The reopening of Disneyland is being marked by many as the beginning of a return to normalcy but going back to the Happiest Place on Earth is going to look a little different than you might remember.
Under guidance of local and state guidelines for health and safety, the Disneyland Resort has undertaken a number of measures that have modified the park experience but are not entirely different than what you might expect from visiting your local grocery store or restaurant. Still, it’s important to understand what awaits if you’re planning to visit.
MouseInfo visited the parks of the Disneyland Resort reopening weekend for a look at the new policies and procedures.
Tickets and Theme Park Reservations
We have covered in-depth the new ticketing process which requires not just a ticket but also a theme park reservation. You can learn more about that below.
Health Safety Measures on Property
- Face coverings are required at all times on property except when eating or drinking in Designated Dining Areas. Disney does have specific guidelines for what constitutes an appropriate face covering. Be aware that neck gaiters and masks with valves are not allowed.
- Temperature screenings are conducted before you enter the property. Those with temperatures of 100.4 F or above will not be allowed entry; those in their party will not be allowed entry either.
- Physical distancing is enforced in all areas including queues and walkways.
- Reduced contact is encouraged with mobile order for food items is Disney’s preferred method.
Most guests will arrive to the Disneyland Resort via the Mickey and Friends or Pixar Pals Parking Structures (which open 30 mins before the earliest park opening). However, some guests may enter from the eastern Harbor entrance because of ride share travel options or by walking in from Good Neighbor hotels across the street from the Resort.
Guests who enter the property from the eastern Harbor entrance will be directed to one of several queues which are oriented to avoid having to switch back and forth. These queues lead to two separate screening areas where 1) your temperature is taken and 2) your bags are screened and 3) you walk through metal detectors.
Entering the Parks
Once you’ve made it past security and health screenings, you’ll find physical distance markers leading into the theme park main entrance turnstiles.
Plexiglass barriers provide a shield for main entrance Cast Members. The gates for strollers and wheelchairs have been removed to minimize contact.
Using the barcode on your phone in the Disneyland app (or on the printout you brought from home), the main entrance Cast Member at the turnstile will print you a permanent ticket. When you park hop later, they will take your photograph at the second park entrance — you will keep your mask on!
Safety Around the Parks
Health and Safety Reminders are posted all around the park.
Planters and seating areas are clearly marked to outline appropriate sitting areas to ensure physical distance.
To help minimize contact, all trash can lids are propped open.
If you find yourself in need of cleaning your hands, there’s no need to search out the nearest restrooms as hand washing stations have been placed in several spots all around the Resort.
For a quick sanitization boost, there are also hand sanitizer kiosks all around the resort.
Changes to Attractions
While most attractions have returned, they all have new processes to the experience. Some attraction changes are minor like distancing in queues while others others are significant such as alternate entrances or boarding procedures.
Whether for refurbishment or because of capacity issues, some Disneyland attractions are closed. Although the The Jungle Cruise is currently under an extensive refurbishment, its regular queue is currently being used for Indiana Jones Adventure.
Some attractions have different entrances, exits, or queue patterns. For instance, because Mickey and crew are using the Disneyland Railroad entrance for their meet and greet, the attraction is now utilizing its eastern exit as an entrance.
Some attractions have queues in previously unused areas. Pirates of the Caribbean is already known for long queues that take up walkways in New Orleans Square but many more attractions around the park are now utilizing space more creatively.
Other attractions such as Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run have had to make more creative use of their existing queues to allow for physical distancing.
Inside queue portions are all very short due to current guidelines and where necessary temporary safety barriers of plexiglass are used which you can see here for Pirates of the Caribbean and Rise of the Resistance.
In order to meet state requirements, various pre-show elements have been modified or removed completely at attractions such as Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.
Where necessary, some vehicles have temporary plexiglass shields to separate different parties within the same vehicles. Other attractions such as Space Mountain are limiting capacity to one party per rocket.
Normal on-ride photo screens have been turned off to prevent crowding. Instead, alternate screens are located at attraction exits to allow for more physical distancing.
Changes to Dining
In order to allow for physical distancing, many restaurants are changing their operations to offer Mobile Order and expanded dining areas.
Because of capacity restrictions with indoor dining, some locations remain closed including Blue Bayou Restaurant and Oga’s Cantina.
Disneyland has moved to Mobile Order as its preferred method for acquiring food from restaurants. This is done quickly and easily through the Disneyland app. Our recap from 2018 below outlines the Mobile Order process.
From Cars Land to Galaxy’s Edge and beyond, Mobile Order is the best way to grub in the parks. Sometimes, however, if Mobile Order reservations are unavailable, you might want to seek out a cash register and order the traditional way.
Disney is strongly encouraging use of Mobile Order. However, although it may be tricky to find, locations do offer non-mobile solutions but they may take longer due to limited staffing.
Expanded Outdoor Dining
Locations with space to add or expand outdoor dining have been expanded as can be seen here with the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe which is currently expanded out into a former walkway.
Designated Dining Areas
Sipping and snacking while you’re walking or in queues is not allowed right now. You’ll be asked to move to a Designated Dining Area to fuel up.
Many areas around the park have been converted into impromptu Designated Dining Areas.
Many benches have also now been converted into Designated Dining Areas.
Outdoor Vending Snacks
Outdoor vending operations have also been restructured to ensure physical distancing. Notice the churro above now wrapped completely in a safety sheath. Additionally, many ODV locations are currently closed. You’ll want to use the Disneyland app to find your nearest churro, pretzel, or popcorn options.
Because of capacity restrictions, some shops such as Le Bat en Rouge are currently closed.
Limited Shopping Capacity
All stores are now limiting access to ensure capacity restrictions are being followed. Because of this, many locations now feature a single designated entrance and exit so that Cast Members with tablets can keep accurate count of who’s inside. The entire marketplace in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has been turned into a single shopping zone.
Characters are still ALL OVER the parks… but they’re physically distanced. While you can’t give them a hug they’re still there and you can interact with all of them!
Characters At Disneyland
Here’s just some of the characters we saw on our Saturday visit!
Characters At Disney California Adventure
Here’s just some of the characters we saw on our Saturday visit!
See it for Yourself
Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park are now officially open!
There’s a lot of new protocols in place for the Disneyland reopening but we have you covered with a helpful assortment of links with tips, tricks and must-know details if you are planning to make your own visit to the Happiest Place on Earth!
Are you visiting Disneyland during its grand opening period? Let us know in the comments about your experience!