A note from Mommy Frog: Big changes are coming to the Disneyland Resort. Disney announced a new free service through the Disneyland app called Disney Genie. Additionally, the free FastPass service has been retired and the Disney MaxPass service is being replaced with Genie+. Genie+ is a paid offering debuting this fall. More details below under "Changes in Park Planning ..."
The magic has returned — Disneyland Resort is open! Both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park reopened April 30, 2021. We are here to tell you that Disneyland is still "the Happiest Place on Earth." Shortly after reopening, Disneyland welcomed back out-of-state guests. Currently, face coverings are required indoors of all guests, regardless of vaccination status, but remain optional in outdoor areas.
We have so many changes to look forward to as the parks move back to a more normal experience. Keep in mind that entertainment and some experiences will take longer to return. That being said, we have frogciting news to share! Fireworks have returned nightly to Disneyland Park! The Mickey's Mix Magic show returned with the lasers, projections, fireworks and music that has us all dancing in the streets. The Disneyland Band is once again making music in the streets. Character dining has returned! You can catch your favorite Super Heroes in action during performances in Avengers Campus (check the Disneyland app for showtimes). Plus, park hours are extending, opening at 8 a.m. and closing at 11 p.m. at Disneyland and 10 p.m. at Disney California Adventure.
We froggies were first in line for opening day — you know we wouldn't have missed it! The capacity limits meant we hopped on so many rides. We saw characters doing new and exciting things! The cast members welcomed us back all day and were so attentive. Overall, the energy in the park was amazing. We felt safe and happy and had plenty of physical distancing space. We have made several visits since opening day and it just keeps getting better and better! Wait times are still short, and more rides, entertainment and restaurants open almost every day.
Theme park ticket sales (including Park Hopper tickets) move quickly, so purchase well before you want to visit. All of the Disneyland Resort hotels — Disney's Grand Californian Hotel (along with the Disney Vacation Club Villas at the Grand Californian), Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel — are open too! With all of this hoppy news comes some caveats (croak!) — but those caveats are short-lived!
With the capacity limits in mind, Disneyland revamped its annual pass program and has introduced the new Magic Key program. There are four different levels (Dream Key, Believe Key, Enchant Key and Imagine Key) that offer options varying on choice, flexibility and value. Annual passes will go on sale Aug. 25, 2021. Disneyland also announced that FASTPASS and Disney MaxPass services, as well as Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour offerings, will be temporarily suspended. If you are wondering how you will get your PhotoPass photos without MaxPass, you can purchase PhotoPass+ in the Disneyland app by tapping the plus sign (+) and Buy Disney PhotoPass+. It costs $19.99 per day for unlimited downloads. You can even purchase it after the day has passed!
This post outlines what we know about visiting Disneyland right now, including the best way to plan your day, what to know about virtual queues and how to get your favorite snacks. Oh, boy!
Reopening Dates and Details | Ticketing and Theme Park Reservation System | Hours and Arrival | Annual Passholders | Guidelines | Changes to Park Hopping, Park Planning and Park Experiences | Characters | Dining | A New Ride | Safety Measures | Downtown Disney | Hotels
Disneyland Reopening Dates and Details
Let's get down to business. Disneyland reopened in phases:
- July 9, 2020 — The Downtown Disney District reopened.
- Nov. 19, 2020, through March 14, 2021— The Downtown Disney District expanded into the Buena Vista Street area for shopping and dining at Disney California Adventure.
- March 19 through April 18, 2021 — A Touch of Disney ticketed event in Disney California Adventure debuted.
- April 12, 2021 — The theme park reservation system opened, and guests who already had valid theme park tickets could begin making park reservations.
- April 15, 2021 — Theme park ticket sales resumed, and guests without park tickets could begin purchasing tickets and making park reservations. Reservations also opened for Disney's Grand California Hotel & Spa.
- April 22, 2021 — Dining reservations opened, up to 60 days in advance.
- April 29, 2021 — Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa reopened.
- April 30, 2021 — Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park reopened.
- May 2, 2021 — Disney Vacation Club Villas at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa reopened.
