The time has come! Disney has finally released plans for a safe and phased reopening of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Three months ago, Disneyland closed its gates amidst the global pandemic, COVID-19. Disney fans of all ages have been eagerly awaiting the reopening of this special place since it shut its gates indefinitely on the morning of Saturday March 14th. Initially, both Disneyland and California Adventure were scheduled to be closed through the end of March. As time went on and the pandemic worsened, Disney made the tough decision to extend the closure due to guest and cast member safety. Disneyland has only been closed for a total of 4 days since its opening in 1955 (Kennedy assassination, an earthquake in ’94, 9/11 attacks, and now the COVID-19 pandemic). Today, Disney has announced they are planning on reopening the Disneyland Resort starting July 9th pending government approval.
Disneyland Resort PR Director Michael Ramirez, has released a statement on the official Disney Parks blog stating the resort is slated to open in phases, much like Disney World in Orlando. It should be noted that these dates are tentative as Disney seems to still be waiting on state and local government approvals. As it stands, two of the three hotels on Disneyland property (Grand Californian and Paradise Pier Hotel) are slated to reopen on July 23rd. Disneyland and California Adventure will open on July 17th, and the Downtown Disney District is to begin reopening on July 9th. There is still no word on when the famous Disneyland Hotel will open.
Along with the reopening of both theme parks, new regulations will be set in place, as most of us would imagine. For starters, when the parks reopen they will reopen at significantly less capacity to comply with governmental health guidelines to promote physical distancing. Disney will also require all guests to make reservations ahead of time through the website or mobile app to gain access into the park. It also sounds like new ticket sales will be temporarily halted as well as annual pass holder renewals and purchases. Disney’s PR also states that a “guest experience team” will be present throughout both theme parks and Downtown Disney for guests needing assistance adjusting to the new rules and regulations or to answer questions. Experiences such as parades and nighttime shows will not be shown at first because of the potential crowds it will attract as well as certain character meet and greets. Disney has said characters will be present with new ways to entertain and delight guests, from afar I assume. Disney has yet to announce whether or not masks for guests will be required at the California park. It was announced earlier this month that guests and cast members will be required to wear masks at Disney World in Florida upon their reopening.
While the Disneyland experience is sure to be different upon their grand reopening, one thing is certain. Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth. Whether masks are required, or physical distance will need to be maintained throughout the resort, a magical time is still guaranteed to be had by all visitors. It’s no coincidence Disneyland is reopening on July 17th, exactly 65 years later from its grand opening where the astounding Walt Disney first gave his welcoming speech. “To all who come to this happy place, welcome”. It is indeed a happy place, one in which I and millions of Disney fans the world over cannot possibly wait to return to!
What do you think Disney fans?! Do you want to be there on Disneyland’s grand reopening day? Will you be quick to visit the happiest place on Earth or will you be waiting until COVID-19 is a thing of the past? Let me know in the comments below!