Disneyland Resort has been closed since March and while the park has made it clear it's ready and willing to reopen, the state of California's recent guidelines regarding theme parks have made it unlikely that the parks will be able to open to crowds anytime soon. However, Disneyland has found a way to open up at least some of one of its two theme parks. As Disney has just announced that beginning in November, some shopping and dining locations at Disney California Adventure will be open for guests to visit.
The exact reopening date was not announced but in November the shopping and dining locations on Buena Vista Street, as well as Smokejumpers Grill, located in the Grizzley Peak section of Disney California Adventure will be open for guests. This comes after DCA's Stage 17 was transformed into the Disneyland Resort Backlot Premiere Shop, an additional merchandise location focusing, for the moment, on Halloween themed goods..
In addition to Smokejumpers, guests will be able to grab food and drinks at the Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe, the park's Starbucks location, as well as Trolly Treats, and the Carthay Circle Lounge will have expanded outdoor seating. For those looking to do more shopping, the DCA main gift shop, Elias & Co. will be open, as well as Julia Katz & Sons and the Kingswwell Camera Shop.
Disney is calling this opening an extension of the currently open Downtown Disney, and essentially it is that. The main gate of Disney California Adventure will remain closed for the foreseeable future. There is another gate between DCA and Downtown Disney. It's not used much these days, but was actually the main exit for the park several years ago when Buena Vista Street was still under construction. By opening that path, guests will be able to walk right into DCA from Downtown Disney, past the SmokejumpersGrill, and onto Buena Vista Street.
While the attractions will, of course, remain closed, this decision is certainly going to be a big one for a lot of fans as well as cast members. While walking past Soarin' Around the World and not being able to go in is going to be frustrating, for those who simply want to be in the parks, that option will now exist. It opens up additional ways for Disney to make some money with the parks closed, and it will put many cast members back to work.
But, of course, with part of one of the theme parks opening up like this, one has to ask the question, will we see more? Technically, as long as the attractions remain shut down and only the shopping and dining locations are open, couldn't the entire footprint of both theme parks be available for guests? With attractions closed, there would be even more room to set up outdoor dining for all locations. And in Orange County, some limited indoor dining is also allowed. And people would show up if only to be able to walk the park.
For the record, no you can't make a reservation at the Carthay Circle Lounge yet, I checked. According to Disney, this extension is expected to open later in November, but an exact date will come soon.