- May 18, 2021 — Additional dining reservations opened up for Blue Bayou and other hotel and Legacy Passholder dining options to open soon.
- June 14, 2021 — Additional dining reservations open up for Oga's Cantina, Wine Country Trattoria and Lamplight Lounge Brunch.
- June 15, 2021 — Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel reopened and out-of-state guests were welcome to visit.
- June 17, 2021 — Oga's Cantina, Wine Country Trattoria and additional quick-service restaurants reopened.
- July 2, 2021 — Disneyland Hotel reopened with select restaurants.
- July 4, 2021 — Nightly fireworks and Mickey's Mix Magic returned.
- July 22 — Character dining returned to Storytellers Cafe and the Carthay Circle dining room reopens.
- Aug. 12 — Character dining returns to Plaza Inn.
- Aug. 25 — Magic Key annual passes go on sale.
- Halloween Time — Sept. 3 through Oct. 31 (with Oogie Boogie Bash party select nights).
- Promotional 3-day Disneyland Resort ticket for California residents — Purchase your discount ticket good any three days through Sept. 30, 2021 (save some green through Undercover Tourist!)
- Aug. — Disney Princess Breakfast Adventure returned to Napa Rose.
- Sept. 16 — Characters return to Goofy's Kitchen
- Fall 2021 — Genie launches in Disneyland app and Genie+ replaces MaxPass
- Holiday Time — Nov. 12, 2021, through Jan. 9, 2022.
- Disney Merriest Nights separately ticketed after-hours party — Select nights in November and December.
The parks will continue to look a little different for some time as the park still works its way towards full capacity, however, Disneyland is feeling more normal every time we visit. Park capacity and experiences remain limited, but more and more things are opening up every day. Theme park admission is limited and guests still need to make a reservation before arriving. All guests need a theme park reservation and a valid park ticket for the same park, on the same date. For more information about Disneyland's new theme park reservation system, hop over to our full post.
To find out what the parks are like right now, hop over to our posts on what to know when visiting Disneyland and what to expect when visiting Disney California Adventure right now.
New Hours, Parking and Arrival Information (Including Wheelchair Rentals)
Operating hours are expanding again! Disneyland Park is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Disney California Adventure is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Downtown Disney is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.) As of Aug. 13, Disneyland will close at 11 p.m. and California Adventure will close at 10 p.m. (Downtown Disney will then be open until 12 a.m.)
Hours are subject to change, so check the Disneyland app and site for updated hours closer to your visit. Ticket booths are open if you need to make changes to tickets or upgrade.
Keep in mind that the theme park gates open earlier than stated do guests can line up for rope drop, so arriving early can mean getting in the park early for the shortest wait times! How early do they open? That varies per day, but the gates may open well before park opening.
Parking is available at the Mickey & Friends and Pixar Pals structures or Toy Story lot. Parking lots open one hour before the earliest park opening. The structure parking trams are not running, which means a 15- to 20-minute walk. The Toy Story lot has buses. Did you catch that? Buses! The walk is over (if you choose to park at Toy Story)! Don't get us wrong, we are all pumped up for the walk from the structures in the morning, but that walk back is tough at the end of the night. Masks are required for all guests ages 2 and up on the buses (regardless of vaccination status). Keep in mind that after fireworks, the line to get back on the Toy Story Lot bus is long!
Parking is $25. You can pay for parking in advance on the Disneyland site. If you wish to upgrade to Preferred parking at the structures, you may be able to purchase it when you arrive or upgrade from your pre-paid parking. Preferred parking gets you closer to the elevators and escalators. Preferred parking is $40. Some days the theme parks open the gates early — with rides! — so it pays to arrive early.
Having no transportation to the entrance from the parking structures presents challenges for people with disabilities or other health conditions. If you have small children who have recently stopped using a stroller, we highly recommend bringing one on this trip for the walk alone. It's the trip back to the structure at the end of the night where you and your little one will really be happy to have it! You may instead choose to park at Toy Story and use the provided buses.
