Disneyland Will Be Allowed to Open in Stage 3 of California’s Reopening

Gov. Newsom has announced today that forty-seven of the fifty-eight counties in California are now able to enter Phase One of Stage 3. This initial phase includes hair salons, barbershops, in-store retail, and religious services.

In those counties if hospitalizations and ICU numbers are stable or decreasing, they can move further into Stage 3. Deeper into Stage 3, higher risks services like movie theaters and theme parks will be able to reopen. That includes Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Knott’s, Legoland, Sea World, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Six Flags Magic Mountain. This also includes all water parks and theme parks in Northern California.

So far Disney has not announced a date about when any of the Disneyland Resort will be open, nor have any of the other theme parks announced reopening dates. Stay tuned to this blog for continuing updated information!

Orange County Moving to FULL Phase 2 Allows Downtown Disney To Legally Be Able To Reopen

DOWNTOWN DISNEY® District - Park Place Inn Mini Suites

Today Orange County received approval to move forward with the full phase 2 reopening plan from Gavin Newsom. This plan includes open air shopping malls such as Downtown Disney.

Disney has made no announcement regarding the opening of the Disneyland Resort, but things are definitely heading in a positive direction. When Downtown Disney does reopen expect the same procedures that are being done in Orlando such as the temperature screenings and face masks.

Will you be heading out to Downtown Disney on opening day?

Disneyland Resort Only Accepting Reservations for Dates After July 1st

Until recently, the Disneyland Resort was accepting reservations for hotel rooms and dining packages on June 1st and afterward. That date has now been pushed back to July 1st as we are in May and rapidly approaching the initial June date.

It is widely believed that Disney and Universal are going to open in Orlando first due to looser restrictions from the state government. It was even reported that Universal Citywalk will be opening May 11th after people spotted trucks delivering supplies to some of the shops and team members getting an email that they would be returning to work next week.

Shanghai Disney is reopening May 11th with some very strict restrictions. It is believed that other Disney parks are going to follow the same protocols when they reopen later this year. Hong Kong Disneyland looks to be the next Disney park to be opening its doors fairly soon.

When do you think Disneyland will be open again?

Bob Iger Takes Over Takes Control of CEO Bob Chapek’s Duties During Pandemic

If you were wondering why Bob Chapek has been so silent ever since he became CEO we now have an answer as to why. The New York Times did an article covering Disney during the past few weeks from the leadership changes to COVID-19 to the future of the company when everything resumes normal operation.

Here is a snippet of the article that explains Iger taking back the reigns as CEO of Disney:

“And now, Mr. Iger has effectively returned to running the company. After a few weeks of letting Mr. Chapek take charge, Mr. Iger smoothly reasserted control, BlueJeans video call by BlueJeans video call. (Disney does not use Zoom for its meetings for security reasons.)

The new, nominal chief executive is referred to, almost kindergarten style, as “Bob C,” while Mr. Iger is still just “Bob.” And his title is “executive chairman” — emphasis on the first word.

Mr. Iger is now intensely focused on remaking a company that will emerge, he believes, deeply changed by the crisis. The sketch he has drawn for associates offers a glimpse at the post-pandemic future: It’s a Disney with fewer employees, leading the new and uncertain business of how to gather people safely for entertainment.”

In my opinion, I think Chapek was never a good decision for CEO as he definitely has more of a middle management style to him than a CEO type of vibe. For example, take a look at the past D23. Chapek seemed very uninspired when talking about the future projects and you can tell he was clearly reading from a teleprompter. By contrast, Iger was clearly excited and passionate while talking about projects such as Galaxy’s Edge. I feel that the Disney company is in much more secure shape with Iger taking back the reigns.

Iger is planning multiple strategies as how to handle this pandemic and the future of the company as described below:

Mr. Iger, meanwhile, is trying to figure out what the company will look like after the crisis. One central challenge is to establish best practices for the company and the industry on how to bring people back to the parks and rides while avoiding the virus’s spread — using measures like taking visitors’ temperatures.

Mr. Iger also sees this as a moment, he has told associates, to look across the business and permanently change how it operates. He’s told them that he anticipates ending expensive old-school television practices like advertising upfronts and producing pilots for programs that may never air. Disney is also likely to reopen with less office space. He’s also told two people that he anticipated the company having fewer employees. (Mr. Iger said in an email on Sunday evening that he had “no recollection of ever having said” that he expected a smaller work force. “Regardless, any decision about staff reductions will be made by my successor and not me,” he added.)”

