The magical day has arrived and the wait is finally over — Disneyland Resort is open! Both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park reopened April 30, 2021. Even though change can be scary, we are here to tell you that Disneyland is still "the happiest place on earth." 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 did not need or miss FASTPASS! Park hopping was a breeze. 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. The park has never been more clean (maybe not letting people walk around with popcorn has its plusses) and beautiful, and the flowers were gorgeous. Plus there were some new ride refurbishments to check out.
Theme park ticket sales (including Park Hopper tickets) are open now and going quickly. Disney's Grand Californian Hotel reopened its doors to guests April 29, 2021, along with the Disney Vacation Club Villas at the Grand Californian May 2. Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel reopens June 15. With all of this hoppy news comes some caveats (croak!).
Theme parks are limited in capacity and are limited to California residents. With the capacity limits in mind, Disneyland had already announced back in January that it has scrapped its annual passholder program and will be debuting a new one ... by the end of 2021. Disneyland also announced that FASTPASS and Disney MaxPass services, as well as Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour offerings, will be suspended when the theme parks initially reopen. 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 the Disneyland reopening, including new ticketing and reservation dates and state guidelines for reopening, as well as all of the new health and safety measures and Disneyland reopening procedures at the Disneyland Resort. We do expect changes to come, especially on or after June 15, 2021, when the state lifts restrictions on theme parks, so keep hopping back for updates.
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 is opening in phases. Here are the reopening dates and ticket reservation and sale dates:
- 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 open up for Blue Bayou and other hotel and Legacy Passholder dining options to open soon.
- June 15, 2021 — Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel reopens; Guests can now begin booking their stays!
- Opening at a later date — Disneyland Hotel
The parks will look a little different for some time due to COVID-19. In order to promote social distancing, park capacity and experiences is limited. Theme park admission is limited (per state guidelines) and guests will 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 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 limited. Hours for both parks are:
- April 30 to May 13: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m daily.
- May 14 through end of June: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Hours are subject to change, so check the Disneyland app and site for updated hours closer to your visit. Ticket booths will be open if you need to make changes to tickets or upgrade.
Parking is available at the Mickey & Friends and Pixar Pals structures. Toy Story lot (closed) is currently being used as a regional vaccination site. Enter at Mickey & Friends.
Parking is $25. You can pay for parking in advance on the Disneyland site. If you wish to upgrade to Preferred parking, you may purchase when you arrive or upgrade from your pre-paid parking. Preferred parking gets you closer to the elevators and escalators. Preferred parking is $40. Parking locations for the theme parks now open at 8:00 a.m. (an hour before the earliest theme park opening time). You can line up at 7:45 a.m. Some days the theme parks open the gates early — with rides! — so it pays to arrive early.
The parking trams and Mickey vans for people with disabilities are not running at this time. Guests walk to and from the parks via a dedicated walkway from the Mickey & Friends and Pixar Pals Parking Structures. It's about a 15- to 20-minute walk. The physically distanced lines to enter the theme parks could back up into this walkway — gone are the days of a tightly packed esplanade.
Having no transportation to the entrance 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!
Finish that coffee and breakfast before you exit your vehicle or arrive at security. You may not eat or drink in line.
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
You may get lucky with parking alternatives. Sometimes hotels will allow people to park for Disneyland for a fee, if they have room. Try these locations near the Harbor Boulevard security:
- Fairfield Marriott
- Anaheim Hotel
- Anaheim Garden Walk ($30 max/day)
- Best Western Stovall's Inn by the Downtown Disney security (for the best parking rates and shortest security line! We used it opening day and it was the best choice to skip the security lines.)
The off-site locations can fill u, so arrive early.
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 new daily maximum for parking is now $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 at the Downtown Disney District Guest drop-off and pick-up location on Downtown Drive (for shortest security line). You'll want to check Downtown Disney opening hours to make sure that location works for you.
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. In order to comply with government requirements and promote physical distancing, Disneyland has to limit 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.
- Guest may make reservations up to 60 days in advance.
- Reservations are subject to availability.
- The guest's party size may not be larger than 10.
- The party may not consist of guests from more than three households.
- All members of the party must be California residents for an unknown amount of time. Proof of residency may be required.
- 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 will be updated prior to the parks' reopening. At that time, you will be able to 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 before 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/ (note: this does not tell you if a day is available though)
- 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.
New Disneyland tickets are now on sale! While the ticket booths will be open, tickets may not be available, so 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.
How to Make a Reservation
We have everything you need to know in our guide to Disneyland's new theme park reservation system. Here are the basics.
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 QR code and the associated valid ticket when you arrive at Disneyland Resort.
Disneyland Cancels Annual Passports
As mentioned, we received the croaking bad news that affects certain Disneyland guests. On Jan. 14, 2021, Disneyland canceled its popular annual passholder (AP) program. 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.
