We are now over a year past when the first Disney park was closed due to the ongoing pandemic, and we’ve seen re-openings and re-closings all across the map.
When the pandemic first began, I wrote articles about every Disney park closing and re-opening and every little rumor about when one of these things might happen. Now here we are, thirteen months into this cycle of repeated closures and openings and I’ve narrowed down my focus to only the major announcements. Well, a few things have changed since I last updated you, so let’s break it down park by park.
NEW: Hong Kong Disneyland Re-opening
The biggest Disney park news of the day comes from Hong Kong Disneyland, which is scheduled to reopen in just two days on February 19th, 2021. This will be the third reopening of the park as Hong Kong has been quick to react when an outbreak is detected. It was one of the earliest closures back on January 26th, 2020, and remained so until June 18th. It closed again not even a month later on July 15th, reopening for the second time on September 25th. Cases took off once again, however, and it closed on December 2nd, 2020.
The repeated opening and closing is a very different strategy than either of the US parks, which have taken a stance (Disney World is open, Disneyland is closed) and stuck with it regardless of local changes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another closure in the future at the first sign that things are picking up again in Hong Kong, so if you’re wanting to go, do so soon. As always, though, I would hold off on any sort of vacation until the vaccines have done their thing and case numbers are low. That’s my plan with any theme park excursions anyway, though your mileage with that advice may vary.
However, they will be instituting even more restrictions to keep guests and cast members safe. Cast members will be required to get tested every 14 days and all guests must use the LeaveHomeSafe QR code app. They also made a new Incredibles-themed video outlining some of their safety measures. All the previously implemented precautions, such as masks, social distancing, and deep cleanings two days a week, will remain in place. They are not messing around.
Currently Open Disney Parks: Tokyo Disney, Shanghai Disneyland, Walt Disney World
Tokyo Disney, Shanghai Disneyland, and Walt Disney World are all currently open and have been so for a long time.
I do not foresee Walt Disney World closing again any time soon as, once they reopened on July 15th, they stuck to their plan and continued to run events. They became the location of the “NBA Bubble” and hosted games. It seems that no matter how bad things get in Florida, they are determined to keep chugging along. It’s an approach I’m not particularly thrilled with, but I am but a blogger, so it’s not really my decision. I know people who have attended the park, though, so it’s a thing that’s happening for some.
Shanghai Disney was the first to reopen on May 11th, 2020, and has remained so as the region’s confirmed positive case numbers have been incredibly low since April. I don’t doubt that if there was a flare-up, it’d shut down again. But, thankfully, with the vaccines rolling out we may not have to test that theory. Shanghai Disney could very well remain open permanently through the pandemic with how things are going right now.
Tokyo Disney initially closed on February 28th, 2020, and was scheduled to reopen in mid-March, but that got pushed back to July 1st. Once it opened, however, it remained open, even with the surge at the end of the year leading into January. They have, however, kept capacity down, had strict rules for guests and cast members, and recently implemented an early closing time. The extremely limited number of guests allowed in the park also means many restaurants and attractions get periodically shut down.
Currently Closed Disney Parks: Disneyland Resort, Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris originally closed on March 15th, reopened on July 15th, then shut down again on October 29th. It has not reopened since then and, as has been the case since the very beginning of the pandemic, this is the Disney park I hear the least rumors about. Are there plans to reopen No idea. I’m sure if you Google a bit and maybe know a bit of French you’ll find some chatter, but the places I track don’t really talk about it much. I’ll probably know it’s opening maybe a day before it does, if the previous closing and opening announcements are any indicators!
Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, however, has chatter even when nothing is really going on. It closed on March 13th and has not reopened since then. But lots has been happening in that time. Back in November, it opened up parts of California Adventure for shopping and dining, which showed it was making moves to open things up whenever they were given the go-ahead. But then they turned the parking lot into a vaccine site and cancelled annual passes (though apparently, a new type of pass is in the works). There’s no official opening date on the calendar at this time, but stuff is happening. And, on a personal note, this is the park I have the most connections with, knowing dozens of former passholders and cast members, so even the slightest change to things is something I make note of.
Disney Park Conclusion
Two parks are closed, three are open, and another will be open soon. So basically, it’s really all over the map and reliant on local pandemic restrictions, that particular park’s management, and local case numbers. Someday all of our parks will be open again and we experience all the magic and wonder they have to offer while remaining safe, secure, and healthy.
My first post-COVID park experience will probably be to the Florida parks to experience the Star Wars hotel that I’ve been obsessed with for years.
What will yours be?
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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