Following in the footsteps of Walt Disney World, Disneyland is in the process of trying to reopen, but it’s proven to be difficult for the Anaheim-based resort. On June 10, Disney announced three sets of proposed reopening dates for the happiest place on earth.
However, on June 24, Disney announced that Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure’s original proposed reopening date of July 17 had been delayed. (This date was never officially approved by local and state officials.)
In June, Disney said, “The State of California has now indicated that it will not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4,” meaning the reopening had to be delayed.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel also didn’t reopen as scheduled on July 23.
The latest development is as of Oct. 20 when California theme park reopening guidelines were released.
As determined by the state of California, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure cannot reopen until Orange County (the county Anaheim is in) falls into the yellow tier and only at 25% capacity.
There isn’t a reopening date yet, which is also hard to determine, because Orange County is not in the yellow tier.
Here’s a breakdown of the reopening guidelines that you need to know about right now:
- Appropriate face coverings will be required, except when eating or drinking
- Park reservations will also be required, in addition to valid theme park admission
- Dining locations will also be limited to 25% capacity
- All ride queues must be outdoors
- If a county falls back a tier and has more cases, there is a chance the state could request they close again
Disneyland Resort president Ken Potrock released a statement on Oct. 20 following the release of the theme park guidelines and said in part, “… these State guidelines will keep us shuttered for the foreseeable future, forcing thousands more people out of work, leading to the inevitable closure of small family-owed businesses, and irreparably devastating the Anaheim/Southern California community.”
All that said, Downtown Disney is still open. Keep reading to learn more details, including about the health and safety protocols Downtown Disney is putting in place.
Here are the reopening dates as of Nov. 9, 2020:
- Opened July 9: Downtown Disney District
- May 2, 2021: The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa are set to reopen
- TBD: Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure
- TBD: Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, Disneyland Hotel
Like Disney World, this is a phased reopening with limits on capacity, entertainment, experiences, dining, and more. There will also of course be certain health and safety measures both guests and Cast Members will have to follow.
Even though our experiences at the parks will be different for some time, there’s no do doubt Disney will go above and beyond to make guests’ feel as magical as possible.
With that, here’s everything you need to know about Disneyland’s reopening.
Reopening Protocols & Updates as of Feb. 24, 2021
The following is what’s currently known about Disneyland’s reopening. We will update with more information as soon as it is announced.
Here’s the latest regarding unused tickets and expiration dates:
- Unused non-promotional single day Disneyland theme park tickets that expire on Dec. 30, 2020 or March 31, 2021 will have the expiration date extended to Dec. 16, 2021.
- Wholly unused, non-promotional multi-day tickets that expire on Jan. 12, 2021 or April 13, 2021 will have the expiration date extended to Dec. 16, 2021, and the ticket will expire 13 days after first use or on Dec. 16, 2021, whichever occurs first.
- Guests with multi-day tickets who used their first visit between Feb. 28, 2020 and March 13, 2020 but did not reach their ticket’s maximum number of uses, will have the 13-day expiration period of their ticket extended to Dec. 16, 2021.
Also keep in mind that expiration dates on eligible ticket(s) will be updated prior to the theme parks’ reopening.
Health & Safety Protocols
There are several enhanced health and safety measures being put in place to help promote the following:
- Physical distancing
- Reduced contact
Here’s what you can expect:
- Enhanced Protective Measures including mandatory masks or face coverings for all Cast Members and guests, hand washing stations, as well as physical barriers (where appropriate).
- Physical Distancing which will be achieved via several different methods including reduced park capacity, signage, and ride queue re-configurations.
- Temperature Checks prior to entering Downtown Disney or the theme parks for both guests and Cast Members.
- Limited-Contact Enhancements via cashless and contactless payment options, the expansion of Mobile Order, and likely an increase in the use of technology for other things like menus.
- Enhanced Cleaning and Sanitation for the entire park, including ride vehicles.
Disneyland Annual Passes
On Jan. 14, Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock announced that the current Disneyland Annual Passholder program is being discontinued.
At the time, they also announced that they were “currently developing new membership offerings.” On Jan. 27, Disneyland announced a new “Legacy Passholder” program for Passholders who held active Passports as of March 14, 2020.
As for AP refunds and if you’re eligible, you can read about that over on the official Disneyland website.
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is currently set to reopen beginning May 2, 2021.
Per the official Disney Vacation Club Resort website, “While the Disney Vacation Club Villas will open for Members and their guests, the rest of the resort, as well as The Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, remain closed for normal operations.”
Stay tuned for more details.
