The original Magic Kingdom, Disneyland U.S.A. and it’s sister park Disney California Adventure, have announced a return from an extended closure due to the global health emergency. The parks have announced April 30, 2021 as the big day.
The initial reopening will be phased according to the state of California’s safe reopen plans. That means initially attendance will be capped and only California Residents will be allowed to buy tickets.
Many cast members have already reported receiving the call to return from furlough. Disney has announced that 10,000 cast members are expected to be back at work when both parks and all the hotels have reopened.
“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.”
Notably, guests visiting Disneyland on April 30 will be among the first to ride the reimagined Snow White’s Enchanted Wish. The ride has an updated storyline that puts more of the focus on Snow White along with new audio-animatronics.
Thanks to the rapid decrease in infection rate and the even more rapid increase in vaccination levels, we still don’t know if capacity will be set at 15% or 25%, but the parks will be significantly limited in attendance either way.
Additionally, new measures will be in place to promote physical distancing, mask wearing, and proper hygiene. Not all attractions, shopping, or dining locations will be open during this initial phase of the reopening plan.
As for admission to the parks? Disneyland will implement a new theme park reservation system that will require all guests to have a reservation for park entry.
To enter the parks both a valid reservation and admission ticket for the same park and the same date will be required. For now, there will be no park hopping option.
Securing a park reservation will likely be difficult. With the hotels reopening (see below) that might be a good way to get a guaranteed park reservation.
Prior to the public opening, cast members and a few members of the local community will be invited to experience the park to help test the new procedures and preview the changes for the public.
Disney will release more details about this new reservation system in the coming days.
If you have tickets for the sold-out A Touch of Disney event at Disney California Adventure, you can keep them, but no more event dates will be offered.
Disneyland Hotels Reopening Too
The Disneyland Resort offers guests the unique opportunity to stay practically inside the theme parks at its three hotels. The hotels will reopen in phases.
First up is Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, will soon accept reservations for dates beginning April 29 with limited capacity. The website is currently still now allowing reservations.
Dates for the Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier Hotel have not been announced, but we expect to learn nore soon
The Grand Californian Villas, part of the Disney Vacation Club, had previously announced reopening on May 2 and it will keep that date.
It’s not clear how Disneyland will determine who gets to have a park reservation. Having a hotel reservation will probably help though.
With no Annual Passholder program, Disneyland only has to offer reservation for hotel guests, good neighbor hotels, and day guests.
Walt Disney World is a little different of a situation as they still have a base of annual passholders (although new purchases have been frozen). Right now, in Orlando, it’s possible to book a room and not get a theme park reservation, but still be able to get an Annual Passholder reservation.
We expect to know more about how this will work at Disneyland as further details are released in the coming days.