NBCUniversal’s Universal Studios Hollywood and Walt Disney Co.’s California Adventure theme parks are reopening shops and restaurants as state regulations promise the reopening of all theme parks at limited capacity as soon as April 1. It’s been nearly a year since the parks closed their gates at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
The reopening of the Universal Studios campus in Universal City is centered around an outdoor dining and shopping event called “Taste of Universal,” which began March 12 and encourages patrons to buy food, shop and walk the upper lot of the park on weekends. 
Tickets for Taste of Universal, which will run Fridays through Sundays from noon to 7 p.m., cost $44 for adults and $25 for kids. Several food options from the park’s roughly 70 restaurants are included with the price of admission.
Universal said it would hire back several hundred employees who have been furloughed since the park closed last spring.
In a similar effort, Burbank’s Disney announced it will reopen its California Adventure theme park in Anaheim March 18 with a dining and shopping event called “A Touch of Disney.” Tickets are available for $75.
Rides, shows and other park attractions won’t operate yet, but under revised guidelines issued by the state earlier this month, theme parks could open April 1 at 15 percent capacity provided the county where the park is located has reached the red tier in the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” system. The capacity limit rises to 25 percent when a county moves into the orange tier, and 35 percent when it moves into the yellow tier. The reopening does not include indoor rides.
Los Angeles and Orange counties are still in the state’s most restrictive purple tier, but their viral caseloads are trending in the right direction and could soon push the regions into a less restrictive tier. 
Six Flags Entertainment Corp. announced in February it planned to reopen its Magic Mountain theme park in Valencia sometime this spring, but didn’t specify a date. It, too, is hiring, after it laid off about 10 percent of its full-time workforce in October to cut costs amid the ongoing closures.