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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.