You may rent single strollers at the parking structures. Single strollers are $18 per day. The Disneyland site says a double stroller is $36. The new double strollers are the same type as the single (the hard blue plastic).
Wheelchairs and ECVs
You can rent a manual wheelchair or ECV at the Mickey & Friends or Pixar Pals parking structure. Prices just went up! Manual wheelchairs cost $15, plus a $20 deposit (so you'll pay $35 upfront, then receive $20 back once it's returned). ECVs are $60 plus tax, plus a $20 deposit.
You can rent an ECV off-site across from the Harbor Boulevard entrance at either One Stop Mobility (near Tropicana Inn & Suites) or Select Mobility near Best Western Park Place Inn. Many wheelchair rental services deliver to your hotel. If you are staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel, Scooter Bug is Disneyland's preferred site for wheelchair and ECV deliveries (and strollers). Hop over to our post on using a wheelchair at Disneyland for more tips. Here are hotels near Disneyland if you wish to avoid the parking structure.
Alternative Arrival Options
If you do not wish to park in a parking structure or Toy Story lot, you can stay at one of the Disneyland hotels. Hotel guests may line up for the theme parks before people coming through other security entrances. You can also walk in from one of the many other hotels near Disneyland.
You may get lucky with parking alternatives. Sometimes hotels will allow people to park for a fee, if they have room. Try these locations near the Harbor Boulevard security:
- Anaheim Hotel (It can fill up in the morning before opening, so arrive early).
- Anaheim GardenWalk has a new Anaheim attractions flat rate of half-price parking for $12.50 per day through Dec. 31, 2021. You must text 949-532-8293. Text your parking ticket number and "AA" to get the rate. Payment is completed upon exit.
- Best Western Stovall's Inn by the Downtown Disney security (for the best parking rates and shortest security line!) However, it is about a 20-minute walk to the parks. Overall, it's about an equivalent walk compared to the structures.
How early should you arrive? You no longer need to be the first person in the park to access Avengers Campus. If you are walking in, arrive an hour before park opening. Harbor Security usually opens by 7:15 a.m. We suggest arriving at parking an hour before posted park opening. Do not park at the Downtown Disney lot, which will be more expensive and may not have the same operating hours as the theme parks. Downtown Disney's new daily maximum for parking is $66 a day!
There are guest drop-off areas if you prefer to be dropped off or use ride-share apps. You may use the Harbor Boulevard guest drop-off and pick-up location, or the Downtown Disney District guest drop-off and pick-up location on Downtown Drive.
New Disneyland Ticketing and Theme Park Reservation System
Out of all of the changes we will have to get used to (such as wearing masks, practicing social distancing and doing without some of our favorite shows, parades and character hugs), possibly not getting in to visit the parks is the most stressful part. Disneyland still limits attendance. The only way to prevent too many people from showing up is to implement a new theme park reservation system.
Park admission is not guaranteed. All guests must acquire an advance reservation for park entry. We have a whole post on using the new park reservation system. Here are the basics:
- To enter a theme park, guests 3 and up must have both a theme park reservation and a valid admission to that same park.
- Guests may make reservations up to 120 days in advance.
- Reservations are subject to availability.
- Guests are not required to show proof of vaccination.
- Vaccinated guests self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.
- All guests need to attest that they are aware of the State of California's strong recommendation that guests be fully vaccinated or receive a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering theme parks when making theme park reservations.
- Guests under isolation or quarantine orders must not enter Disneyland Resort.
- If you have an eligible unused Disneyland ticket from before the closure, the expiration date should be updated. You may link your ticket to your Disney account in the Disneyland app or online to see the new expiration date.
- Park Hopper tickets allow hopping after 1 p.m. You'll only need to make a reservation for the first park you wish to visit.
- A park reservation must be made for each day of a multi-day ticket.
- Theme park reservations may not be modified, but they can be canceled and re-booked.
- It's recommended to make theme park reservations as soon as you complete your ticket purchase.
- You can see which days are filled up or available for reservations on the availability calendar
- 1-Day Ticket pricing is based on a tiered system. You can view the prices by date at disneyland.disney.go.com/park-availability/
- Multi-day tickets are not subject to tiers and must be used within 13 days of first use.
