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USA NOW

Dozens of Disneyland enthusiasts and cast members gathered outside the park on Saturday to protest its ongoing closure, resulting in the loss of more than 28,000 jobs in the same US theme park in the US .

Disneyland has been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, while Walt Disney World in Florida reopened with reduced capacity in July. The U.S. reported more than 8.1 million cases and 219,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data.

“The cast members did not want to lose their dream jobs,” Natasha Ramirez, co-organizer for the protest, told USA NOW. “It’s better to open Disneyland like everyone else and let the cast members choose whether they want to go back or not, instead of having no choice at all and being removed.”

Like reading a sign to a protester: “If other parks open safely, why can’t Disneyland do the same?”

USA NOW reached out to Disneyland for comment.

Some protesters, offering Mickey Mouse masks or mouse-ear headbands, have signs calling the park to reopen at Disney references. “Tell the guards to open the gates,” a sign read, quoting a line from “Frozen.” “Oh busy! Why is Disney still closed?” another asked with a picture of Winnie the Pooh.

Ramirez, a former cast member, launched a protest with Desi d’Amani, one of the thousands of Disney workers who graduated last month. It started with the two of them inviting some fellow cast members to hear support from thousands of people through a Facebook event.

“We started this event in response to the dismissal in the hope that Disneyland will return so there will be no more layoffs and that those who have been laid off can return,” Ramirez added.

Although some on social media criticized the protesters as people who “did not miss taking pictures at Disneyland,” Ramirez maintained that that was not the essence of the event.

“People … think we just want to open Disneyland so we can choose a churro,” he said. “The cast members, who are the people we did it with, came out to thank us because they wanted to go back to work, and those who still have jobs there do not want to lose them.”

The group is currently discussing plans for a second protest, a date of which has yet to be determined.

When will Disneyland reopen? Disney blames the California governor after he slowed down the reopening of California theme parks

Earlier this month, California Governor Gavin Newsom said Disneyland and other surrounding large theme parks will not be open anytime soon. The state “is not in a hurry to put in place rules,” he added, referring to the rules that theme parks need to act safely as the pandemic continues to rage.

The announcement marked a turnabout since last month, when Newsom said it expects the guidelines to be released “very, very little” as the state negotiates with the industry.

“We do not expect in the immediate term any of the larger theme parks until we see greater stability,” Newsom said at a news conference.

A trade group representing theme parks, the California Attractions and Parks Association, says there is no reason for attractions to remain closed when there is sufficient evidence that they can reopen safely.

“We find it surprising that Governor Newsom has no timeline plan for issuing guidance for theme parks, and is deeply concerned that he does not expect the opening of theme parks soon,” he said. written by executive director Erin Guerrero.

Disneyland and Anaheim officials are trying to raise pressure on Newsom to issue guidelines. “Once a date and those guidelines have been set, I can tell you, we’re ready,” Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney parks, experiences and product unit, told Roger Dow. , CEO of the US Travel Association trade group, in August.

Contributing: Chris Woodyard, USA NOW

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