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Tears, proposals and flying elephants: Disneyland reopens


Hello.

In March 2020, Disneyland – self-proclaimed “happiest place on Earth,” Southern California’s glittering emblem – closed. It was only the third unforeseen closure since the park opened on July 17, 1955. The other two followed the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

These other closings were relatively brief. But this time, the pandemic shut the doors of Disneyland for a month after a painful month. Until Friday. So today we start the week with a preview of the Grand Reopening of Disneyland, written by resident Disney expert at The New York Times, Brooks barnes:

For more than a year, Disneyland followers waited for the historic theme park to come back to life. Elephants fly. Marauding pirates. The flowers are singing. Wagging hippo ears.

Matthew Gottula, fashion photographer in North Hills, say it that way on twitter Thursday, as Disney employees prepared for Friday’s reopening: “Imagine the animatronics at Disneyland reigniting like in ‘Sleeping Beauty’, when the spell is broken and the kingdom wakes up and continues what they were doing at the middle of the sentence.

If only the kiss of true love was all it took.

The Walt Disney Company was set to reopen its theme parks in the United States last summer. But he faced drastically different state governments. Loosey-goose Florida allowed Disney World to resume operations in July, but California refused its approval, resulting in a standoff between senior Disney executives and Governor Gavin Newsom.

Over the months, Disney has seemed reasonable: the security protocols it adopted in Florida (mandatory masks, limited capacity, rearranged queues) have proven to be remarkably effective.

In March, the Newsom administration gave the green light to Disneyland to reopen its doors. It took nearly a month for Disney to recall 10,000 off-duty workers and train them in the new safety procedures; set up a new online ticketing system (you now need a reservation); restock refrigerators at Galactic Grill and River Belle Terrace; and learn how to truncate long indoor trips to comply with temporary health regulations.

“As a company, which employs tens of thousands of people, it’s obviously important to reopen, but it’s also important as a global marker,” Josh D’Amaro, theme park president told me. from Disney in mid-April. “Disneyland has a special meaning. Our reopening is a barometer of the health of the world. We were chatting inside the closed park, where the flower beds near the station had yet to be replanted.

With capacity initially limited to 25%, tickets for some days (Saturdays in June) quickly sold out. But there was still plenty of uptime on Sunday, indicating some fans are worried about getting their money’s worth. Tickets have not been reduced ($ 114 to $ 154 for adults, depending on the day) and many signature offers have been canceled in the name of coronavirus safety – no parades, fireworks or hugs with bypass characters. The Matterhorn bobsleighs and the jungle cruise are also closed.

“Not quite yet,” Gottula said in a Twitter message when asked if he had purchased tickets. “I want a more complete experience.”


Eli Broad, a businessman and philanthropist whose vast fortune, vast art collection and zeal for civic improvement helped reshape the cultural landscape of Los Angeles, died on Friday at the age of 87.

  • An evaluation: A columnist for the Los Angeles Times assesses Broad’s mark on the city’s architecture.

  • A look back: Learn more about the opening of the Broad museum in 2015.

  • A look ahead: With Broad’s past, who will fill the civic leadership void? “Los Angeles will never have a single kingmaker or leader who takes on all the challenges we face,” Miguel Santana, a longtime government official who now heads the Weingart Foundation, told the Los Angeles Times.

  • A notable quote: “There is no curtain that you cannot cross in Los Angeles – no religious curtain, no curtain on your origin,” Broad told the New York Times in 2001. “It’s a meritocracy, unlike some other cities. If you have ideas here, if you have energy, you will be accepted. I love the “


California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. PT on weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Have you been forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley, and has reported statewide, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow here or on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.





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