- You can get discounted Disneyland Resort multi-day tickets at Undercover Tourist.
- Certain restaurants, attractions and experiences are modified or unavailable.
While ticket booths are open, you can only upgrade and purchase tickets at the booth for dates that have availability. We highly suggest purchasing in advance. Your favorite frogs offer Disneyland tickets too! If you bought a 1-Park Per Day ticket (either 1-Day or Multi-Day) and want to upgrade to a Park Hopper ticket, you can do that at the ticket booths. It will not affect your reservation, but you can only upgrade and purchase tickets at the booth for dates that have availability.
How to Make a Reservation
We have everything you need to know in our guide to Disneyland's new theme park reservation system. When you purchase through Disneyland directly, you now make your reservation before purchasing. If you purchase through Undercover Tourist or are using an existing ticket, follow these instructions.
To make a reservation:
- Buy a ticket or locate a ticket you already have.
- Log in to your Disney account or create a new one.
- Retrieve any Disneyland Resort hotel reservations, if you have them.
- Link valid tickets prior to the reservation system and enter the name of each ticket holder.
- Access the theme park reservation system.
- Select the day and theme park you'd like to visit.
- If park hopping, choose the park you wish to start your day in (and you may hop after 1 p.m.).
- If you have a multi-day ticket, repeat the process to make reservations for each day of your ticket.
- Review and confirm your visit.
- Provide an email address to receive confirmation of your reservation and QR code.
- Be prepared to present your valid ticket when you arrive at Disneyland Resort. You will not need the QR Code but you should have it just in case.
Disneyland Introduces New "Magic Key" Annual Pass Program
On Jan. 14, 2021, Disneyland canceled its popular annual passholder (AP) program, but has since introduced a new annual pass program called Magic Key. It offers four levels of annual passes to provide choice, flexibility and value. Passholders will still be required to make theme park reservations. Become a Magic Key holder, as of Aug. 25, 2021!
Magic Key holders can gain access to the Magic Key Terrace for appetizers and drinks in Disney California Adventure as of Aug. 25 with walk-up availability until reservations start on Sept. 2. At Disneyland Park, Magic Key holders can visit the Magic Key lounge at the Tomorrowland Starcade. It is open Sept. 1 through Oct. 31 for photo ops, phone charging and other perks.
In the meantime, the APs who held active passports as of March 14, 2020, will receive prorated refunds. Follow this link to learn about annual passholder refund information.
Reopening Guidelines from the State of California That Affect Disneyland
California has ended the four-tier Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which rated each county's risk level as it relates to COVID-19 cases. Our post on what to expect when the California theme parks reopen goes into the new reopening guidelines in more detail.
The dropping of these guidelines means that theme parks no longer have to limit capacity, restrict attendance to California residents or check vaccination status. Indoor rides are no longer limited to 15 minutes. The parks do not have to impose physical distancing on guests. Guests can manage that themselves now.
Disneyland fills rides to capacity and now indoor ride pre-shows such as the first Rise of the Resistance room and the Collector's private office on Guardians of the Galaxy, have returned. We can drink and eat as we walk around. Restaurants can increase capacity. Ride queues have returned indoors so we no longer see physically distant lines weaving around the parks. The parks seem much more "normal" as things, well, return to normal. Keep hopping back for updates!
Changes in Park Planning, Experiences and Park Hoppers (Plus the Scoop on Genie+)
In addition to needing a reservation to gain access to Disneyland, keep in mind that many of the tools we normally use to maximize time at Disneyland, such as FASTPASS and MaxPass, are currently unavailable. Free FASTPASS is being retired, and MaxPass has a similar replacement program debuting this fall. Extra Magic Hour and Magic Morning entry are also unavailable. The parks generally open the gates earlier than stated, so aim to be at the park gates 30 minutes before park opening for the shortest ride wait times of the day.
