LOS ANGELES – While United States’ most popular theme parks, including Disneyland, have announced their reopenings, one of the world’s largest music festivals, Coachella, has called off its 2020 edition due to fears of contagion amid the coronavirus epidemic.
The original Disneyland Park and the new Disney California Adventure will open on July 17 after being closed for nearly four months due to the coronavirus epidemic, the company announced on Wednesday.
This is the longest closure in the history of the first Disney park in Anaheim, California, which since its opening had only suspended its operations three times – during the Sep. 11, 2011 terror attacks, the morning President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, and during the Northridge earthquake in 1994.
“Sixty-five years to the date after the historic opening of Disneyland Park, we are planning to open our theme park gates once again on July 17, 2020, welcoming guests back to the Disneyland Resort,” the company said on its website.
According to the statement, the proposed date is still pending approval by local and state governments.
Disney plans to open the hotels a little later, starting July 23.
The announcement comes after it was revealed that Disney parks in Florida would also open in July, later than its main competitor, Universal Studios, which opened last week despite COVID-19 infections continuing to rise in the state.
COVID-19 cases have also been on the rise in California, where authorities began lifting lockdown measures in order to restart the economy.
Disney said the park will be reopened “with enhanced health and safety measures,” without specifying what those would be, but made it clear that the theme park’s capacity will be “significantly limited” and will require guests to make reservations in advance.
“At this time, there will also be a temporary pause on new ticket sales and Annual Passport sales and renewals,” it added.
Experiences that attract large crowds – including parades and nighttime spectaculars – will also be resumed at a later date, according to the company.
The commercial area of Universal Studios Hollywood theme park opened on Wednesday, although the attractions remain closed.
At the Universal theme parks in Orlando, Florida, visitors are require to undergo temperature checks and forced to maintain a safe social distancing.
Despite the safety measures, Universal warns that it cannot guarantee that visitors will not be exposed to the virus and recommends that the at-risk population, including the elderly and people with serious underlying medical conditions, “should evaluate their risk in determining whether to attend.”
Meanwhile, Coachella, one of the largest music festivals in the world, has been canceled.
Coachella was originally scheduled for April but was postponed to October due to the pandemic.
The authorities of California’s Riverside County announced the cancellation of the festival on Wednesday, arguing that the coronavirus crisis made the holding of such events that brought together thousands of people impossible for the time being.
“I am concerned as indications grow that COVID-19 could worsen in the fall,” Riverside County public health officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said.
The authorities also confirmed that the Stagecoach country music festival, which takes place at the same site as Coachella a week later, will also not be held this year.
Coachella, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019, was set to be headlined by Rage Against the Machine, Frank Ocean and Travis Scott this year.
Also set to feature were Calvin Harris, Run the Jewels, Brockhampton, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Charli XCX, Flume, Thom Yorke, Disclosure, 21 Savage, Caribou, Carly Rae Jepsen, Hot Chip, Floating Points, Lana del Rey, FKA Twigs, Fatboy Slim and Lil Nas X.