It's been a year since Disneyland Resort closed its theme parks to the public. And while there was hope at one point that the parks would reopen in July of 2020, on the 65th anniversary of the park's original opening, that decision was eventually scuttled by the state of California deciding to hold off on releasing guidelines for theme park's reopening. However, after months of waiting, the state of California finally released guidelines that would allow theme parks to reopen as early as April 1. Disneyland said it simply wouldn't be able to open that fast, but was shooting for a reopening date later in the month. Now Disney CEO Bob Chapek has revealed that Disneyland plans to reopen on April 30.
Bob Chapek dropped the news this morning on CNBC (via theme park reporter Carlye Wisel.) This is certainly great news for the thousands of people who have been hoping to return to the happiest place on earth in the last year. Walt Disney World has been open since early June of last year, and thus far everything has been working quite well. The parks are only open to a limited number of people and other safety measures like social distancing and face masks have been required. The same rules will be in place for the newly reopened Disneyland until further notice.
The question now is, what will Disneyland look like when it reopens? Orange County was moved into the "red tier" in California's pandemic response, which will allow the theme parks to open at 15% capacity. However, with the reopening date still six weeks out, if the county continues to improve, we could see moves into even lower tiers before the parks actually reopen, meaning even more guests will be allowed inside.
The capacity limits allowed may go a long way in determining just what is available for guests when the park reopens. Rides like Rise of the Resistance, which was only open for a couple months when the park closed down, will be back. It's also been confirmed that the newly redesigned Fantasyland attraction Snow White's Enchanted Wish will have its grand opening when the park reopens. Other major new attractions, like Avengers Campus, are set to open at some point in the future.
One interesting note, the official press release for the reopening promises "new magic is coming to the Haunted Mansion." That attraction was also undergoing some refurbishment when the park closed, so it looks like some new things have been added. However, it will be interesting to see if the ride actually reopens with the park. Walt Disney World's version of the Haunted Mansion has gone without the stretching room in to allow for better social distancing. The Disneyland version can't do that as the room is an actual elevator and is required to get to the rest of the attraction.
Disney has confirmed that both theme parks, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, will both be opening on April 30. DCA was already planning to reopen tomorrow as part of a special ticketed food and beverage event called A Touch of Disney. That event will run through April 19, and then the park will close down again to get ready for the true reopening of the theme park.
If you're planning on trying to buy tickets, and one can already guess that will be hard to do, getting a Disneyland Resort hotel room will be even tougher. The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will be opening to limited capacity on April 29, but Disney's other two hotels, the Disneyland Hotel and the Paradise Pier Hotel will reopen on an as yet unknown later date.