Disneyland Announces Reopening Plan and Dates
Coronavirus is not going away any time soon. It’s clear that for the months (or years?) before we find a vaccine or effective treatment, we are all going to have to adjust to a world with masks, social distancing, and no handshakes. If Disney waited until the virus was totally gone, its theme parks would be closed for the foreseeable future, and the company might even go out of business.
Instead, Disney is tentatively and carefully reopening its parks with new regulations designed to promote guest safety and limit their exposure to coronavirus. Its Florida parks have already announced they will reopen in the middle of July and now, via Disney Parks Blog, they’ve announced when Disneyland will resume operations as well.
The timeline is as follows: The Downtown Disney shopping district reopens on July 9, followed by Disneyland and California Adventure on July 17. On July 23, Disney’s hotels follow. The park will not look exactly as guests left it when it closed for just the fourth time in Disney’s history:
Because theme park capacity will be significantly limited to comply with governmental requirements and promote physical distancing, the Disneyland Resort will manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system that will require all guests, including Annual Passholders, to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance. Theme park reservations will be subject to availability. More details about this new reservation system will be available soon.
As in Florida, attractions that draw large crowds like parades and fireworks will be canceled for now. So are the costumed character meet-and-greets that are a cornerstone of the Disneyland experience (although the blog post claims the characters “will be in the parks in new ways to entertain and delight guests”).
On the one hand, with fewer guests allowed — and others willingly staying away out of fear of coronavirus — this could be a rare chance to visit Disneyland with very limited wait times. On the other hand, there is that whole thing where there’s still a chance, however small, of horrible disease and potential death. We’ll see how many hardcore Disney fans are ready to take that risk next month.
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