Friday, July 3, 2020

Some, not all, Southern California parks, zoos reopen for July tourism

Part of Legoland is open for business and family fun.  The park's popular Sea Life Aquarium is reopened, and the rest of the park is planning to announce its reopening soon. Reservations are required, admissions are limited and masks are required. 


The new cubs are a big hit at the reopening of San Diego's
world renowned zoo, now once again welcoming tourists.

PLANS FOR reopening
California's popular theme parks change by the minute, as Covid numbers rise and families anxiously await returning to traditional summer activities.
California's famous zoos, theme parks and other outdoor diversions have been closed since mid-March and after these long closures, a few of these popular attractions are up and running again.
Many, though, including Disneyland, have been forced to reschedule, or postpone reopenings, based on spiking of the spiking virus and changing guidelines. Reopening dates in mid-July were cancelled by Disneyland, SeaWorld and other enterprises, to the disappointment of both vacationers and bored locals.
Mickey and Minnie will have to wait to greet Disneyland fans.
The good news, though, is that two much loved San Diego animal venues are again receiving delighted guests and showing off some rare newborns. Guests at the reopened San Diego Zoo are getting a first look at a pair of two-month old endangered Amur leopard cubs. They're exploring their outdoor habitat with mom, Satka, and zoo goers are delighted as fewer than 100 Amur leopards are believed to exist in their historic range in Russia and China.
While Legoland's Sea Life Aquarium is open, the popular Sea World
(see above, the famous dolphin show) has delayed its reopening.
Since mid-March when the zoo and its safari park closed, a limited staff has been caring for the animals during the zoo's first closing in its 103 year history.
MOST VENUES that have reopened have limited shopping, dining, and other experiences available and are operating on reduced hours, limited capacity, temperature checks, enforced masking and installation of hand sanitizing stations.
At the Safari Park, guests cannot feed animals as they once could, at least until further notice. At Legoland's Sea Life arm, extreme distancing and hygiene protocol is in place as visitors step aboard a moving walkway to
Sea Life at Legoland is open, but the rest of the
park  is not yet reopened. The aquarium can monitor
distancing on its moving walkway. 
 view 4,000 sea animals inside its aquarium.
 During the closure, the Sea Life arm at Legoland has welcomed baby cuttlefish and is awaiting the birth of ocean tank baby horn sharks. Guests can again explore the 200,000-gallon ocean tank as they walk below sharks, rays, tropical fish and other sea animals.
Another "seafaring" enterprise, San Diego's world famous Maritime Museum reopened this week.
The classic Star of India at San Diego's Maritime Museum
awaits visitors and masking is part of the "reopening" act.

The museum specializes in collecting, preserving, and presenting the area's rich maritime heritage and historic connections with the Pacific world. It opened its doors again Wednesday so limited guests may again admire its bounty of historic vessels, all lovingly restored and maintained by volunteers. On view is the world’s oldest active sailing ship, Star of India. Other interesting vessels await inspection on the waterfront including the classic Berkeley steamboat, but the submarine is temporarily off limits, along with the gift shop. Self-guided tours are available.

THEME PARKS in Europe, China, Texas and Florida have reopened, but California is taking a cautious high road. While Legoland's aquarium is
Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse greet crowds at Disney World in Florida,
which will reopen July 11.  California's Disneyland opening date is unknown.
open, the larger part of the theme park's opening is delayed, along with reopenings of Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, Six Flags Magic Mountain and SeaWorld San Diego.
Knott’s Berry Farm has not yet set any reopening date, the only southern California theme park not to do so.
   DISNEYLAND's July 17 reopening date was squelched in part by a coalition of unions representing 17,000 Disneyland cast members who picketed and sent a letter to Gov. Newsom to stop the Anaheim theme park from reopening. Disneyland's editorial content director Thomas Smith confirmed Wednesday that the world's first theme park's reopening is waiting for new instruction from the State of California.
Disneyland performers successfully picketed,
persuading California to delay the reopening.
"We're told California won't issue new theme park reopening guidelines until after July 4," Smith said. Given the time required to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart business, the delay is unavoidable.
  Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida is reopening July 11, and in California Downtown Disney will reopen July 9, as planned.  The food extravaganza complies with restaurant opening rules.
Penelope Ganner spreads her wings by the frolicking whales at
Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, California. It reopens this week.
BECAUSE AQUARIUMS and zoos also fall into a separate category cleared for reopening, Birch Aquarium in San Diego is reopening. The popular aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, opened to donors and members July 1, and will begin its public reopening on July Fourth, with sharks and rays, native to La Jolla's waters, in a 13,000-gallon tank. We love taking our little guests to the ocean view tide pools for close-up views of sea stars, hermit crabs, sea cucumbers, lobsters and more.
California is experiencing surges in the virus, including nearly 8,000 new cases of 240,000 cases and over 7,500 deaths. Visit with care.;;
Cruises are booking again, and one of the lines, American Cruise Lines,
is appealing to many because its options are close to home. 
Designed to navigate the inland waterways of the Pacific Northwest, the new
  American Constellation brings guests to lovely ports larger ships can't access.
UP NEXT: While theme parks and zoos are cautiously reopening around the world, cruising is also making a "Covid comeback." American Cruise Lines is leading the return with its attractive docket of American based river and "close to home" cruising allowing many travelers to drive rather than fly to  a departure port. We'll share what American and other international cruise lines are doing with start-up dates and itineraries worldwide for those of us who love cruising. Remember to explore, learn and live and catch for a fresh look at travel, nature, the arts, family and more.


  1. PITTSBURGH PATIENT ONESJuly 4, 2020 at 6:37 PM

    Fun story with some bright spots and lots of uncertainty for openings in L.A. Makes sense. Appreciate your diligent reporting and fine photos.

  2. We're so excited about American Cruise Lines because we live in Seattle and can easily access Portland and several of the river cruises in our neck of the woods. THANK YOU for a great idea.

  3. Las Vegas LoungersJuly 5, 2020 at 2:43 PM

    We've been reluctant to book an ocean cruise but you've given us another option to look forward to. Will await the next post. And very excited that we can go to the zoo again. San Diego's is a fabulous one.