Disney Genie and Lightning Lane Details
Now it's time to say good-bye to free FASTPASS. The MaxPass we know and love is changing to Genie+ and the high-demand rides will come at a price if you want to skip the lines. Here's our breakdown on Disney Genie, Genie+ and Lightning Lane Select services:
- Disney Genie — Disney Genie is a new FREE tool in the Disneyland app. You can this new technology to guide you through the theme parks with tips to help you reduce time in lines, discover Disney magic and take the guesswork out of planning your day. It includes a personalized itinerary feature that will map out an entire day. From attractions to foodie experiences to entertainment and general interests (such as Disney princesses, villains, Pixar, Star Wars, thrill rides and more), your wish is its command. Just tell Disney Genie what you want to do and it will do the planning for you.
If you want to be more spontaneous, Disney Genie will update your itinerary. It displays current and projected wait times (can it see the future?), helping you pick the best time to ride. A virtual assistant can help you. You'll be able to join a virtual queue, mobile order food and make reservations for dining and rides.
- Disney Genie+ — For $20 per ticket per day, you can choose the next available time to ride and bypass the standby queue, using the Lightning Lane entrance (formerly the FASTPASS return entrance). You can make one selection at a time throughout the day. To start, 15 attractions are available on Disney Genie+, including Haunted mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. Like its predecessor, MaxPass, unlimited PhotoPass Downloads are included. You know what's not included? Radiator Springs Racers. What? That brings us to the next option.
- Lightning Lane Select for Individual Attractions — Some high-demand rides, such as Radiator Springs Racers and rides with virtual queues, are not included in Genie+, but guests can pay to ride with Lighting Lane Select. The up-charge Lightning Lane Select allows guests to pay for FastPass-like access for up to two rides per day, a la carte. Riders may only only reserve each Lightning Lane Select ride once per day. So you can still ride again if it's your favorite. Just wait in the standby lane or use our favorite way to reduce the wait: Single Rider (for ages 7 and up) if available. Pricing for this option varies by date, attraction and park and will be announced closer to launch. Lightning Lane selections are made on the same day of your visit and can be used across both theme parks when park hopping.
Standby lines remain in place except for rides utilizing a virtual queue. Both standby lines and virtual queue lines will remain available at no extra cost. But virtual queue lines will also have an up-charge option on Lightning Lane Select. Genie+ and Lightning Lane Select are sold separately and can be purchased together, individually or not at all. Keep hopping back for more information!
Major shows, parades and some attractions remain closed. But they are starting to return. Character cavalcades are making appearances in both parks. You can catch them in Disney California Adventure (on the hour) in Paradise Gardens Park. At Disneyland, they travel in the early to late afternoon along the parade route between Town Square and "it's a small world" in either direction at 12:15, 2:15, 3:00 and 4:00.
We are so hoppy that fireworks returned nightly beginning July 4, and the Disneyland Band returned June 18! Hop over to our post on what is open at Disneyland for a complete list of open and closed attractions, shows and restaurants. Character dining has returned. Single Rider queues are back, but availability can vary. Magical Makeovers at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique are temporarily paused, but you can still shop there. Some special events, tours and experiences may be modified, limited in capacity or unavailable. However, Disneyland Resort VIP Tours are available to guests when Disneyland Park reopens. Contact Disney Special Activities at DisneylandVIPTours@disney.com or (714) 300-7710.
The newest land at Disney California Adventure — Avengers Campus — brings new entertainment experiences! We have all the up-to-date details about this land and the experiences in it in our Avengers Campus post. This land is the first to provide small shows. And we are loving them!
Park hopping has returned, but it comes with some changes. You need to make a reservation for the first park you wish to visit. Then you may hop to the other park at 1 p.m. (subject to availability and park capacity limitations, although we've seen no problems with hopping). You can hop back and forth after 1 p.m. You may reserve up to 120 days in advance (90 days for Magic Key holders). 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.
Changes in Character Meet and Greets
A big part of the Disneyland magic is seeing the characters we love. You can expect the unexpected with surprise appearances along Main Street, U.S.A and Pixar Pier, and playful interactions that are physically distanced to keep everyone safe. You may see characters in places they've never been before and doing things you've never seen them do before. We still are not able to get hugs, but our interactions have all been toadally awesome.
