Disneyland Employees and Fans Hold Rally Urging State to Allow Reopening

On Saturday morning, Disneyland employees and fans gathered for a rally outside the theme park in Anaheim, Calif. in an effort to urge Gov. Gavin Newsom to issue reopening orders.

More than 20 people came together, asking the state to allow the reopening of Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood. Most attendees wore masks and maintained social-distancing, according to footage from CBS Los Angeles.

“The cast members have always been here to support us and make us have a good time and we need to support them,” said Disneyland fan Jennifer Grafius in an interview with CBS Los Angeles. “It’s our turn to be out here hitting the pavement to get their jobs back.”

Both theme parks have been closed since mid-March, but their shopping and dining districts have been opened since the summer with approval under the county’s case tier system.

The struggle to reopen Southern California’s theme parks came to a boiling point in September when Disney demanded Newsom to provide reopening protocols. When the governor refused to budge, the company announced it would lay off more than 28,000 employees amid the continued pandemic.

Gov. Newsom responded to the announcement during a press conference, saying he was in “no hurry” to reopen the parks.

There have been no reported cases of COVID-19 linked to the Florida theme parks that reopened in July.

“If Walt Disney World can open safely, so can we,” said another fan, Jessica Grafius. “This is proof we can social distance; we can wear masks and we can be safe. We can open our happy place for many people. This is where we go to forget about our daily problems and struggles. It brings so many people joy, and I know Walt would want us to reopen.”

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