residents in communities in the bottom 25 percent of the state’s Healthy Places Index, the entry requirements for the Orange and Yellow tiers will change. Under those rules, Los Angeles County’s average daily case rate is low enough already to place it in the Orange tier, where parks can operate at 25 percent capacity.
Moving from Red to Orange also eliminates small-group requirements, the ban on indoor dining at theme parks, and the requirement that parks only sell their tickets online.
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