Look for Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Donald and Goofy waving from the train station and princesses at the Royal Theatre and Fantasy Faire area. Wave to the Pixar pals at the bandshell at Pixar Pier. See characters in unusual places. We saw the Incredibles assist Dash in counting down the Incredicoaster launch — it's toadally cool! Chat with Mater and Lightning McQueen along Route 66 in Cars Land. Look in the bushes near Grizzly Peak. You just might spot Chip 'n Dale having a picnic! Find fun character experiences in front of "it's a small world" and in Toontown. You never know what you'll discover, and we even saw characters interact with characters from other stories.
Hop over to our guide to meeting characters at Disneyland for more details. Disneyland is always good at surprising us with characters, so we cannot wait to see what's in store as we make repeat visits!
Disneyland Dining Updates
The Disneyland Dining Reservation system is open for select locations. Dining Reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance. You can book through the Disneyland app or online. Make sure you download the latest version of the app before booking. You'll also want to book for the park you have a reservation for or later in the day for the other park. If you plan to park hop after 1 p.m., know that park hopping could be subject to availability. A dining reservation will not get you into the other park if it's at capacity.
Some Disneyland character dining has returned — Yipee!
These two character dining experiences returned first:
- Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet (reopened July 22)
- Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park (reopened Aug. 12)
The following dining events are unavailable or return soon:
- Breakfast and Dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen (characters return in the fall)
- Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures (returns Aug. 26)
- Classic Afternoon Tea at the Disneyland Hotel (Steakhouse 55 is permanently closed)
- Donald Duck’s Seaside Breakfast (the restaurant is permanently closed)
- Fantasmic! Dining Packages
- Plaza Inn Dining Packages
- Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience
- World of Color Dining Package
- World of Color Dessert Party
You can make dining reservations for some theme park, hotel and Downtown Disney table-service restaurants through the Disneyland app. You can also scan QR codes at Downtown Disney for restaurant menus and to Mobile Order food at some quick-service locations.
Blue Bayou is open! The big news is that adult beverages are now available such as beer, wine and select themed cocktails. Hurricane anyone? Nondrinkers and kids can enjoy seasonal mint juleps. (Lily says she will take hers with a glow cube, please!)
You have some new dining options in Avengers Campus. Our Super Foodie Guide to Avengers Campus Food should get you up to speed.
Inside the theme parks, expect to use Mobile Order via the Disneyland app at quick-service restaurants to reduce contact and reduce the transfer of cash. But you can still order in person at many locations. You'll eat all food and snacks in designated dining areas. Plan your meals ahead of time to avoid waits. The system is expanding to take gift cards and other forms of payment at checkout, so that is a definite improvement! You'll have to type your gift card in each time though. If you wish to apply Magic Key discounts, make sure your pass is linked to the app and you are the primary user.
New Rides! (And Some Changes to Old Ones)
OK, the first "new ride" that opened is really a new take on an old classic. Snow White's Enchanted Wish opened when Disneyland Park reopened. Our toddler, Lily, was toadally excited about the refurbishment from Snow White's Scary Adventures into a happier ride. It's so cute and really much hoppier, but it still keeps some witch scenes. Plus the Evil Queen still peers out over the entrance!
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
The new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge ride, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, was only open for about two months when the parks closed, so it's a brand-new ride for most guests. It utilizes a virtual queue, called a Boarding Group. There are now two opportunities per day to join a Boarding Group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at 7 a.m. and noon.
Guests can experience new magic on Haunted Mansion. This is a good ride to hit in the morning or evening. The stretching room has markers on the floor to separate parties. Some guests may get the option to skip the line — and the stretching room — to enter in through a secret entrance! But the stretching room is our favorite part.
The Jungle Cruise reopened with some new scene changes. Look for some "gnu" monkey business and more dry humor. Wet humor too. The rhino still gets his point in the end (of new characters). And in theme with other Disneyland attractions, Trader Sam opened a gift shop at the end of the ride. Your skipper can show you the ropes. Literally.
