Time to Get Back to a Better “California Adventure”

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

Imagine a California theme park like Disney’s California Adventure based on the state’s current predicaments. Unlike the adventure park in Anaheim themed after the history and culture of the Golden State, a California adventure park for today would be a dystopian place of fires, Covid disease and deaths, closed schools, overwhelming homelessness and near economic collapse, with a few bright spots on the innovative and technological side. Getting back to a California adventure as imagined by Disney just may depend on the Disney company’s persuasive powers.

Disney is pressuring Gov. Gavin Newsom and state and local regulators to open up the California Adventure and Disneyland theme parks. The company insists it has the ability to safely manage the guests and staff at the parks to prevent spreading the coronavirus.

It’s time to re-open the theme parks and let other businesses open in Disney’s wake.

Disney has created a list of protective behaviors they plan to use at the California theme parks, many already function at Florida’s Disneyworld, which is open. Among the proposals Disney informed the governor and health officials it plans to put in place are temperature checks for guests; attendance by registration; enforced face coverings; and social distance reminders among others.

Disney has a solid record of managing visitors. Disneyland practically invented the way to create crowd controls when long lines occur for park attractions. When the FBI sought advice to set up boundaries for tours at the Bureau’s headquarters the agency asked Disney how to do it.

Disney of course is only a high-profile member of the push to get California opened. Advancements to open up the state for business inched forward at the same time Disney was lobbying for the dispensation to open the theme parks. California allowed for nail salons to start admitting clients indoors. A number of counties jumped up a spot in the governor’s tier system allowing for some limited openings.

In the end, it’s really not about Disney but about small businesses, the backbone of the economy. Thousands upon thousands of workers need the jobs that accompany the openings.

If business is truly allowed to open up and are able to prevent any coronavirus surge, the dystopian California Adventure outlined above may not disappear altogether, but many of the state’s problems will be reduced.

Trusting the business world to successfully manage openings is important to return to a more benign, and might I add, prosperous California adventure.

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