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Planning a Visit to Disneyland? Here's What It's Like Right Now

Oh hoppy day! Disneyland reopened April 30, 2021, after 412 days of closure. The Frog Family was there for this historic event and we've hopped back a few times since to stay on top of the changing situation. Disneyland began welcoming out-of-state visitors as of June 15, and guests now take it upon themselves to manage physical distancing. Capacity is limited, and while rides are filled with guests, the lines seem generally shorter than before. We greet characters from a distance but still have a ton of spontaneous fun with them (find Undercover Tourist on TikTok to see what I'm talking about.)

Character cavalcades have started popping up and parades are returning (first to the Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney California Adventure and then to Disneyland during Holiday Time). We are experiencing that Disney magic we all missed during the pandemic and temporary park closures, and it's toadally keeping us smiling. In more good news, both the Monorail and Disney Junior are back as of Oct. 15!

As we head into Holiday Time, you'll want to hop over to our guide to the holidays at Disneyland for more details on what to expect as more entertainment, including a parade, returns.

What Is Disneyland Like Right Now?

We all have different comfort levels and health risks right now. But you should be aware that physical distancing is no longer regulated by the park. Ride vehicles are filled to capacity. However, Disneyland face covering policies are ever changing, so hop over to our mask policy post for the latest information. If you are visiting through Oct. 31, 2021, be sure to hop over to our guide to Disneyland Halloween Time for all the fun decor and fall fun.

Planning a Visit to Disneyland? Here's What It's Like Right Now-Mickey's Mix Magic lights up the castle

With most rides or attractions open, fireworks and projection shows, and no more physically distant lines weaving around, Disneyland is feeling a lot more like it did pre-pandemic. There are still a few differences though, the biggest one being that you still need to make a park reservation to visit. We have seen sad visitors being turned away at the turnstiles because they did not purchase tickets in advance or make a park reservation. It breaks our froggy hearts. So read on to learn what to know when visiting Disneyland right now. We update this post almost weekly to keep up with all of the changes.

Planning a Visit to Disneyland? Here's What It's Like Right Now-Some people wear masks and some do not at Disneyland these daysThings will not completely return to normal overnight. It will take time to bring back all entertainment and open up all dining and bring back the parking trams from the parking structures. Speaking of entertainment, fireworks have returned! Mickey's Mix Magic lit up our summer nights and that made us sooo hoppy! Now Halloween Screams plays as a projection show nightly through Oct. 31. It's accompanied by fireworks on select nights such as Friday through Sunday and a few other nights. What a great way to end a magical day. Holiday Time is just around the corner.

The Disneyland Band, Pearly Band, Dapper Dans and Bootstrapers have returned too! Even during this reopening period, Disneyland lives up to its nickname as "The Happiest Place on Earth!" Can we just say that we are loving the new fun character interactions? We caught Tigger, Pooh and Eeyore playing in a grassy area near the hub. Other times Alice and the Cheshire cat talked tea with us there. Woody waved from a balcony in Frontierland. So fun!

Speaking of characters, character cavalcades have started appearing on the parade route. You can generally catch them in the early to late afternoon at 12:15, 2:15, 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. We caught one with Mickey and pals, Disney princesses and Peter Pan characters. During Halloween Time some villains join the crew. The other cavalcade has a "Frozen" float with Anna and Elsa. The cavalcades run from Town Square to "it's a small world" or later in the opposite direction.

The cavalcades are not yet on the entertainment schedule to prevent crowds from gathering. But you may be able to ask a cast member for some hints on when to expect them. For instance, listen for music changes. It's hard to discuss timing. If a cavalcade starts on one end of the route, it can take about 15 minutes to get to the other end of the parade route.

Planning a Visit to Disneyland? Here's What It's Like Right Now-Anna and Elsa wave from a Frozen float cavalcade

This is a unique time when visiting Disneyland is a whole new world for all of us. When most of your traditional tips and tricks for maximizing time are gone, what do you do? Don't worry — we've got you covered! We're sharing important information such as the best time to arrive, how to plan your day without FASTPASS. Speaking of FASTPASS, did you hear the news? Free FASTPASS will not return. A new paid program, called Genie+ replaces MaxPass. Hop over to our Disney Genie post to read all about the new planning features and how to skip the lines using the new Lightning Lane entrance coming fall 2021 to Disneyland (and is already in use at Disney World).

