We have a date!! After learning that the Disneyland Resort would be reopening to Guests in the month of April, we waited with baited breath to find out when Guests could once again visit Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. The date? April 30, 2021!
“The day all of us have long been waiting for is almost here,” said Ken Potrock, president of the Disneyland Resort. “We’re excited to have more than 10,000 cast members returning to work as we get ready to welcome our guests back to this happy place.”
Because theme park capacity will be significantly limited to comply with governmental requirements and promote physical distancing, the Disneyland Resort will manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system that requires all guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance. 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. 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. While official details of the park reservation system haven’t been released, it would be easy to expect that they will work very similar to Walt Disney World Resort’s version.
The health and well-being of Guests and Cast Members remain a top priority. There will be enhanced health and safety measures, as well as operational changes at the theme parks and hotels based on guidance from health authorities and what Disney has learned from its other parks around the world to promote physical distancing, enhanced cleanliness and reduced contact. Cast Members throughout the resort will be dedicated to assist with questions. Keep in mind that face coverings will be mandatory for guests ages 2 and older.
When the parks reopen, classic and new attractions will begin to open at both parks. For example, Guests can experience the reimagined Snow White’s Enchanted Wish as it opens to guests for the very first time. Snow White’s Enchanted Wish will feature new scenes, including a dancing figure of Snow White who joins the dwarfs in their cottage as the scent of a baking pie can be found in the air. There will also be new shadow projections that show the dwarfs as they march off to the mine. In addition, glittering jewels and shimmering effects make the mine sparkle. Guests will also see a new library of spell books, glowing potions and bubbling flasks, toward the famous magic mirror in the Queen’s den. In the end, Snow White and her Prince ride joyfully into a golden sunset. More details about the update can be found here.
Oh and speaking of new magic, Haunted Mansion will also open with updates!
In addition, attractions like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (which hadn’t actually been open very long to Guests before the parks closed due to the pandemic), Peter Pan’s Flight, Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind, Indiana Jones Adventure, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Incredicoaster, Toy Story Midway Mania!, The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, and more will be available for Guests.
What about Avengers Campus? The completely new land where guests can live their best Super Hero lives will open at a later date at Disney California Adventure.
Of course, there will be a few differences when the parks reopen. For example, there won’t be character meet and greets, but there will still be character interactions, much like you find at Walt Disney World. There may be surprise appearances of favorite Disney and Pixar characters across both parks. Characters will pop up in new ways and sometimes in unexpected places as they remain mindful of physical distancing. For example, at Disneyland, Guests may see Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse waving from the train station, or Disney Princesses such as Mulan appear at the Royal Theatre to wave and pose at a distance for guests taking selfies. At Disney California Adventure, Pixar pals may wave from the bandshell at Pixar Pier, and Guests can take photos with Mater and Lightning McQueen along Route 66 in Cars Land.
Other changes will include no nighttime experiences, no FASTPASS, no MaxPass, no parades, no Magic Mornings, and no Extra Magic Hour. More details about that can be found here.
As far as dining is concerned, your favorites will still be available. At several locations around the resort, mobile ordering on the official Disneyland app will be the primary way to order food and drinks. Dining reservations are recommended for table-service restaurants.
Speaking of the Disneyland app, to make the most of your visit to the Disneyland Resort, Guests are strongly encouraged to use the Disneyland app to plan ahead. They should use the app to check park hours, make dining reservations, view maps and other important resort updates. Mobile wait list (subject to availability) and mobile check-in options will be available for table-service dining at select locations. Disneyland Resort also recommends cashless transactions such as electronic payment to reduce contact.
The Hotels of the Disneyland Resort are also planning to reopen, welcoming Guests once again. The reopenings will be phased reopenings. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa plans to reopen on April 29, 2021, with limited capacity. Disney Vacation Club Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will plan to reopen May 2. Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel will reopen at a later date.
Guests with valid theme park admission who are planning a stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel will need to also book theme park reservations in advance, as a hotel stay does not guarantee a park reservation. Hotel capacity will be limited. Guests may soon book hotel stays for Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, or a nearby Disneyland Resort Good Neighbor Hotel.
For those who purchased tickets to A Touch of Disney, the limited-time ticketed experience, it will go on as planned at Disney California Adventure from March 18 through April 19.
Of course, keep in mind that the plans to open the Disneyland Resort and the theme parks are phased and subject to change, to align with guidance released from time to time by health authorities and appropriate government agencies. This guidance is fluid and applicable at any given time as community situations change. With that guidance, many factors will determine the timing of when offerings may be available, and the status of indoor and outdoor experiences.
Who else is ready to get back to Disneyland?