Anyone who held a valid pass when the parks closed is automatically considered a Legacy Passholder. Legacy Passholders will continue to receive discounts for food and merchandise at select Downtown Disney and Buena Vista Street locations until Disney announces new membership offerings. Find out more about the discount and other offers here. (Psst ... you get a free 65th anniversary AP magnet with purchase at certain locations while supplies last. Plus there are some preview privileges for new store openings and other fun stuff.) For a while, expired passes disappeared from the Disneyland app; however, if your valid pass was linked to the app as of March 14, 2020, you should see your pass returning to the app. You will need the pass in the app, the physical pass and identification to get discounts going forward.
Unfortunately, there are no discounts or priority purchasing of theme park tickets for Disneyland APs/Legacy Passholders. But the good news is that a Legacy Passport dining option is returning to Disney California Adventure. Beginning May 20, Alfresco Tasting Terrace reopens just for Legacy Passholders for drinks and savory appetizers. Reservations open May 18. Park admission and park reservations are required to access it. We salivate as we await more yummy details.
Disneyland says that a new passholder program is coming and that new membership offerings "will utilize consumer insights to deliver choice, flexibility and value for our biggest fans." Understandably, this is toadally disappointing news for Disneyland APs, and we extend them a big froggy hug as they process this information. Hopfully there is a reasonable solution to this on the way. This news does not affect regular Disney World APs except for Premier Passports (which were good for Disneyland and Disney World).
Reopening Guidelines from the State of California That Affect Disneyland
California has a "Blueprint Refresh" for the four-tier Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which rates each county's risk level as it relates to COVID-19 cases. The county's tier determines the capacity that Disneyland can have, as well as other reopening guidelines. Our post on what to expect when the California theme parks reopen goes into the new reopening guidelines in more detail.
During these Tiers, all guests must be California residents. Croak! A recent announcement from the governor said that the state may be out from under these tiers by June 15. Froggy fingers and toes are crossed! We do not know what is to come after June 15.
Indoor rides are limited to 15 minutes. That means some pre-shows such as the first Rise of the Resistance room and the Collector's private office on Guardians of the Galaxy are now walk-through to shorten the indoor time.
Changes in Park Planning, Experiences and Park Hoppers
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 temporarily suspended. Extra Magic Hour and Magic Morning entry are also unavailable. (These same benefits have been suspended at Walt Disney World). The parks generally open earlier than stated, so aim to be at the park gates at least a half hour before park opening for the shortest ride wait times of the day.
Major shows, parades and fireworks and some attractions will not be immediately available until it is safer for people to gather. Hop over to our post on what will be open at Disneyland when it reopens for a complete list of open and closed attractions, shows and restaurants. Single Rider queues are closed. 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 in order to promote physical distancing. 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.
Park hopping returns, but it comes with some changes. You will 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). You may reserve up to 60 days in advance. Check the Park Hours calendar and the Disneyland app for the most up-to-date Park Hopper hours, as they could start earlier at a later date, depending on the day and park. 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.
Look for Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Donald and Goofy waving from the train station and princesses at the Royal Theatre. Wave to the Pixar pals at the bandshell at Pixar Pier. 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 reopened for select locations April 22, 2021. 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. 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.When park hopping, you can use the Disneyland app to look for dining availability or join a walk-up list.
We expect Disneyland character dining to be unavailable for some time. The following dining events will be unavailable:
- Breakfast and Dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen
- Classic Afternoon Tea at the Disneyland Hotel
- Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures
- Donald Duck’s Seaside Breakfast
- Fantasmic! Dining Packages
- Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet
- Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park
- 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 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 reopens May 27. Reservations open May 18. The big news is that adult beverages will be available such as beer, wine and select themed cocktails. Hurricane anyone? Nondrinkers and kids can enjoy seasonal mint juleps.
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. You'll eat all food and snacks in designated dining areas. Mobile Order is the only way to order at times. 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! If you wish to apply passholder discounts, make sure your Legacy Passholder pass is linked to the app.
New Rides! (and Some Changes to Old Ones)
OK, the first "new ride" it's 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 12 p.m.
Indiana Jones Adventure
Another ride is testing a virtual queue. Indiana Jones Adventure's physically distant line can get pretty long outside the ride building. So long, in fact, that it is utilizing the queue space of the Jungle Cruise while it undergoes a refurbishment. Beginning May 11, Indy starts testing a virtual queue that is accessible via the Disneyland app. When the Indy virtual queue is turned on, visitors will be able to get a return group — just like booking a boarding group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
During the testing period, Disneyland could turn on and off the Indy virtual queue at any time. Guests can be in both the Indy and Rise of the Resistance virtual queues at the same time, but they are limited to joining each virtual queue once per day.
