Reopening the Happiest Place on Earth

What to expect at Disneyland

Calling all fellow Disney fans! After a long year without it, our happy place is set to open this April 30. Unfortunately, the return won’t be quite the same as before. There are several things to keep in mind, but not to worry; let this article be your guide. 

Expect tickets to sell out fast for the first few months. If you’re wanting to get one, you’ll have to purchase it online in advance. Tickets are currently not being sold. Disney will announce a day that tickets will go on sale, so keep checking their website for updates. Prices will also most likely be higher than usual. On the most in-demand days before the pandemic, a Disneyland ticket reached $154 each. April 30 is set to be the most in-demand ticket day in the park’s history.

It was definitely a disappointment when Annual Passports were retired, but there is some good news. Previous passholders will become part of a new Legacy Passholder program. If you qualify, you should have received an email or a notification by letter. Legacy Passholders receive special discounts, and Disney is  working to expand this program.

Disneyland will only be open to California residents, and it will have a 15% attendance cap at its initial reopening. Orange County could move to the orange tier next week though. If so, it’s likely the cap will increase to 25% soon enough. Disneyland’s hotels are also set to open, but at a limited capacity. The Grand Californian Hotel will reopen on April 29, while the Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier will remain closed. They will open soon enough, but no date has been set.

All visitors age two and up will be required to wear approved face masks. The masks must fully cover the nose and mouth and be secured under the chin. They must fit snugly against the sides of the face and be secured with ties or ear loops, allowing guests to remain hands-free. Neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas and face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind will not be allowed.

Even with masks, families are required to remain six feet apart from others. Masks may be removed when eating or drinking, but must be kept on at all other times, including while on rides.

Disney has also increased its cleanliness procedures, continually sanitizing high touch areas like seats and ride bars. Guests can expect to be temperature screened upon entry. If their temperature is at or above 100.4 F, they and their party will not be allowed to enter.

Experiences that draw larger groups like parades and firework shows will be temporarily halted. It is not yet known when they are expected to return. You won’t be able to have a meet and greet with your favorite Disney character, but they will still be roaming the park. Fortunately, you will at least get to see them, and who knows? Maybe they’ll perform some funny antics.

While this reopening isn’t everything we hoped for, it’s at least a start. Hopefully, as time goes on, Disneyland will be able to relax its requirements. Until then, be safe, be mindful, and remember, as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother says: “Even miracles take a little time.”

Author: Emily Bogdanov | Staff Writer

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