After being closed for over a year – the longest closure of any Disney theme park in history – Disneyland has finally set a reopening date. The magic will return on April 30th.
We first got word that Disneyland and other California theme parks could begin opening on April 1st a couple weeks ago. In order for this to happen, the county needed to downgrade into the red tier, which happened for Orange County just two days ago. Instead of throwing open the gates on the first possible day, however, Disneyland is pacing themselves and aiming for the end of April, which gives them plenty of time to get things ready for guests.
There will be plenty of rules and regulations in place to keep things safe and allow for physical distancing. Per the official Disneyland website:
Given theme park capacity will be significantly limited to comply with governmental requirements and promote physical distancing, we will manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system that will require 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 will be required for Guests ages 3 and up. Theme park reservations will be limited and subject to availability. Until further notice, only California residents may visit the parks, in line with current state guidelines.
Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure are set to open at 15% capacity, but this percentage will be permitted to increase as numbers drop in Orange County. And with numbers rapidly dropping in California, I expect it to increase at a fairly decent pace. As everyone will be eligible for the vaccine starting May 1st, my personal guess is that Summer will be incredibly active in both parks, though I doubt it’ll reach 100% capacity before the Fall. But who knows, I could be wrong! Perhaps we’ll all be back to normal by the Fourth of July? I’m not that optimistic, but I’d absolutely love to be proven wrong.
While not officially outlined in any official material yet, you may or may not be asked to not scream on the rides once you’re able to return to the parks. A plan backed by the California Attractions and Parks Association (CAPA) would push for this regulation, as screaming would fall in line with the currently existing language in state regulations that businesses need to “limit activities that can spread the virus, such as singing and shouting.” This is similar to Japan’s rule introduced last year that asked people to ‘scream in [their] heart.’ We’ll see if we get this solidified in park opening regulations before April 30th. It’s hard to say where we’ll be next week, let alone next month.
Other parts of the Disneyland Resort will be opening around the same time, also with limited capacity and regulations. The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa reopens on April 29 and Disney Vacation Club Villas reopen on May 2. Downtown Disney is already open.
Are you a California resident who plans to go to the park once it reopens? Let us know in the comments.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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