The magic is set to return to Southern California.
Disneyland will be allowed to reopen next month, according to new rules announced by the state of California on Friday. The park could open April 1, when Orange County is expected to be moved into the red tier — the state’s second-highest level of precautions.
While the rides will be moving again, indoor attractions will remain closed. Also, the park will be operating at 15% capacity and only California residents will be allowed to visit.
Much of Southern California, including the park’s Anaheim location, is currently in the purple — and most restrictive — tier. The tiers are determined by each county’s seven-day averages of daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 and percent positivity rate.
Disney welcomed the news after its Southern California location was shuttered last March. The theme park has been closed ever since, though the Downtown Disney District has been open in a limited capacity.
“We are encouraged that theme parks now have a path toward reopening this spring, getting thousands of people back to work and greatly helping neighboring businesses and our entire community,” Ken Potrock, president of Disneyland Resort, said in a statement. “With responsible Disney safety protocols already implemented around the world, we can’t wait to welcome our guests back and look forward to sharing an opening date soon.”
Several other major theme parks in Southern California, such as Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain, will also be able to invite limited attendees.
The news was also welcomed by the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which supplies staff to Disneyland.
“Our Disney cast members are heartened by this good news today that the Disney parks will be reopening in a month,” Andrea Zinder, president of UFCW Local 324, said in a statement. “They have been furloughed or out of a job for a year now and are excited to go back to work to provide Californians with a bit more magic in their lives.”
Southern California has been the hardest hit part of the entire country. There have been more than 232,000 cases confirmed in Orange County and more than 4,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Orange County ranks ninth in most cases and 10th in deaths across the entire U.S. Neighboring Los Angeles County leads the U.S. in both categories — including at least 21,780 deaths.
Disneyland has been operating as a mass vaccination site since January.
In addition to Disneyland, the state will allow limited fans at Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium as the baseball season gets underway next month. Ballparks will be allowed to operate at 20% capacity starting April 1. The Angels’ opening day comes April 1 against the White Sox, while the Dodgers open on the road but welcome the Nationals to LA on April 9.
Disney World, in Orlando, Florida, has been open since last July.
ABC News’ Matthew Fuhrman contributed to this report.
Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of ABC News.
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