A New Land and Ride in Disney California Adventure
Avengers Campus, the new Super Hero–themed land, is open! WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure — is the new ride. It has a virtual queue similar to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance with two distribution times at 7 a.m. and noon. Here's a closer look at what's coming to Disneyland in 2021 and beyond.
Disneyland Resort Safety Measures
All of the changes are in the interest of safety, cleanliness, physical distancing and reduced contact. Many of these guidelines are changing. If you want to visit Disneyland at this time, you will have to come to terms with some temporary changes. The Disneyland site says that the reopening approach is deliberately fluid and phased because the COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving. Don't worry: We'll keep you updated through the changes!
Here's a quick look at enhanced health and safety measures, as well as what to expect during Disneyland's reopening period:
- Phased reopening: Expect a gradual reopening and/or partial reopening of certain locations. Retail and dining locations in Downtown Disney opened prior to the theme parks.
- Enhanced protective measures: Face coverings required while indoors for all guests, regardless of vaccination status. Additional hand-washing stations were removed but hand sanitizer stations still remain. All guests must wear masks on park transportation and upon entering and throughout attractions. Face coverings remain optional in outdoor areas.
- Temperature screenings and other arrival changes: Temperature screenings ended June 15. The loading zone for the parking trams at the parking structures is now used for canine screening, wheelchair rentals and stroller purchases ($39.99). Speaking of parking trams, they are not running. It's about a 15- to 20-minute walk to the parks. A wheelchair rental is $12, plus a refundable $20 deposit. The Toy Story lot has buses. All guests must wear masks on the buses. In the morning, guests go through security screening before boarding the buses. We highly recommend the Toy Story lot to make your day much easier and less stressful. Keep in mind that the line to get back on the bus at the end of the night after fireworks can be 50 minutes (it's about a 20-minute walk to the Toy Story lot).
- Enhanced security measures: You may experience K9 screening. Security officers will ask you to remove any bags from your shoulders, then you'll open any bags for inspection. The security bag screeners are separated from you by a plexiglass barrier. Then, before you walk through the metal detector, you'll place items on a table and slide them forward before stepping through the metal detector.
- Capacity measures: Advance reservations through a new theme park reservation system are required to visit the parks during the phased reopening. Guests must purchase tickets to a specific park and have a park pass reservation in advance. The reservation system will remain in place as park attendance gradually increases as operations allow.
- Out-of-state visitors are welcome as of June 15, 2021: Out-of-state guests are welcome back to the "Happiest Place on Earth!"
- Physical distancing measures: Guests will now self-manage physical distancing to their own comfort level. Disneyland has removed floor markers and signage. Plexiglass has been used to separate guests, but now you only see it separating cast members and guests. The parks have temporarily suspended parades and entertainment that allows crowds to gather, although fireworks have returned! You may encounter smaller performances in Disney California Adventure. There is no more spacing between guests in ride vehicles.
- Limited-contact enhancements: Disneyland is encouraging cashless transactions and will reduce interactions between cast members and guests through the use of technology and other measures. You can expect contactless payments and expanded Mobile Ordering in the Disneyland app. You can now add a gift card before you pay when using Mobile Order. World of Disney and other stores are offering Mobile Checkout through the Disneyland app. Plexiglass partitions add separation between cast members and guests at park entrances, restaurants and shops. Downtown Disney parking has changed. You'll use self-pay parking stations installed near the Downtown Disney Simba Lot.
- Enhanced cleanliness and sanitization: You'll see increased cleaning and disinfection around the resort, especially for high-contact areas.
- Cast training: Disneyland is providing new training and reinforcement to emphasize a strong culture of health and safety among cast members.
Here are more ways to practice good health and wellness in theme parks.
Downtown Disney District
The walking, shopping, dining and entertainment district that connects parking, hotels and the theme parks was the first thing to reopen at the Disneyland Resort. Hop over to our guide to Downtown Disney at Disneyland to get a sense of the dining, shopping and fun to be had there. We have come up with so many hopful insider tips for visiting at this time in terms of when to visit and where to park and how to manage Mobile Wait Lists. You can get the details and top tips for visiting right now in our new Downtown Disney post.