We will go over when to hop on those new-and-improved rides and where to find your favorite foods! One thing to be aware of is that there is not as much scheduled entertainment ... yet. But more returns all the time. Here’s what to know when visiting Disneyland during this frogciting reopening period.

As if Mickey reopening those gates wasn't exciting enough, there's more to look forward to at the Disneyland Resort in the coming weeks and months! Single Rider has made its way back! Almost all rides are open too. Character dining at Plaza Inn — Minnie & Friends Breakfast — has returned! So much good stuff is hoppening on a daily basis.

For locals, the new Magic Key annual pass program debuted Aug. 25, 2021! If you get a Magic Key, you can access the Magic Key lounge in the Tomorrowland Starcade from Sept. 1 through Oct. 31 for photo ops, mobile phone charging stations and other perks. Magic Key holders need to make park reservations early (up to 90 days in advance) as reservations fill up faster than the pool of reservations for regular ticket holders. As of Oct. 25, 2021, the top level Magic Key is sold out.

Before we get started, here's a look at what it was like to hop back through Disneyland's gates and be welcomed back by cast members lining Main Street U.S.A. It gives us chills just thinking about it!

What to Know When Visiting Disneyland During the Reopening Period

Visiting Disneyland During the Reopening Period - Cast Members on Main Street

The face covering policy changes as CDC guidelines change. Physical distancing is now up to guests to manage if it concerns them. Ride vehicles are filled. Hand-washing stations, floor markers and most plexiglass dividers are gone (but hand sanitizer stations remain). Ride pre-shows returned. We will leave those tedious (but still important) details in our Disneyland reopening post. It's a good idea to hop back to that post for the most up-to-date information prior to your trip. Out-of-state guests are once again able to visit! All guests still need valid admission and a Disneyland Theme Park Reservation to visit, which we'll get into below.

Planning a Visit to Disneyland? Here's What It's Like After Reopening - Women take a selfie with Tigger near it's a small worldThis post is all about how to maximize your time, find the most characters, and find the shortest lines and even scout out turkey legs, chimichangas, big pickles and Mickey pretzels (psst ... it's Ship to Shore Marketplace across from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad). FYI, the breakfast chimichangas are back! But get one early as these popular items do sell out early.

As we visit and get used to the new operations, we will continually update this post with our tips and advice to make the best of your journey. Oh, it feels so good to be back!

Arriving at Disneyland

Gone are the days where annual passholders could just hop into the park whenever they felt like it, or visitors could arrive, purchase tickets at the booth and visit whatever park they felt like hopping into. Disneyland continues to limit capacity through advance ticket sales and a new reservation system.

Disneyland Tickets, Passes and Reservations

What to Know When Visiting Disneyland - Ticket Outside Disneyland

You can find all the hopful details in our Disneyland park reservations post. But the key takeaway here is to plan ahead. The booking window has now expanded out to 120 days, allowing more time to plan!

A new annual pass called Magic Key has arrived. All passholders need to make advance theme park reservations. Magic Key holders may reserve up to 90 days in advance.

The Key Holders and regular ticket holders have separate reservations pools, which means that weekends and holidays could be full for Magic Key holders while ticket buyers still find plenty of availability.

Make sure you have a ticket and acquire a reservation for the same day your ticket or pass is valid. You will choose a theme park to visit when you make your reservation. If park hopping, you will choose the park you wish to visit first and then you may hop to the other park after 1 p.m. While park hopping is subject to availability, we have not heard of any problems. Park hoppers may line up at separate turnstiles before 1 p.m. so that other guests may enter the parks. Then at exactly 1 p.m. the park hoppers may enter the other park (and can then hop back and forth).

Multi-day tickets are the easiest to deal with because they are good any day 13 days after first use and have no blackouts. They also save you money, especially if you purchase discounted Disneyland Resort tickets through Undercover Tourist! Weekend days fill up the fastest. Do not wait to purchase the the ticket booths as most days sell out and have no reservation availability.

