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Disneyland to reopen next month, to California residents only

Disneyland to reopen next month, to California residents only
Disneyland Resort and Disney California Adventure Park will reopen April 30, while other hotel locations will open later. File Photo by Brendan McDemid/EPA

March 17 (UPI) -- Disneyland announced Wednesday that it plans to reopen at the end of April, more than a year after shuttering due to the COVID-19 pandemic -- but only to California residents.

Both the Anaheim, Calif., park and Disney California Adventure Park will open the last day in April with limited capacities. Disney said its Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will open April 29, also with restrictions.

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Due to capacity restrictions, the parks will require advance reservations and will admit only California residents.

"The day all of us have long been waiting for is almost here," Disneyland President Ken Potrock said in a statement. "We're excited to have more than 10,000 cast members returning to work as we get ready to welcome our guests back to this happy place."

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California's Disneyland and Universal Studios parks shut down in March 2020 amid lockdown orders to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. Walt Disney World reopened last July and increased capacity in November, but Disneyland has maintained tighter restrictions.

Earlier this month, the California Department of Public Health announced it was restructuring its four-tier system that dictates when outdoor amusement parks and sports stadiums can reopen. Under the previous system, establishments could only reopen when the county where they're located reached the yellow, or least-restrictive, tier based on coronavirus numbers.

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The revamped system allows amusement parks to reopen at 15% capacity under the red, or second-strictest tier. Capacity grows to 25% under the third-strictest, orange tier and 35% under the yellow tier. Outdoor sports and live performance venues can open to 100 people under the most-strict, purple tier, 20% in the red tier, 33% in the yellow tier and 67% in the yellow tier.

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Orange County, where Disneyland is located, moved from the purple to the red tier Sunday. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the county has reported almost 250,000 coronavirus cases and 4,500 deaths.

As of March 7, the county had a seven-day average of about 145 daily cases, down from a high of 3,500 in January, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency. The last time the county's average case count was this low was in September.

Disneyland Resort said the Disney Vacation Club at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will reopen May 2, while Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel will reopen at a future date.

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A year in pandemic: How COVID-19 changed the world

National Institutes of Health official Dr. Anthony Fauci (C) speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Alexander Azar (L) announced that the United States is declaring the virus a public health emergency and issued a federal quarantine order of 14 days for 195 Americans. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

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