Disneyland’s Reopening. Everything You Need to Know!
The Earth will get a little happier next month, as Disneyland will finally make its triumphant return.
The world’s first theme park closed to the public on March 14th. Then, a previous attempt at a reopening fell apart.
However, The Walt Disney Company’s CEO, Bob Chapek, has confirmed that Disneyland is ready to make its triumphant comeback.
You have questions, and MickeyBlog has answers. Yes, Disneyland WILL reopen! Here’s what you need to know.
When Will Disneyland Reopen?
The magical date will occur on April 30th. Recently, Chapek had indicated that Disneyland would reopen in “late April.”
Well, April 30th represents the latest date in April possible, although the timing isn’t a surprise.
As we’ll discuss, Disneyland Resort had already planned another ticketed event.
A Touch of Disney will occur at Disney California Adventure, preventing that park from simultaneously operating rides.
Another cause for delay involves the prolonged park absence. Disney must recall cast members and re-train them.
Many will switch positions due to underlying labor issues at Disneyland Resort. After Disney laid off thousands of employees, many found new jobs.
Some returning staff members will take on new roles within the company. And Disney may need to hire new staff as well. That remains to be seen.
Also, Disneyland rides have remained offline for more than a year. By the time the parks reopen, it’ll be nearly 14 months.
Obviously, Disney officials have done some behind-the-scenes maintenance and testing.
However, for the parks to run at peak efficiency, cast members must carefully examine everything.
Similarly, Disneyland Resort hasn’t employed the stringent COVID-19 safety measures at Walt Disney World yet.
Workers must train for this new kind of Disney visit, too.
This preparation phase will be unlike anything Disney has done since 1955. It’s a demanding task, and Chapek’s right to take six weeks to get it right.
Who Can Visit Disneyland?
Unless you’re a California resident, you won’t visit Disneyland for a while longer.
The state’s current theme park reopening guidelines paint a clear picture. California has “strongly discouraged” out-of-state visits.
Yes, that’s a stark contrast to Florida’s tourism practices. As such, Californians shouldn’t travel more than 120 miles from home.
Now, nothing will stop you from doing that, but it’s the rule in place for the time being.
Similarly, the rules about guests visiting California aren’t finite.
California Business and Economic Development Director Dee Dee Myers recently stated the following:
“It is our hope that people will respect the guidelines and it is our expectation that the parks will work to really encourage people from California to come and others not to come until we get into a tier where that’s allowed.”
Why has California taken this approach? Myers contends:
“Just by reducing the geography of where people are coming from, we think there’s just a reduction in the overall risk.”
You may take of that what you will. California won’t ban people at the state border or anything extreme like that.
Still, government officials discourage out-of-state guests from coming to Disneyland, at least for now.
As a method for enforcing the honor system, Disneyland will require Park Passes at first. So, Disney can tell where you’re from when you book them.
Which Hotels Will Operate?
Well, I hope you like Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. I say this because it’s your only option for the time being.
On April 29th, the Grand Californian will reopen to the public. Previously, the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) had announced this return.
However, the DVC Villas had confirmed a reopening date of May 2nd. Obviously, that wouldn’t help with Disneyland’s April 30th comeback.
Without getting into the situation too much, DVC Villas work a bit differently from Disney’s regular inventory anyway.
So, Disney has chosen to open the entire hotel on April 30th…save for the DVC Villas. Those will still return on May 2nd.
Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and Disneyland Hotel won’t reopen yet. Photos indicate that the latter hotel is still undergoing some renovations.
I suspect that the sudden reversal of fortune with California’s pandemic status caught Disney officials at least somewhat off-guard.
The situation switched from nightmarish to manageable, basically overnight.
However, Disneyland Resort theme parks will operate at 15 percent capacity for now.
Disney must follow the reopening guidelines, and that’s a big one.
Orange County recently entered the Substantial Tier after being in Widespread for a while.
Until the county moves up again, joining the Moderate Tier, 15 percent capacity represents the maximum amount of park guests.
California officials don’t want to risk another outbreak here at the end of this mini-apocalypse.
Disney could feasibly increase capacity to 25 percent in the Moderate Tier, but Orange County isn’t there yet.
Chapek has already indicated that Disney accepts 15 percent capacity as a good starting point. He also stated that the park could operate at a profit.
I suspect Disney would have waited until the Moderate Tier if it couldn’t make money at 15 percent.
Is A Touch of Disney Still Running through April?
Absolutely! In fact, those of you following MickeyBlog on Facebook likely already saw our Downtown Disney livestream.
We also recorded from A Touch of Disney, and gave you a chance to see what the fuss is about.
When demand for this ticketed event proved significant, park officials expanded the dates.
So, A Touch of Disney now runs through April 19th. I believe that the reopening date for Disneyland Resort stems from this decision.
Disney needed to wait a few days after the event to reopen the parks. However, Disney California Adventure will get a trial run this way.
At A Touch of Disney, cast members will get back into the swing of things while Disney California Adventure hosts food booths and events.
The park will have everything but the rides, a kind of perfect testing ground for the reopening.
Will Avengers Campus Debut in April?
No, I’m afraid not. The Marvel themed land should have opened last July. It was four months away from its debut when COVID-19 shut down the parks.
Since social distancing measures will remain in place for the rest of 2021, park officials shied away from Avengers Campus.
After all, demand for this themed land could rival Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. That’s not the way to ensure guest safety.
Disney hasn’t confirmed an opening date for Avengers Campus yet. Park officials have indicated that it will occur in 2021, though.
So, we can expect Avengers Campus once America has reached or at least approached herd immunity.
Will Anything New Open?
Yes! Here’s the pleasant surprise from Disney’s announcement. The Parks Blog revealed that Snow White’s Enchanted Wish is ready!
You remember this attraction as Snow White’s Scary Adventures or, if you’re old enough, Snow White and Her Adventures.
Imagineers have updated this opening day attraction from 1955. Judging from the name, you can already tell that it’s happier in tone now.
Disney previously provided a sneak peek of Snow White’s Enchanted Wish:
The comparisons to the gemstone scenes from Seven Dwarfs Mine Train are unmistakable.
You didn’t need a reason to want to return to the Happiest Place on Earth. With Snow White’s Enchanted Wish, Disney gave you one anyway.
To a larger point, with this announcement, both Disney theme parks will be in operation for the first time since March 13th, 2020.
WE’RE BACK, BAY-BEE!!!