Here are the key links you may find hopful as you plan to return to the magic:

  • The 1-Day Ticket Tier Calendar to find out which days which 1-Day tickets can be used. If you are going with multi-day tickets, you do not have to worry about this link. (This calendar does not show if the days are still available, though, so you'll also need to hop over to the next link.)
  • The Park Availability Calendar: On popular days, one or both parks may be full for reservations. Check this calendar before purchasing tickets. One thing to note is that Park Hopper tickets generally have more availability than 1-Park tickets. If you do not see any availability for Disneyland Park when you want to visit, here's a workaround: Purchase a Park Hopper that starts in Disney California Adventure Park and hop over to Disneyland Park after 1 p.m. You can do so much in Disney California Adventure Park before you hop!
  • The Magic Key Holder Availability Calendar shows blockout dates as well a which days are already full for reservations.
  • Once you have tickets and are ready to reserve (or if you want to view your existing reservations), head to this link: StartYourDisneylandExperience.com.
  • Multi-day tickets for the best savings.

Parking, Hours and Arrival Changes

Planning a Visit to Disneyland? -Wheelchair and stroller rental at parking structure

You’ll want to arrive early to make the most of your day. Disneyland is usually open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. But check the hours before you visit as there are some earlier closing times in October and especially early November. Beginning Nov. 12, Disney stays open until 11 or 12 p.m. except it closes early (at 7 p.m.) on Disney Merriest Nites party nights. Disneyland usually gets to stay open an hour later than Disney California Adventure, so keep that in mind when park hopping. We are dancing on Main Street because we get to see fireworks once again! Shows are usually at 9 p.m., so check the entertainment calendar. You can stay to shop in Main Street, U.S.A. until an hour after park closing.

There is no Extra Magic Hour or Magic Morning at this time. Rope drop is back, which means if you arrive before park opening, you will only get as far as Main Street, U.S.A. Then at 8 a.m. (or maybe even before!) cast members will drop the ropes and you may head to your first attraction. Disneyland usually opens up the gates early each day. The time can vary each day but plan for the gates to open about 20 to 30 minutes before posted opening time. It's toadally worth arriving early. We head straight to Pirates and Haunted Mansion to knock those popular rides out before the crowds arrive.

There is big parking news! The parking trams return in early 2022! Until then it's a hike to get between the parking structures and the park. You definitely feel it at the end of the day! That's why we've been parking at theToy Story Lot, which has buses.

Guests must wear a face covering on the bus/park transportation. In the morning (at least before 11 a.m.) you can go through security screening in the Toy Story lot before you hop on the bus. Then you can breeze past the Harbor security in a separate lane after exiting the bus and head straight to the theme parks! We highly recommend Toy Story Lot over the parking structures to save time and energy until parking trams return (and even after). Keep in mind that the line to catch a bus at the end of the night may be longer than the 20-minute walk back to the lot.

The Monorail is back too! That means hotel guests can skip the walk to the park entrance and enter in Downtown Disney as well as anyone else entering from that end or walking over from the parking structures using the pedestrian walkway from level 2 of Pixar Pals. We expect there to be long lines for awhile, so you'll save the walk but maybe not time. You'll want to keep an eye on closing time. If you leave after 7 p.m., don't be counting on a ride back to Downtown Disney.

The parking structures and Toy Story lot open at 7 a.m. Disneyland says parking opens 60 minutes prior to earliest theme park opening time. You may usually line up 15 minutes prior to the lot opening. The Pixar Pals structure is generally less crowded than Mickey and Friends, but you can usually only enter before 11 a.m. We prefer the Pixar Pals for times when we want to use the pedestrian bridge to Downtown Disney and the Monorail.

You can now purchase Disneyland parking in advance. Parking prices just increased to $30. You can pay to upgrade to Preferred Parking at the toll booth if you want to park closer to the elevators and escalators in the structures. The elevators allow one party at a time, so prepare for a long wait. Likewise, allow a good chunk of time to park and get into the theme park (up to two hours)!

If you want to avoid parking, or you want to be the first person in the park, there are two guest drop-off areas: One outside Harbor Boulevard security and one by Downtown Disney. Harbor Boulevard has the shortest walk but may have the most people. If you are staying at a hotel near Disneyland, you can skip the parking structures and walk to the Harbor security area or the Downtown Disney security entrance.

People line up at Harbor about 6:30 a.m., but this is not necessary. Harbor security lines are shorter now and can move quickly. The security checkpoints open about 7 to 7:15 a.m., depending on the crowd level. If some hotels on Harbor have extra parking, you may be able to park there, but they do fill up early. Anaheim Hotel is also worth checking out but it does fill up 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 right after you park. Text your parking ticket number and "AA" to get the rate. Payment is completed upon exit.

