Disneyland in Southern California is set to open this spring after a yearlong closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, Disneyland Resort announced an April 30 reopening date for Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. Earlier this month, California officials said amusement parks can open beginning April 1 if they meet requirements to enter the red tier of the state’s reopening plan.
As of March 14, Orange County, where Disneyland is located, moved into the red tier, meaning the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 is “substantial,” which is down from “widespread.”
But there’s a catch: Only California residents will be permitted to get tickets through the parks’ new online reservation system.
“Theme park reservations will be limited and subject to availability and, until further notice, only California residents may visit the parks in line with current state guidelines,” reads the Disney blog post announcing Disneyland’s reopening.
Disneyland’s announcement that out-of-state residents will not be allowed to purchase tickets is to comply with California’s reopening guidelines.
California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy details how Californians and their businesses should operate based on the level of spread of the coronavirus. It says amusement parks should limit attendance upon reopening. The blueprint says: “In-state visitors only, check for current CDPH Travel Advisory in effect.”
The CDPH Travel Advisory reads, “Non-essential travelers from other states or countries are strongly discouraged from entering California, and should adhere to the quarantine procedures.”
This involves self-quarantining for 10 days after arrival.
Disneyland’s policy could change to allow out-of-state visitors when California’s travel advisory is modified.
Dee Dee Myers, director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development said, “It is our hope that people will respect the guidelines and it is our expectation that the parks will work to really encourage people from California to come and others not to come until we get into a tier where that’s allowed.”
Myers said that online reservation systems “will be able to determine where people are coming from.”
Disneyland will not be able to operate at full capacity for the foreseeable future.
If COVID-19 cases continue a downward trajectory, Orange County could be in the orange tier by early April. If that occurs, Disneyland would be able to operate at 25% capacity, with time restrictions for indoor attractions.
If Disneyland reopens while Orange County remains in the red tier, capacity is limited to 15%.
In the red tier, the parks would not be allowed to have indoor dining, and guests cannot arrive in groups or more than 10 people, or three household groups, “with no intergroup mixing.”
Neither of these guidelines will apply in the orange tier.
The “happiest place on Earth” comes with a warning about possible exposure to the “extremely contagious disease” that is COVID-19: “By visiting the Disneyland Resort, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19,” reads a message on Disneyland Resorts’ website.
When the parks reopen, new measures will be implemented for cast members and guests. These include:
- Mandatory face coverings for everyone 2 years and older.
- Social distancing markers.
- Temperature checks upon entry.
- Expanding cashless payment options, such as mobile ordering and Apple Pay.
- Enhanced cleaning protocols.
Some parts of Disneyland Resort are currently open with limited capacity, including Downtown Disney District.
California Adventure has a soft opening of sorts with A Touch of Disney, a “limited-capacity ticketed experience” that is sold out and takes place on select days between March 18 and April 19. Rides will be closed but guests will be able to shop, enjoy food and drinks and wave to Disney and Pixar characters.
When Disneyland and California Adventure reopen, they won’t look the same as a year ago.
“Upon reopening, certain parks, hotels, restaurants, attractions, experiences and other offerings will be modified or unavailable, will have limited capacity and will be subject to limited availability or even closure, and park admission and offerings are not guaranteed,” the Disneyland website reads.
Disney and Pixar characters will still roam the parks but they “will pop up in new ways … as they remain mindful of physical distancing.”
Due to social distancing, parades and nighttime spectaculars will be temporarily suspended.
According to the Disneyland blog, the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and the Incredicoaster rides as well as Peter Pan’s Flight and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree will make a return when the parks reopen. The “reimagined” Snow White’s Enchanted Wish will also open.
Among the services that won’t be available when Disneyland reopens are FastPass and MaxPass, which allow guests to skip long lines.
Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hours, which allow some guests to arrive earlier or stay later, will not immediately return, either.
This is “a result of the impact of COVID-19 on operations,” according to the Disneyland website.
When Disneyland Resort reopens, tickets will have to be reserved online in advance through a new reservation system and are “subject to availability,” according to the resort’s website.
“To enter a park, both a park reservation and valid admission for the same park on the same date are required for guests ages 3 and up,” according to Disneyland’s website.
For those who have unused single- or multi-day tickets, their expiration has been extended to Dec. 16, according to the parks’ website. If you have questions, call 714-781-4636.
The resort said it is “sunsetting the current Annual Passport program” and planning to offer new membership options in the future.
Disneyland Resort also announced that its hotels plan to reopen in phases.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will open with limited capacity April 29. The Disney Vacation Club Villas at the Grand Californian plan to reopen May 2.
The Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel will “reopen at a later date.”