Plus guests can experience new magic on Haunted Mansion. The ride started a refurbishment in early 2020, and guests had not seen the regular Haunted Mansion since August 2019 due to the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay that occurs during Halloween and the holiday season! This is a good ride to hit first thing in the morning. 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!
A New Land and Ride in Disney California Adventure
Sadly, Avengers Campus, the new Marvel Super Hero–themed land, will not open with Disney California Adventure Park ... but it's not far off, so that's hoppy news, indeed! Avengers Campus will open June 4, 2021, so we have that and the actual new ride — WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure — to look forward to. Here's a closer look at what's coming to Disneyland in 2021 and beyond. That means California Adventure is the quietest for visitors in May. We did so much in a short time there!
Disneyland Resort Safety Measures
All of the changes are in the interest of safety, cleanliness, physical distancing and reduced contact. Disneyland wants to protect cast members and guests from COVID-19. If you want to visit Disneyland at this time, you will have to come to terms with these temporary changes. Many of the changes come from local and state governments, health experts and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 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 are mandatory for cast members and guests (ages 2 and up), with additional hand-washing stations and physical barriers, where appropriate. Disneyland has added to its face covering guidelines that even people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine must still wear a face covering.
Guest Experience Team: Keep an eye out for the new Guest Experience Team. Their job is to engage with guests and remind them to comply with all the new health and safety protocols. They are there to help guests follow the rules.
Temperature screenings and other arrival changes: All cast members and park guests undergo temperature screenings prior to entering Downtown Disney and the theme parks. The loading zone for the parking trams at the parking structures is now used for canine screening, temperature checks, wheelchair rentals and stroller purchases ($39.99). Cast members will have their temperature checked daily. 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. Only manual wheelchairs were available at A Touch of Disney, so if you require an ECV/scooter, rent off-site.
Enhanced security measures: Disneyland is testing a new contactless security system. It can scan people and bags for weapons and dangerous substances as they pass by it. It's not yet available. 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.
Limiting visitors to only California residents: Not only will the parks limit capacity, but all California theme parks must limit visitors based on where they live. Only California residents may visit during the initial reopening period to discourage out-of-state travelers. Online reservation systems will allow California theme parks to gather information about where visitors live. This makes it possible to conduct contact tracing.
Physical distancing measures: Disneyland has implemented physical distancing guidelines based on guidance from health authorities and the government. They are expected to remain in place through 2021. Technology may aid in these efforts, such as the Play Disney Parks App, Mobile Ordering and virtual queues. The parks have increased education and signage to direct guests on physical distancing in terms of where to sit or stand. Even if you can't sit in one area, there are so many more tables now than ever before so just keep going until you find one. The parks will temporarily suspend fireworks, parades and entertainment that allows crowds to gather. Expect spacing in queues and 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 is testing Mobile Checkout through the Disneyland app. Plexiglass partitions add separation between cast members and guests at park entrances, restaurants and shops. Downtown Disney parking is $10 per vehicle. You pay upon entry. We've spotted self-pay parking stations installed near the Downtown Disney Simba Lot, so those may eventually open.
Expect temporary closures of play areas. If you play games such as the Games of Pixar Pier, you'll see plexiglass dividers between players and more space between players. The cast members come out and sanitize all surfaces and balls or touched items in between rounds.
Enhanced cleanliness and sanitization: You'll see increased cleaning and disinfection around the resort, especially for high-contact areas. You'll see increased sanitizing of ride vehicles or frequently touched surfaces.
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.
Disneyland has added a COVID-19 warning to its site. It says:
"An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens, and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable."
All guests and employees must wear face coverings, such as masks. This policy will likely be in place through at least the end of 2021. The facial coverings must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of the face. The covering must be secured with ties or ear loops. Gaiter-syle coverings, open-chin triangle bandanas and face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind are not allowed.
Guests may remove masks to eat or drink when outside, physically distant and stationary. Face coverings must be worn while standing, waiting or sitting in dining locations. When dining at a table-service restaurant, continue to wear your mask while ordering and wait until you receive beverage or food and are actively eating or drinking to remove it. For snacks and quick-service dining, you'll find tables conveniently set up all over the park so you do not have to travel far to find a safe place to eat.
Signs and cast members will remind guests to follow the social distancing guidelines and wear a facial covering. If you somehow forget your mask, you can purchase a disposable mask from a vending machine for $2, so you can get into Downtown Disney. You can purchase Disney-themed cloth masks at World of Disney and likely other locations once the parks reopen. Don't froget: You must continue to wear a mask after getting vaccinated for COVID-19.