Buena Vista Street Reopening
IMPORTANT: On Tuesday, Feb. 24, Disney announced that Buena Vista Street will remain open as an extension of the Downtown Disney District through March 14, and will be closed beginning March 15.
Beginning March 18, Buena Vista Street will become part of A Touch of Disney. More on this event below.
On Nov. 19, Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure reopened as an extension of Downtown Disney.
To be clear, only Buena Vista Street is reopen to allow guests to shop and eat (there’s expanded outdoor dining). The rest of the park will remain closed. Of course, capacity will be limited for health and safety reasons.
What’s Open (* denotes which locations are temporarily unavailable):
- Award Wieners (Mobile Order)
- Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe*
- Carthay Circle Lounge — Alfresco Dining (Make advanced dining reservations online or via the Disneyland app)
- Smokejumpers Grill (Mobile Order)
- Elias & Co.
- Julius Katz & Sons
- Kingswell Camera Shop
- Off the Page
- Trolley Treats
You do not need valid theme park admission or a park reservation for entry.
Keep in mind that, at times, a mobile wait list system will be utilized when Buena Vista Street and/or its queue are at capacity. The same can be said for Carthay Circle Lounge — Alfresco Dining.
As for parking, there is a $10 fee per car for parking in the Simba Lot.
Like Disney World, Disneyland will also use a park reservation system. This means all guests, including Annual Passholders, will need a reservation in order to access the theme parks.
Ticket and Annual Passport sales are currently paused temporarily, along with Annual Passport renewals.
As for entertainment, parades, nighttime spectaculars, and character meet and greets will be suspended for an unknown amount of time upon reopening. Don’t worry, though, characters will still make appearances in new ways to entertain guest.
More information about the park reservation system will be announced at some point.
A Touch Of Disney Ticketed Event
A Touch of Disney is a new, limited-capacity ticketed experience that begins March 18, 2021 at Disney California Adventure.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Food & Dining
Guests will be able to enjoy select food and beverage favorites from both parks, including churros, Dole Whip, and the Monte Cristo Sandwich usually found in New Orleans Square.
Some of the items will be served snack-sized and will be available at many locations, like Smokejumpers Grill, Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats, Award Wieners, Cocina Cucamonga, and more. Plus, there will even be six seasonal and creatively themed marketplaces.
Reservations for Lamplight Lounge and Carthay Circle Lounge – Alfresco Dining will be made available beginning March 11.
You can shop at the stores on Buena Vista Street and even at Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff at Pixar Pier. Speaking of the latter, themed-candy apples will be available for purchase, along with other treats.
Photos & Characters
In addition to new photo-worthy opportunities (some are only available if you attend A Touch of Disney), you might get to see characters like Mickey and friends, Mater and Lightning McQueen in Cars Land, or Joy and Sadness at Pixar Pier.
Better yet, there will even be a brand new, specially curated soundtrack of reimagined Disney songs playing throughout the park.
Attractions remain closed for now.
Other Important Details
- Dates: Beginning March 18; will be offered Thursdays through Mondays from noon to 8 p.m.
- Price: $75, which includes: admission, parking at Mickey & Friends (opens at 11:30 a.m.), unlimited downloads of Disney PhotoPass photos, and a $25 A Touch of Disney dining card for the purchase of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Tickets: You can get tickets on Disneyland.com starting March 4, for select days from March 18 through April 5, 2021. Tickets will then be released for dates on a rolling basis until the experience ends. Tickets must be purchased in advance; they are not available for purchase at the main entrance.
On Monday, Dec. 7, dining locations that didn’t offer take-out had to close due to the stay-at-home order initially announced by California on Dec. 3. On Tuesday, Jan. 26, the California stay-at-home order was lifted for all areas statewide. We’ve listed which dining locations are reopening and when.
Now that Downtown Disney is open, guests can expect to visit shopping and dining experiences. Yes, this also includes World of Disney.
There are many operational changes, along with new health and safety measures put in place. There are many similarities to Disney Springs. Below is everything you can expect upon visiting.
Downtown Disney will operate from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Individual location hours may vary.
Parking & Entrances
Guests will be directed to self-park in the Simba Parking Lot (at Disneyland Drive and Katella Ave) and then make their way to the Downtown Disney District entrance adjacent to the Disneyland Hotel, near Earl of Sandwich.
Note: All other Guest parking locations will be closed.
Rideshare drop-offs will occur either at the Harbor Boulevard guest drop-off and pick-up location or at the Downtown Disney District guest drop-off and pick-up location on Downtown Drive.
