After over a year without the faith, trust and pixie dust of Southern California’s Disneyland Resort, the theme park is finally reopening to the public later this month. This week, tickets and reservations officially became available to California residents but claiming their spots has been a long waiting game. Disney has responded to the situation as the delay to buy tickets goes from the slow slog to reach Space Mountain to as fast as grabbing a seat on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride.
Disneyland opened its website to ticket sales on Thursday morning to a flood of traffic that had people staring at a page saying “the wait is almost over” and then proceeding to wait hours upon hours to book their reservations to return to the California theme park. A Disney spokesperson provided a response to Deadline acknowledging the situation:
We are experiencing high demand, given the historic nature of the Disneyland Resort’s reopening. To deliver a strong guest experience, we are deliberately pulsing guests through the system and, therefore, wait times may be several hours or more depending on when you joined the queue. We still have plenty of reservation availability and we plan to keep the system open through the night to accommodate the demand.
Following the Thursday rush, reopening day on April 30 is reportedly “sold out,” but there are plenty of tickets and reservations to be claimed for the next three months at the parks now that it's the weekend. According to the spokesperson, the frustration on the website was done “deliberately” to file customers in and out through its system in an organized manner.
Real talk though: was anyone really expecting to stroll on over to the website without wait times considering Disneyland’s historic closures during the COVID-19 pandemic? Not to mention the fact that the theme park will need to operate between 15-25% capacity for now to accommodate state health guidelines. It was an unprecedented day to buy tickets for Disneyland, and the waiting was inevitable.
Tons of Disney fans ended their extended wait times with tickets in hand and a reservation for the Anaheim theme park for the first time since the park was forced to close in March 2020. It’s been a long road for Disneyland to get to this point, following a lot of friction between the Walt Disney Parks and California’s administration. The Golden State is now in a more stable place with 52% of California adults partially vaccinated and COVID cases on the downturn.
When Disneyland opens in a couple weeks, it will follow COVID-19 health guidelines, including face mask policies, and it will include extended closures of fan-favorite rides. The California park is also getting ready for the grand opening of its Avengers Campus on June 4. Disneyland tickets and reservations are still available for California residents. It’s certainly an exciting time to be a Disney fan, and it’s clear a lot of fans missed the park’s magic throughout a long and difficult year.