We've hopped about several theme park events and Downtown Disney during this time and have developed some tips for wearing masks at the theme parks. Sorry, those costume masks are not going to cut it. You have to follow the attire guidelines. You CAN, however, match your mask to your DisneyBound or outfit. Pair the mask with ears or a Disney shirt. Have fun with it, and make sure your face covering is roller coaster ready. Better bring a spare or two just in case! On hot days, masks can make your face get pretty sweaty, so it's nice to have a clean, dry mask to change into.
There are no exceptions for people ages 2 and up (even for guests with disabilities). Masks are required for all guests at this time.
If you or someone in your party is hearing impaired and reads lips, you can find masks that have clear panels so the mouth is visible. At Disneyland, the face covering may have an integrated transparent plastic panel to aid in viewing the wearer's mouth. The face covering must be made of fabric with a solid plastic panel that contains no openings. The panel must be attached to the fabric on all sides using tight-knit stitching. The covering must meet all other face covering requirements.
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. Downtown Disney is now open! 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:
- Wear that mask (ears are optional)! Face coverings are required for guests, cast members and employees.
- Self-park in the Simba Lot.
- The Harbor Blvd. entrance is less crowded.
- 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.
- You'll be subjected to a temperature screening. Guests with a temperature 100.4 F or above and their party will not be allowed to enter.
- A plexiglass barrier separates guests from security bag screeners.
- Ground markings and physical barriers promote social distancing.
- Cashless payment is recommended.
- Operating hours of each vendor may vary.
- Expect an increased focus on cleaning and sanitation with cleaning procedures in high-traffic areas such as handrails, benches, tables, handles, restrooms and more.
- Note the hand-washing stations and hand sanitizers in key areas.
- Join virtual queues (if offered) for Star Wars Trading Post right away. You'll receive a text when it's time to check-in.
- Weekdays (especially Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) are less crowded than weekends.
Downtown Disney District Dining
Dining locations incorporate enhanced health and safety measures, including physical distancing, the use of appropriate face coverings by employees, cast members and guests, and increased cleaning procedures and limited contact. To promote physical distancing and touchless transactions, you'll see a number of changes to dining locations, including:
- Increased outdoor patio-style seating available at select locations.
- Very limited indoor dining.
- Parties seated at tables 6 feet apart.
- Digital or single-use menus available at many locations.
- Reservations for some table-service restaurants (Naples is using Open Table).
- People with proof of dining reservations may still get into the Simba parking lot even if the lot is closed for capacity.
- Physical barriers in select places where it is difficult to maintain physical distancing guidelines).
- Encouragement of cashless transactions — bring credit cards, debit cards, gift cards and mobile wallet options.
- Some dining locations use their own reservations system or virtual waitlist.
- The entire party must be present before seating.
- Face coverings must be worn while standing, waiting or sitting in dining locations.
- When dining at a table-service restaurant, continue to wear your mask while ordering and wait until you receive beverage or food and are actively eating or drinking to remove it.
Hop over to our Downtown Disney post for the most up-to-date details:
Look for signs with QR codes for Mobile Order for select quick-service locations.
Table-service locations may require reservations. Check with each individual location to confirm their reservation process. All members of a party must be present before seating, and hosts must bring the entire party to the table at one time. Additional outdoor seating has been added. Alcohol will only be served with food purchases.
Most locations offer limited menus via QR code. At Jazz Kitchen, plexiglass separated us from the passersby. The hostess provided us with bags to hold our masks and a hand wipe. At Ballast Point, we also scanned a QR code to pull up the menu, and we ordered and paid through our phones. With masked servers and these extra steps, we felt very safe dining in Downtown Disney.
You can make some dining reservations via the Disneyland app, but for some restaurants, you will need to call or use Open Table. We highly recommend getting a dining reservation, especially Friday through Monday. The Simba parking lot closes to limited capacity at busy times and a dining reservation gets you in the lot and is like a FASTPASS to get you to the front of the security line!
Downtown Disney Shopping
Here's a look at the open shops:
- Disney Dress Shop
- Disney Home (may use a virtual queue)
- Disney’s Pin Traders
- LEGO Store (may use a virtual queue)
- Marceline’s Confectionery (may use a mobile waitlist if lines get long)
- 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 (may use a virtual queue)
- 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 Reopening 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. You can begin making reservations April 15. Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel will reopen June 15, 2021, and reservations are available now! The Disneyland Hotel will remain closed and open at a later date, pending state and local government approvals.
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. Guest ages 2 and older must wear an appropriate face covering in public areas at the hotel (including those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine). Guests may remove their face covering while swimming or actively eating or drinking, but must be stationary when consuming food or beverages, and maintain proper physical distancing.
Hotel dining expands to all guests on May 28 with the reopening of Napa Rose for dinner and Storyteller's Café for breakfast and dinner (no character dining). Reservations open May 18.
During the phased reopening, the hotel restaurants will be reserved for hotel guests.
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.