Disney reopened the gates of its theme park in California.

source: usatoday.com

After being closed for about 400 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the reopening has led to the return of more than 15,000 employees to their jobs. At the moment, only residents of the state are allowed to enter.

Disneyland Resort opened its doors on Friday after being closed for more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, which completely paralyzed the activity of one of the main tourist attractions in California.

The reopening has led to the return of more than 15,000 employees to their jobs, although for now, the two theme parks - Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park - will limit their capacity to 25% until sanitary conditions improve.

"This is great news for businesses in the area; our businesses depend on tourists," Jocelyn Campos, owner of Big Bertha's Pizza, one of the restaurants located in the surroundings, explained to EFE.

Campos said his sales have increased since employees began preparing for the opening, and this weekend he received the first requests from guests staying at the hotels surrounding the facilities. "The closure was devastating; some businesses have not survived," he said.

The complex, which houses the first park in which Walt Disney opened in 1955, is one of the economic engines of Anaheim, located 40 km southeast of the city of Los Angeles (USA).

In fact, the spokesman for the city council described the day as "monumental."

Disneyland had only stopped its activity three times: during the 9/11 attacks (2001), the morning in which President John F. Kennedy was assassinated (1963), and by the Northridge earthquake (1994).

"For many people, Disneyland means something very important; we want everyone to feel safe and comfortable," said Rafael Barron, who has worked for the park for more than five years.

The return of activity to theme parks has been received as a normal approach for California residents, although there are protocols for complying with sanitary measures.

All visitors should wear masks. Safety distances will be maintained in all facilities, and closed spaces will be distributed to the public through domestic units. A mobile application has also been enabled to reserve the day of the visit, and at the moment, there will be no shows in order to avoid crowds.

"I feel like a child. I got here at 5 in the morning. Since 1976 I have always come once a year", commented Enrique, one of the first to enter the park.

Tickets for the inaugural trip sold out in less than 12 hours, and some Mickey Mouse fans spent the night nearby.

Before the epidemic, we had an annual pass, and we visited once or twice a month, remembering Cinthya and Jesus.

At the moment, California authorities only allow entry to residents of the state, where vaccination is progressing apace: more than 40% of its population has received at least one dose and 30% have the two recommended.

The goal of the most populated state in the US is to fully reactivate its economy as of July.

"I will return when there are more tourists, although I also like to visit the park with fewer people and wait," said another of the first visitors.