Answering Your Questions about Disneyland Resort
Over the past few months, MickeyBlog has answered many of the most popular questions about Disney theme parks and resorts.
I’d avoided one, hoping to save it until the place reopened…but here we are.
Today, I’ll answer your questions about Disneyland, and you’re not going to like some of the responses.
When Did Disneyland Open?
The Happiest Place on Earth opened its gates for the first time on July 17th, 1955. It…didn’t go well.
Park officials got overrun by overzealous fans who wanted to see what the fuss was about.
At home, 90 million television viewers watched in confusion as one of the broadcast’s cohosts got busted kissing someone who wasn’t his wife.
Meanwhile, the paint wasn’t dry, the pavement hadn’t set, and the drinking fountains didn’t work. It’s a miracle Disney survived the year, really.
Thankfully, the excellence of the attractions allowed guests to overlook that insane first day.
Who Created Disneyland?
I cannot believe that people ask this one. It seems like the ultimate in common knowledge.
Obviously, Walt Disney opened the world’s first mainstream theme park.
Already a famous and decorated filmmaker, Uncle Walt chose not to rest on his laurels.
Instead, he risked everything to construct a family-friendly haven.
Disney had experienced frustration when he took his daughters to local playgrounds, which he found unkempt and unsafe.
So, the entrepreneur sold his dream home and spent the money on 160 acres of orange groves in Anaheim.
This land would eventually become Disneyland, making the name easily understandable.
By the way, here’s something that will blow your mind. Construction on Disneyland took only one year and one day.
Yes, it started on July 16th, 1954, and finished in time for the July 17th opening in 1955.
Times sure have changed.
Why Did Disneyland Close?
In early 2020, reports from other countries warned of an unprecedented new disease, nCoV2019, later known as Coronavirus.
By the end of February, American health officials warned that the viral nature of this disease could wreak havoc.
These experts worried that a lack of ventilators and ICU beds could lead to many lost lives.
In early March, several events created a cumulative effect, causing theme park officials to worry about guests’ safety.
On March 14th, Disneyland closed its gates for the last time.
Back then, the move seemed temporary, as optimism remained high about controlling the outbreak.
Alas, the United States has suffered the most during the pandemic, with some states bearing the brunt.
Disneyland closed of its own volition. Alas, reopening has proven more challenging.
California has since confirmed more than 1.25 million cases. Its governor worries that reopening Disneyland would exacerbate the problem.
So, a park that had never closed for consecutive days before 2020 has remained shut down for nine months and counting.
When Will Disneyland Reopen?
Sorry, my Magic 8-Ball is on the fritz and never worked that well anyway.
I’m not trying to be flip or dismissive here. It’s more that this is such a loaded question.
Nobody knows for sure, and even Disney officials sound bemused by the entire affair.
Here’s what we do know. Walt Disney World reopened on July 11th, and it has operated safely ever since.
Florida health officials have yet to track a COVID-19 outbreak to Walt Disney World…or any other theme park, for that matter.
However, those same medical experts continue to rank theme parks as problematic sources for potential infection, which seems unfair based on available data.
California’s governor published guidelines for theme park reopenings, which caused Disney officials to bristle.
Under these health requirements, Disneyland would be hard-pressed to open over the next three months.
Oddly, the situation isn’t as bleak as you may expect, though.
Two different American pharmaceutical companies have developed COVID-19 vaccines that they believe are ready for mass production/distribution.
In fact, more than 160,000 healthcare workers could have the vaccine by the end of 2020.
A government official recently indicated that “100% of Americans that want the vaccine will have had the vaccine by June.”
“100% of Americans that want the vaccine will have had the vaccine” by June.
— Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski (Ret.), Operation Warp Speed Supply, Production & Distribution Director pic.twitter.com/3UFGYJNBWI
— The Recount (@therecount) November 30, 2020
So, June’s the absolute latest potential reopening date, but it’ll probably happen no later than March.
Can Disneyland Sue California?