Health & Safety Measures
These are the following health and safety measures guests can expect upon reopening:
TEMPERATURE & SECURITY SCREENINGS
All guests must have their temperature taken before entering the district. Temperatures will be taken in front of the Downtown Disney security screening location.
Anyone with a 100.4 F or above temperature will be directed to an additional location for rescreening. Guests with a temperature of 100.4 F or above, along with everyone in their party, will be denied entry.
ENHANCED CLEANING PROCEDURES
High-traffic areas, like handrails, benches, tables, handles, and restrooms will be cleaned more frequently. Guests can also expect hand-washing and hand sanitizer locations.
Guests have to bring and wear face coverings when visiting Downtown Disney.
All face coverings must:
- Fully cover the nose and mouth and allow the guest to remain hands-free
- Fit snugly, but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops
- Be made of breathable material, either disposable or reusable
Important: neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas, and face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind are not allowed.
Face coverings are still required, even with a vaccination. Also, face coverings may have an integrated transparent plastic panel to aid in viewing the wearer’s mouth.
These face coverings must also:
- Be a fabric face covering featuring a solid plastic panel containing no openings that is attached to the fabric on all sides using tight knit stitching
- Meet all face covering requirements listed above
OPERATIONAL CHANGES FOR PHYSICAL DISTANCING
There will be a limited number of guests and Cast Members at all times for each location. To ensure limited contact and physical distancing, expect:
- Signage: There will be directional signage and ground markings to help with physical distancing throughout the district and when queuing is required.
- Physical Barriers: There will be physical barriers to help with physical distancing, including areas around cash registers.
- Cashless Transactions: Guests are encouraged to use cashless payment options, including debit cards, credit cards, Disney gift cards, and so on. Guests can also use contactless payment options, like mobile wallets or purchase a Disney Gift Card to use.
All dining locations will follow health and safety protocols, promote physical distancing, and require face coverings. There are also several changes dining locations will implement, including:
- Increased outdoor patio-style seating available at select locations
- Parties seated at tables 6 feet apart
- Digital or single-use menus available at many locations
Important: Guests may remove their face covering while actively eating or drinking outside while stationary and maintaining appropriate physical distancing.
- Guests will be able to make advance dining reservations for some table-service restaurants by booking online or on the official Disneyland app
- Some dining locations may use their own reservation system or virtual waitlist
- You should check with each individual location for the reservation process
- All members of your party must be present upon arrival in order to be seated and the hosts must bring your entire party to the table at one time
WHAT’S OPEN (* DENOTES WHICH LOCATIONS ARE TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE):
- Ballast Point Brewing Company (beer garden is open)
- Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes
- Blue Ribbon Corn Dogs
- California Churro
- Catal Restaurant*
- Crazy Shake Window by Black Tap
- Earl of Sandwich
- Kayla’s Cakes
- La Brea Bakery Café
- La Brea Bakery Express*
- Marceline’s Confectionery
- Naples Ristorante e Bar
- Napolini Pizzeria*
- Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express
- Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen
- Salt & Straw
- Splitsville Luxury Lanes*
- Sprinkles Cupcakes
- Starbucks West*
- Taqueria at Tortilla Jo’s*
- Tortilla Jo’s
- Uva Bar & Cafe
- Wetzel’s Pretzels
- California Sole
- Curl Surf
- Disney Home
- Disney’s Pin Traders
- Disneyland Resort Backlot Premiere Shop
- The LEGO Store
- PANDORA Jewelry
- Rinse Bath & Body Co.
- Sugarboo & Co.
- Star Wars Trading Post (opens in its new location on Feb. 19)
- Sunglass Icon
- The Disney Dress Shop
- WonderGround Gallery (reopens in its original location on Feb. 19)
- World of Disney
- Pressed Coin Machines
When it comes to merchandise locations, guests should note the following regarding:
- Mobile Wait List: A mobile wait list may be used at times to manage the number of guests shopping if capacity is reached.
- New Product Launches: New merchandise will still be available at Downtown Disney, but monthly program releases and limited-edition merchandise at Disney-owned and -operated retail locations won’t be available to purchase in-person until further notice. Visit the Merchandise Events page for more details on future buying opportunities.
- Dressing Rooms: Dressing rooms will not be available right now.
- Returns: Eligible returns and exchanges will be accepted at the World of Disney store and other Disney-owned and -operated locations upon the reopening of merchandise locations.
The 2020 Candlelight Processional is canceled, Disney officials confirmed to the Orange County Register on Sept. 10.
Stay tuned for more details.
Stay tuned for more details.
Although we have received more questions than we currently have answers for, we will continue to update this section as we learn more information.
Have a question we haven’t answered? Drop us an email.