Disney plans to reopen California theme parks in July

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Disney is proposing to reopen its Southern California theme parks in mid-July after a four-month closure due to the coronavirus, the company said on Wednesday.

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products said in a statement that the goal is to reopen Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on July 17. A nearby Disney-themed shopping area would reopen on July 9.

Advance reservations will be required for theme park visitors and capacity will be limited, the statement said. Events that draw large crowds, such as parades and nighttime spectaculars, won’t return immediately and Disney characters will be in the parks but not available to meet with visitors, the statement said.

The plan to reopen the parks, which have been closed since March 14, is still pending government approval.

Disneyland fans normally can bank on the park being open regardless of what’s going on in the world around it. The park closed only a handful of times in 65 years and never for more than a day, according to Jason Schultz, supervisory archivist at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum and unofficial Disneyland historian who wrote “Jason’s Disneyland Almanac.” The last closure was after the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

The proposed reopening date is 65 years after Disneyland first opened its gates in 1955.