Downtown Disney Recalls 200+ Employees as Outdoor Dining Commences

Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Universal CityWalk is also expected to expand offerings.

Downtown Disney will once again be offering outdoor dining after Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday lifted regional stay-at-home orders across the state. And thanks to that move, more than 200 Disney union employees are being recalled, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The Disneyland theme park and hotels have been shuttered for almost a year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, but Downtown Disney was able to reopen last July for indoor shopping and outdoor dining. In November, a portion of California Adventure reopened, also for outdoor dining and shopping. Rides remained closed.

But Newsom imposed a stay-at-home order in December as COVID-19 cases skyrocketed throughout the state. The result was that restaurants could no longer offer outdoor dining. The state now returns to a system of county-by-county restrictions.

Workers United Local 50 President Christopher Workers said 232 of his dining and beverage union members would be recalled in the first wave.

Along with Downtown Disney, Universal CityWalk is also expected to expand outdoor dining options. Indoor dining at both locations will remain closed.

The state's major theme parks were locked into something of a grudge match last year with Newsom as they vied to reopen to no avail. Disney, the most vocal, pointed to its Florida location, which had been operating — albeit with strict measures in place and an attendance cap — since last summer without a single reported COVID-19 case being linked to the resort.

At one point it looked as though Newsom might give an inch, but his plan ultimately mandated that parks could not reopen until their respective county was in the tier (yellow) with the lowest percentage of COVID-19 cases. A lawsuit was floated by the parks' officials, which banded together to push back against the guidelines.