I mean, yes. America’s a litigious country where you can sue pretty much anybody for even the most ridiculous of reasons.
The underlying question here falls more into the category of, “Can Disneyland successfully sue to reopen?”
That’s a more nuanced question to answer. A similar situation played out within the movie industry.
Theater owners struggled mightily during the early days of Coronavirus. They petitioned to reopen and received the okay from many states.
However, the governor of New York feared for public safety and wouldn’t allow it.
Media companies joined movie theaters in applying political pressure along with the threat of lawsuits.
The move wasn’t entirely successful, as New York City theaters remained closed. The rest of the state’s theaters were allowed to reopen, though.
A court battle would take too long to help Disney in the short term. Unless Disneyland received an immediate injunction to reopen, it’s a moot point.
Yes, Disney could eventually receive compensation from the government if it sued and won.
By the time that happened, the parks would have reopened long ago, though. As such, the value of such legal maneuvers seems questionable.
Is Any Part of Disneyland Open?
Yes. Downtown Disney reopened on July 9th. At the time, Disneyland had scheduled to return on July 17th.
Unfortunately, an outbreak in the greater Los Angeles area prevented that from occurring. Disney never closed Downtown Disney again, though.
So, Downtown Disney has operated without incident for five months now.
Once California took a hardline approach on theme park reopening guidelines, Disney officials took a different approach.
Downtown Disney has proven so popular that its lines grow too unwieldy. Ergo, Disney reopened part of Disney California Adventure.
California’s rules apply to theme parks but not restaurants or merchandise stores.
Buena Vista Street has allowed guests to eat and shop to their heart’s content.
In fact, Downtown Disney has performed so well that it sometimes sells out.
However, a recent outbreak has temporarily caused Disney to shut down its restaurants again.
Even now, the situation at Disneyland Resort remains fluid and changes on a near-weekly basis.
Californians clearly miss the Happiest Place on Earth and want to come back, though.
Does Disneyland Have Any Exclusive Rides?
Of course, the answer depends on what you deem an exclusive. Matterhorn Bobsleds exists at Disneyland and nowhere else.
Indiana Jones Adventure started at Disneyland but has since been largely duplicated at Tokyo DisneySea.
Snow White’s Scary Adventures debuted in 1955 at Disneyland, but you’ll find two international versions.
Similarly, Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin is an American exclusive, but it does have a Tokyo Disneyland clone.
Then, there’s Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, which once came with a twin at Magic Kingdom. For the past 22 years, it’s been a Disneyland exclusive, though.
Depending on your interpretation, others like Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, King Arthur Carrousel, and Storybook Land Canal Boats may qualify, too.
How Many Hotels Are at Disneyland?
Technically, there are dozens within a reasonable distance of the parks. Some of them fall into the category of Good Neighbor Hotels.
Disney has designated this group to identify third-party resorts that consumers can trust as safe and high enough in quality.
However, the places where you really want to stay are official Disney resorts.
The company operates three of them. The least expensive one is Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, a former third-party resort that Disney bought in 1995.
Since then, Disney has upgraded it significantly. If this resort resided in Orlando, I suspect it’d fall into the Moderate Tier of official Disney properties.
The other resort that Disney purchased rather than built is – I kid you not – the Disneyland Hotel.
Walt Disney couldn’t afford to build a hotel at the same time as Disneyland. So, he persuaded an oil tycoon to do it instead.
Disney acquired the Disneyland Hotel in 1988 and has since upgraded it a ridiculous amount. This one would definitely fall into the Deluxe Tier.
The third property, the only one that Imagineers had a hand in constructing, is Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
This property will turn 20 in 2021, making it the newest official Disney resort in Anaheim. Most would agree that it’s also the most luxurious.
You really can’t go wrong with any of the three, though.
Should you want to visit Disneyland, you should contact an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner at MickeyTravels.
One of these agents will hook you up with a dream vacation, but they won’t charge you a dime! Their services are 100 percent free to you!