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Disneyland sets its reopening date

The park will be initiating a phased reopening plan on July 17th.
Credit: AFP via Getty Images
An employee cleans the grounds behind the closed gates of Disneyland Park on the first day of the closure of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks as fear of the spread of coronavirus continue, in Anaheim, California, on March 14, 2020. - The World Health Organization said March 13, 2020 it was not yet possible to say when the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 5,000 people worldwide, will peak. "It's impossible for us to say when this will peak globally," Maria Van Kerkhove, who heads the WHO's emerging diseases unit, told a virtual press conference, adding that "we hope that it is sooner rather than later". (Photo by DAVID MCNEW / AFP) (Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images)

  (CNN) -- Disneyland and Disney California Adventure — Disney's flagship theme parks in California — are reopening after months of being closed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The original Disney resort — which is located in Anaheim, California — plans to begin a phased reopening on July 17, the company said Wednesday, pending state and local government approvals. July 17 is the 65th anniversary of the opening day of Disneyland park.

The reopening of the Disneyland resort follows the announcement that Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, will begin a phased reopening next month.

Disney also announced that Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel, two hotels that are a part of the Disneyland resort, plan to reopen on July 23.

The Downtown Disney district, which includes shops and restaurants, will begin reopening on July 9.

As in Orlando, Disney says the Disneyland resort will reopen with "enhanced health and safety measures." The company said that theme park capacity will be "significantly limited to comply with governmental requirements and promote physical distancing."

The company added that additional information on the reopenings will "be shared soon."

Disney said last month that it was implementing several measures to reopen safely and prevent the spread of the coronavirus at its Disney World resort. Employees and guests will be required to wear face coverings and undergo temperature screenings before entering the parks. It will also temporarily suspend parades, fireworks and other events that create crowds.

Disneyland has more than 30,000 employees.

All 12 of Disney's parks in North America, Asia and Europe closed because of the outbreak on different dates this year. Shanghai Disneyland, the company's largest international park, reopened on May 11 after being closed since January 24.

The Parks and Experiences unit is crucial to Disney's bottom line, and the parks closures were a huge hit to the company.

The segment's operating profit last quarter fell 58% compared to the prior year — shedding a billion dollars in profit only weeks into the global shutdown.

Robert Niles, editor of ThemeParkInsider.com, noted that Disneyland's reopening should be easier than Disney World because the California parks are "not as reliant on international and out-of-market travel as Walt Disney World is."

"Disneyland should be able to recover its attendance more quickly than the parks in Florida," Niles told CNN Business. "The trouble is... is Disneyland ready to handle that?"

The Disneyland theme parks are "tiny in physical size compared to the Orlando-area parks," Niles said.

"Maintaining social distancing is going to be much tougher for Disney in California," he added. "It's going to require some creativity and a lot of the experience that Disney has learned from getting its parks ready to go in Shanghai and Orlando."

Bob Chapek, Disney's CEO, told CNN Business that he believes it's safe for guests to return to the company's parks even as the pandemic continues.

"We've done everything we can to open up responsibly," Chapek said last month regarding the opening of Disney World. "Taking the guidance of local health officials, state health officials, national health officials, plus our own well-qualified doctors on staff to create an environment to create new operating procedures, to create new policies, to do new training, new standards of hygiene."