What happened

Shares of Walt Disney (DIS -2.68%) traded 4.9% higher at 12:50 p.m., EST. President Biden's larger stimulus checks are moving closer and closer to their final approval, and California lawmakers want to accelerate the reopening of Disneyland and other theme parks in the state. Together, these forces are lifting the House of Mouse today.

So what

Last week, two California state representatives introduced a bipartisan bill that would move theme parks up to the "moderate" level of restrictions in Governor Gavin Newsom's Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework. Disneyland has been closed down under COVID-19 safety restrictions since March 2020, and the doors are still locked. If this bill is passed into state law, Disney and other theme park operators would benefit from the proposed $1.9 trillion Biden stimulus.

Empty rides at a theme park with no people.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

In November's fourth-quarter earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Chapek was "extremely disappointed that the state of California continues to keep Disneyland closed despite our proven track record" of coronavirus safety. The company is looking forward to reopening all of its entertainment assets, and Disneyland stands out as a particularly difficult roadblock. Any progress toward a full or partial reopening must be seen as good news for Disney, so it's no surprise to see the stock surging today.