Of course, Downtown Disney is operating with capacity measures in place, as well as limitations on parking and operating hours. Hours vary daily. Check the Disneyland app for the latest hours. Individual locations may have different hours. Here's what you need to know before you go:
- All guests are required to wear masks indoors.
- Self-park in the Simba Lot.
- Get dropped off to save time.
- Rideshare drop-off areas are at the Harbor Blvd. guest drop-off and pick-up location and at the Downtown Disney District guest drop-off and pick-up location on Downtown Drive.
- A plexiglass barrier separates guests from security bag screeners.
- Operating hours of each vendor may vary.
- Weekdays (especially Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays) are less crowded than weekends.
- You can make dining reservations through the Disneyland app.
Downtown Disney District Dining
Dining locations incorporate enhanced health and safety measures. You may continue to see a number of changes to dining locations, including:
- Increased outdoor patio-style seating available at select locations.
- Digital or single-use menus available at many locations.
- Reservations for some table-service restaurants.
- Encouragement of cashless transactions — bring credit cards, debit cards, gift cards and mobile wallet options, although cash is accepted.
- Some dining locations use their own reservations system or virtual waitlist.
Look for signs with QR codes for Mobile Order for select quick-service locations. Most table-service locations offer limited menus via QR code. You can make some dining reservations via the Disneyland app, but for some restaurants, you will need to call or use Open Table.
Downtown Disney Shopping
Here's a look at the open shops:
- Disney Dress Shop
- Disney Home
- Disney’s Pin Traders
- LEGO Store
- Marceline’s Confectionery (guests may use Disneyland Mobile Order to order treats for pick-up)
- Pandora Jewelry
- Pressed Coin Machines
- Rinse Bath & Body Co.
- Sugarboo & Co.
- Sunglass Icon
- WonderGround Gallery
- New Star Wars Trading Post store opened Feb. 19 in the former Rainforest Cafe location
- World of Disney (may use a mobile waitlist and dressing rooms are closed)
At times, you may make a reservation to do some Disney shopping in Downtown Disney. You can make an online reservation at the Disneyland site to purchase featured products in the former ESPN Zone.
What's Not Open Yet
The following experiences remain closed for now:
- La Brea Bakery Express (but La Brea Bakery Cafe is open)
Reopening of Disneyland Hotels
Disney's Grand Californian Hotel reopened April 29 (with limited capacity), with its Disney Vacation Club Villas following May 2, 2021. Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel reopened June 15, 2021, and Disneyland Hotel (with newly renovated Fantasy Tower) reopened July 2, 2021.
Here’s a tip from Disneyland Resort: If you plan to visit the theme parks, make your theme park reservation first before booking your hotel room, as a resort hotel room reservation does not guarantee theme park access.
Here are five things to know before you arrive at the hotel:
- Check-in online (up to five days in advance).
- Review the Health and Safety Acknowledgments before you arrive (it's located on the Hotel's "Know Before You Go" page).
- You can receive a text message when your room is ready. Just hop by the front desk for your key. You can pay for purchases at Disney-operated locations using your hotel key with a valid credit card on file.
- Download the latest version of the Disneyland app so you can mobile order food and access other features, such as virtual queues. Be sure to have notification and location services turned on your phone.
- You'll be automatically checked out when you leave. No need to go by the front desk.
During the phased reopening, some hotel services, dining, amenities, activities and offerings may be modified, limited in capacity or unavailable in order to accommodate physical distancing.
Dining choices continue to expand with the reopening of Napa Rose for dinner and Storytellers Café for breakfast and dinner. Character dining is available again at Storytellers Café at breakfast. At Disneyland Hotel, Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar and Tangaroa Terrace Tropical Bar & Grill (mobile order available) reopened with the hotel. The Coffee House is open.
Are you excited about Disneyland reopening? You can purchase your multi-day discount Disneyland Resort tickets through Undercover Tourist. You can also book discounted hotels, including the Disneyland Resort hotels and off-site hotels near Disneyland.