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Disneyland has laid off 28,000 employees. The park has been closed for several months since the COVID pandemic hit. The executives at Disney had hoped to open the park, which includes the adjacent California Adventure, in September. It was not to be. As a result, Disney is losing billions of dollars in revenue from ticket receipts, hotel bookings, restaurant business, and merchandise sold in the parks and in the Downtown Disney area. Even though parts of Downtown Disney, which includes retail stores, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs have been partially opened and doing a fraction of the business that they do when the parks are open, it is likely that many of them will have to close unless the parks are able to open.
But to date, there is no word from the villain in this story, Governor Gavin Newsom, on when Disneyland or California Adventure will be allowed to open despite Disney’s appeals that it can open the park and attractions with new social distancing and other COVID mitigation protocols. The governor’s edict that Disneyland remain closed also effects nearby Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park and all the ancillary businesses – hotels, restaurants, bars, and retail venues throughout the greater Anaheim area that thrive on the traffic that these amusement parks generate on a year-round basis. So, the Disneyland layoffs may pale in comparison to the other layoffs that have occurred and will continue to occur as these other Disney-reliant businesses struggle to stay open.
In addition to the greater Southern California market that frequents Disneyland, including thousands of annual pass holders, the park has been a tourist draw for Southern California since it opened in 1955. So, families from out-of-state and from other countries that planned summer vacations not only spent some time in the park but ventured to other sites and attractions in Southern California, helping to boost revenue beyond Orange County.
Unfortunately, despite the dwindling number of COVID deaths in the country, Americans have been taught since February of this year never to assume any risk. A constant barrage of messaging on television and social media has elevated fear and panic and created situations where frustrated and cooped up people snap at each other for any minor infraction of the dubious scientifically-based guidelines that enable large shopping venues like Walmart and Costco to operate but not churches or smaller retail venues.
Anaheim, in the summer, can get oppressively hot and even though venues like Disneyland can get quite crowded, it remains to be seen how social distancing outside while waiting to go on a socially-distanced ride in 90- or 100-degree weather is somehow riskier than sitting in the stuffy, stifling fuselage of a passenger jet crammed in amongst a full-flight of other human beings. It needs to be said, that the science on much of this is sketchy, often contradictory, and ever-changing depending on the so-called health expert or epidemiologist one listens to.
It’s been reported that the city of Anaheim has seen a dip in tax revenue of about $100 million to date which is now likely to grow. More hotels, restaurants, and other shops are likely to close in the greater Anaheim area, putting more of a strain on funding for unemployment insurance and possibly increasing the number of homeless in California, already a national disgrace before COVID reared its ugly head. The continued shutdown of California has already spurred a massive exodus out of the state further diminishing the state’s tax base to pay for many of its boondoggle programs. So, remaining California residents are likely to be taxed more to make up the difference.
Gavin Newsom has only been governor since January of 2019 and has three more years to continue to run California into the ground…unless a recall effort is successful. In the meantime, look for more folks leaving the state, more layoffs and unemployment, more homeless encampments, higher gas prices, more suicides, divorces, and general depression.
Conservatives, like myself, often refer to our home state as The People’s Republic of California, little did we know that it could so quickly transform into something resembling a Soviet client state. Now, all we need are show trials. Of course, that may come if Kamala Harris quickly becomes President, and someone has the audacity to criticize the “scientific consensus” on medicine, the Climate Catastrophe, or the obvious benefit of Critical Race Theory and soon finds themselves in a re-education camp. Maybe they’ll use Disneyland for that since Disney was already going down this path.
Yes, there is much to criticize the Walt Disney Company for in its embrace of social justice wokeness across many fronts – from new transgender characters to its support of the slave-labor supported Chinese Communist regime. It’s certainly not the direction that Walt himself would have put up with were he alive today. Many of those executives pushing for these social justice and woke initiatives would have been thrown out on their collectivist ears. So, there are many of you who justifiably won’t shed a tear for the company’s current troubles.
And yet, there is a part of me, probably the part of me that grew up with Disneyland – it is, after all, only a year older than me — that is sad. I’ve spent so much time wandering through Main Street, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, riding on the silly jungle cruise or the roller coasters and where I enjoyed the music, the parades, and the fireworks when I was a child and then later with my own son when he was a toddler, then a teenager, and today an adult who still is really a child.
I’m also sad to see that so many Californians have turned into sheep. Sad to know that more layoffs and misery is in the offing. Sad to see what has happened to my state that in a sense was also a magic kingdom. It’s ironic that the forced closing of a Mickey Mouse operation could be yet another signal of the demise of a once-great state. Ah, well.Published in