Disneyland reopening: Here’s what to know about theme park changes as ticket sales are set to start

State News

Visitors attend Disneyland Park on February 25, 2020. (David McNew/Getty Images)

With tickets sales resuming next week, Disney has released details about what fans can expect when they visit Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park following the yearlong pandemic-related closure.

The good news is that guests can expect most rides and eateries to be open at both Anaheim theme parks for the April 30 repoening. But beyond that, there are some major changes, according to the latest guidelines released by the Disneyland Resort.

What’s different: No fireworks, parades or fastpasses

For starters, Disney is pausing parades and nighttime spectaculars, as well as character experiences, to make it easier for guests to practice physical distancing. It’s unclear when favorites like the nightly fireworks show, “Fantasmic!” and “World of Color” will return.

Fastpass, MaxPass and single rider options — all alternatives to bypassing the normally long lines at some of the most popular attractions — have each been temporarily suspended. For guests staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel, Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour offerings are on pause.

And earlier this year, Disney ended the current annual passport program and issued refunds. At the time of the announcement, the company indicated a “new membership offering” was being developed, but no further details have been released since, including when such a program would start.

Visitors can also expect to see much smaller crowds than before the pandemic due to capacity limits mandated by the state. Orange County is currently in the orange tier of California’s color-coded, four-tiered system, meaning the Disneyland Resort theme parks are limited to 25% capacity. Should the county move to the next tier — the yellow tier, which is the least restrictive stage — the parks would be able to expand that number to 35%.

The state also set forth maximum capacity levels for inside dining and other indoor areas.

Disney’s new reservation system

To comply with attendance limits, a new system will be in place that requires guests ages 3 and older to obtain a reservation in advance to enter either theme park, in addition to having a ticket.

The reservation system opens at 8 a.m. on April 12 for those with valid theme park tickets (Disneyland also extended the expiration dates of many tickets due to the closure) and to everyone else at 8 a.m. on April 15 (the same day the resort is releasing new information on buying tickets).

For those with park hopper tickets, a reservation for either Disneyland or California Adventure is needed, though they won’t be able to visit the second until at least 1 p.m.

“Guests with Park Hopper tickets must make a park reservation for the first park they plan to visit AND enter that first park prior to visiting the other park,” Disney explained. “At this time, a park reservation is not required after the first park.”

To make a reservation, visitors will need to log in to their Disney account (or create one, which can be done here). These can be made up to 60 days in advance.

Attendance restrictions, health measures in place

Disney officials note that, at least for now, only California residents will be able to purchase tickets, and proof of residency may be required in order to buy them. Also, groups will be limited to no more than three separate households.

The residency and household requirements were both set forth by the state’s “Blueprint for Safer Economy” plan that’s been guiding sector reopenings during the coronavirus pandemic. New guidelines went into effect for amusement parks back on April 1.

On Tuesday, Gov. Newsom announced the plan will be scrapped, however, once California’s economy fully reopens — something that could happen as early as June 15, provided the state has enough COVID-19 vaccination supply for every adult who wants one and that virus hospitalizations rate remain low and stable.

The Disneyland Resort, which includes both theme parks and the Downtown Disney District, has also implemented a series of coronavirus health and safety measures.

Among them: temperatures screenings prior to entering some locations at the resort; mandating face masks for guests ages 2 and older except when eating and drinking in designated areas; operational changes to make it easier for guests to physically distance from others outside their group; modifying some experiences to help reduce contact; and enhanced cleaning procedures throughout the resort.

Full details about the Disneyland reopening and protocols can be found here.

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