As Iger said, I can see a future where initially Disney checks temperatures and reduces capacity when first opening the parks. I can also see them having a significant reduction in office space (like most companies probably will) because companies are realizing they do not need as many people in an office due to things such as telecommuting and being more efficient.

What do you think of this developing situation? Who do you want to be the CEO of Disney?

Avengers Campus Opening Delayed at Disney California Adventure

Avengers Campus Delayed: Park Opening is Now "Coming Soon" – /Film

As expected Disney has changed the Avengers Campus opening date from July 18th to “Coming Soon” on its website. With the extended park closures it was becoming quite obvious that Disney would have to do push back the opening date as everything in the land still has a considerable amount of construction left.

The Spiderman ride is farther along than the rest of the project though, so Disney may try and do a phased opening by just opening Spiderman and the gift shop and then the rest of the land at a later date. Assuming the parks open in June, I can see Spiderman opening up by July or August and the rest of the land opening up by September or October.

Are you excited for this land? Will you be visiting when it opens or will you wait until there is a vaccine for the virus to go visit the parks?

Disney Furloughs Cast Members Starting April 19th

Disney announced today that starting April 19th they will be furloughing cast members of all types including: hourly and salaried cast members in non essential roles. They will be also talking to the unions about those roles as well.

Cast Members with medical will be able to keep it and any cast members in the Disney Aspire program will be able to continue to participate in it. This does not just go for the theme parks, but also the stores, cruise lines, call centers, warehouses and any other Disney units.

A spokesperson from the company released a statement that can be found here:

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on our world with untold suffering and loss, and has required all of us to make sacrifices. Over the last few weeks, mandatory decrees from government officials have shut down a majority of our businesses. Disney employees have received full pay and benefits during this time, and we’ve committed to paying them through April 18, for a total of five additional weeks of compensation. However, with no clear indication of when we can restart our businesses, we’re forced to make the difficult decision to take the next step and furlough employees whose jobs aren’t necessary at this time. The furlough process will begin on April 19, and all impacted workers will remain Disney employees through the duration of the furlough period. They will receive full healthcare benefits, plus the cost of employee and company premiums will be paid by Disney, and those enrolled in Disney Aspire will have continued access to the education program. Additionally, employees with available paid time off can elect to use some or all of it at the start of the furlough period and, once furloughed, they are eligible to receive an extra $600 per week in federal compensation through the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill, as well as state unemployment insurance.”

Disney CEO Bob Chapek also sent out a letter that can be found here:

Dear Cast Members and Imagineers:

As you know, over the past several weeks, COVID-19 has completely reshaped our daily lives as well as our business. A new chapter in the history of our company began when we closed our theme parks, hotels, stores and other operations to help lead the effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. This reality has been sobering to all of us. As difficult as this decision was, we know it was the right one to help protect our Cast Members, our Guests and our communities.

True to the core of Disney, it is heartwarming to see many of you continuing to show your compassion, creativity and support for each other over the past few weeks. The acts of kindness and joy we’ve seen our Cast sharing have been inspirational. We appreciate all you do and know that our Cast Members will always be the heart and soul of Disney. This is why some of the choices we must make are extremely difficult.”

This is an extremely difficult time for everyone and I hope everyone stays healthy and at home so we can all come together and beat this virus!

Concept Art For New DVC Tower Revealed

The O.C Register has revealed new concept art for the new DVC tower coming to the Disneyland Hotel. The tower will stand 12 stories and have 350 units which is the largest expansion of DVC units on the West Coast ever. The new tower is beautifully designed with a fresh modern take on the classic style of the older towers of the Disneyland Hotel.

Some people, including me, are speculating if this could be the eventual new design of the Disneyland Hotel towers as well. Ever since the now cancelled 4th hotel was proposed, rumors have been circulating that Disney was planning to tear down the older Disneyland Hotel towers one by one and the 4th hotel would be the new Disneyland Hotel. Now I still think Disney can proceed and do something similar after the DVC tower is built. They can tear one down tower at a time while keeping the other two in operation and rebuild them to match the style of the DVC tower for a brand new modern Disneyland Hotel by 2030.

What do you think will happen with the Disneyland Hotel? What do you think of the look of the DVC tower? Comment below your thoughts and follow this blog for updates on this project as well as other Disney projects!