In the structures, once you make your way to the bottom level, you'll go through security screening before walking down the path the parking trams usually take to get to the theme parks. It's about a 15- to 20-minute walk. There are benches for resting along the way.

If there's one "don't" for your morning, this is it: Don't park at Downtown Disney unless you wish to pay the $66 maximum daily parking/lost ticket fee! Hotel parking prices also went up.

Locker areas are open inside the park. If you want to store a droid or lightsaber you purchased in the park, you may store them at Pioneer Mercantile or Droid Depot (or even ship them home from First Order Cargo). The stroller shop will also hold purchases for you. You'll need to bring them there yourself, though.

Wheelchairs, ECVs, Strollers and DAS

The good news is that the Disability Access Service (DAS) is available and changes are coming to allow guests to register in advance of a visit. The bad news is parking trams do not return until early 2022! That long walk is fine for many able-bodied people, but for people with mobility challenges or froglets with short legs, it’s a long way to go on top of all the theme park walking you'll be doing. If you want to skip the walk, park at the Toy Story lot until early 2022.

You can now rent manual wheelchairs, ECVs and strollers at the parking structure, but they can sell out by mid-morning. Our post on using a wheelchair at Disneyland has more options, tips and advice for using a wheelchair or ECV at Disneyland and renting off-site. Disneyland strollers now have Mickey and Minnie on them!

Disneyland Attractions, Wait Times and Touring Advice

What to Know When Visiting Disneyland During Reopening - Snow White's Enchanted Wish

We have developed new touring plans. Keep in mind that a few rides may be on everyone’s must-do list, especially with new enhancements to enjoy! These rides need a strategy:

  • Haunted Mansion (with some new elements after refurbishment): Now that the stretching room is full, the line moves quickly. Keep in mind that this ride has an overlay: Haunted Mansion Holiday runs Sept. 3 through at least Jan. 9.
  • Splash Mountain (people want to take a farewell cruise over the falls before this ride is re-themed to a Tiana-based ride): The wait will grow as the day goes on especially for hot days. Ride early.
  • Snow White’s Enchanted Wish (Snow White’s Scary Adventures got a happily-ever-after makeover): This line actually moved pretty quickly. The longest waits we saw were about 30 minutes. We entered the line in Fantasy Faire. The line stays pretty consistent throughout the day.
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Disneyland’s newest and most immersive ride — requires joining a virtual queue): Hop over to our post on how to join a Boarding Group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. The Force was with us and we have ridden several times! It's never enough!
  • Pirates of the Caribbean is on everyone's list, as well. We usually ride in the morning or save it until the line drops in the evening.
  • Indiana Jones Adventure is also a fan favorite to hit early or late in the day.
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters reopened.
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds reopened.
  • Jungle Cruise reopened with some new scenes and more dry humor. Wet humor too.
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage returns winter 2021.
  • Check the Disneyland refurbishment calendar before you visit.

Planning a Visit to Disneyland? Here's What It's Like Right Now- Chimps take over a Jungle Cruise boat in new scene.

Now that FASTPASS and MaxPass are retired, you can keep an eye on ride wait times in the Disneyland app to follow the shortest wait times. If you see everyone on the west side of the park, go east. You can find our updated list of rides that are open or closed in our post on what's open at Disneyland. To be honest, it has been nice to just ride whatever we want whenever we want without worrying about acquiring or making it to return windows. The shortest wait times are when the park first opens and the last three hours of the day. We save the early afternoon peak wait times for meeting characters, dining and enjoying park entertainment.

Now that Single Rider lines have returned, we have enjoyed skipping some lines for popular rides such as Space Mountain and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. We are hoppy to once again be adding that to our line-skipping tool belt (although we might have waited just as long in the Single Rider line at Matterhorn Bobsleds as people did in the standby line!).

Put your scheduling energy into making Mobile Order selections (or reservations) for meals in advance. But with more dining options, mobile order and walk-up ordering has improved too, and we still find plenty of yummy options. Our post on what's open at Disneyland has the complete and updated list of what's open, including restaurants and rides.

