As of this writing, Orange County is currently at the red level but is trending toward orange. At the red level, indoor attractions would be capped at 15% capacity, and dining would be at 25% capacity.
The orange tier would change indoor attraction attendance to 25%. It would increase to 35% if the county reached the yellow tier. However, if cases spiked and Orange County moved into the purple tier, the parks may not open at the end of April as planned. In addition, not all rides may be open, and Disney is also pausing its fireworks displays and other events that cause large crowds to gather.
Even before the tourists come back to town, the parks' employees will return. After multiple layoffs last year, over 10,000 employees are currently in the process of returning to work. This should be an immediate boost for local businesses. Disneyland is the city's largest employer. Over 1,000 cast members are already at work preparing for "A Touch of Disney," an event that is taking place at California Adventure starting March 18.
Nearby hotels may also benefit, especially because Disney isn't opening all of its hotels around the park. While Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa are set to welcome guests on April 29, 2021, the Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel will still be closed.
Short-term rentals have felt the impact of the park closures as well. According to data from AirDNA, bookings for entire-place rentals in Anaheim for February 2021 were down 44% year over year. Available rentals were down by 27%, and listing nights available were down by 51%.
While the fact the parks remain closed to out-of-state visitors will likely reduce the number of overnight guests, even a limited opening should be good news for hotels and short-term rental operators.
The California real estate market looks good -- but Disneyland helps
Despite many high-profile migrations from California, the real estate market remains strong. In Orange County, February 2021 sales were up 7.3% year over year, and the median existing-home price was a very pricey $995,000, up 13% from one year ago. The average rent in Anaheim has remained steady. At $1,695 for a one-bedroom, it's up 3% from last year.
A study from Cal State Fullerton showed that for the 2018 fiscal year, the Disneyland Resort had an $8.5 billion impact on the Southern California economy, an increase of 50% from 2013. Some estimates show that if Disneyland remained closed for 2021, it could cost the state as much as $5 billion in lost revenue.