Just when you thought that a reopening date for Walt Disney‘s (NYSE: DIS) original theme park would never land — get it, Neverland? — there’s hope at last for California’s Disneyland resort. A new bill under consideration in the state Assembly would allow larger theme parks and attractions to be treated the same way as their smaller rivals, and give them broader flexibility about getting back to business.
This doesn’t mean that you and your kids will be lining up for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride or Soarin’ Over California anytime soon. COVID-19 case counts will still have to improve dramatically from current levels to hit the tier within which parks owned by Disney, Six Flags (NYSE: SIX), Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Cedar Fair (NYSE: FUN), and SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE: SEAS) in Southern California would be permitted to reopen under the new legislation. There will also be heavy restrictions in terms of park capacity and what guests will be able to do once they click through an entrance turnstile. However, even a little Disneyland can go a long way — and for employees, theme park fans, and shareholders, it will have to do right now.
The encouraging news was enough to send shares of Cedar Fair, Six Flags, and SeaWorld 5% to 10% higher on Thursday. Disney and Comcast only inched up by 2%, but they are diversified media companies, and theme parks aren’t their primary breadwinners these days.