If you have small tadpoles who do not meet the height requirements or are too scared to ride, you can use Rider Switch. If someone in your party has disabilities that make waiting in a standard queue very difficult, talk to Guest Relations about Disability Access Service (DAS).

You'll need new strategies for finding the shortest lines for the most popular rides. Will you use a touring plan, or be one of the first in line when the park opens? Watch the ride times in the app and look for the shortest wait of the day? Visit with characters or eat when attractions times are at their longest in the early afternoon? Utilize virtual queues or Single Rider lines when offered? Wait to ride until the end of the night? If you are in line as the park closes, you can stay in line until you ride. These are all methods we use to scout out the shortest wait times.

Here's a look at Snow White's Enchanted Wish:

You'll want sun protection and to stay hydrated (it's still a good and green idea to bring your refillable water bottle with you — refill stations are open!)

Usually, the first hour and last hour of park opening have the shortest lines. You can get a lot done at the end of the day at either park! On nights with fireworks, the lines go down while people wait for the show.

We have noticed that wait times for the most rides have been even shorter than promised! Twenty is the new thirty (when it comes to wait time estimates anyway)!

We frogs were able to take a slower pace than usual to just appreciate being back in the park we love so much. Crowds are shifting over to Disney California Adventure Park now that Avengers Campus is open. The new ride, WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure, also utilizes a virtual queue similar to Rise of the Resistance. If you are park hopping in the afternoon to Disney California Adventure, you'll still have an opportunity to join the queue at noon.

Character Experiences During Disneyland's Reopening

Planning a Visit to Disneyland? Here's What It's Like After Reopening - Mickey greets guests outside his home

Planning a Visit to Disneyland? Here's What It's Like After Reopening - Goofy at Main Street Train StationDisneyland always keeps us on our toes with character experiences. The reopening did not disappoint! We saw new and creative ways to meet and see characters while keeping everyone safe. Here's what we experienced:

  • There are new character cavalcades making their way down the parade route and the Christmas Fantasy Parade returns during Holiday Time.
  • Mickey and friends are at the Main Street, U.S.A. Railroad Station. We recently caught up with Cruella to the right of the station.
  • You can wave at characters outside of their own and each other's homes in Mickey's Toontown (the homes are temporarily closed to guests) and the gazebo. You may get some surprise character experiences besides the usual residents of Toontown!
  • Give a royal wave and talk to princesses such as Mulan or Belle in the Royal Theatre in Fantasyland. We also met Anna and Elsa there — a rare Disneyland treat! Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Ariel and Elena came by as well! Rapunzel and Flynn Rider posed and gave us the smolder in Fantasy Faire as we exited from visiting with the other princesses. Another time we caught the Snow White with the Evil Queen in that spot! They all move around.
  • Also look for princesses on the path to the left of the castle. We had great talks with Ariel, Belle, Mulan and the Evil Queen there.
  • Keep an eye out for Tiana, Captain Jack Sparrow and Redd on New Orleans Square balconies and staircases. Sometimes they chat with guests in line for Pirates!
  • Catch intermittent appearances by Miguel from Disney and Pixar’s "Coco" at the temporarily closed Rancho del Zocolo restaurant in Frontierland. Look to the balcony above the Golden Horseshoe to spot Woody, Jessie or one of the Three Caballeros.
  • See if you can spot Rey, Chewbacca and Vi Moradi above or in the speeder garage at Black Spire Station in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Chewie has been seen repairing the Millennium Falcon.
  • Watch out for stormtroopers, along with Kylo Ren, patrolling the platform in front of the TIE Echelon starfighter. We recently saw stormtroopers walking through the land on the ground, so that was an exciting development as the parks move back to a normal state.
  • On the raised area in front of "it's a small world," see if you can spot various Disney friends. How fun to see the characters interact with other characters from other stories!
  • We caught up with Tinker Bell outside Pixie Hollow.
  • It was so much fun to see Alice and the Cheshire Cat  playing in a grassy area between the Hub and Tomorrowland! We've also seen Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore there.

Planning a Visit to Disneyland? Here's What It's Like Right Now-Pinocchio and Geppetto Greet Guests near "small world"

Our Disneyland characters post will have all of the updated details on meeting characters.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland

Planning a Visit to Disneyland? - Person poses in front of Ray and Chewbacca

This newest and largest land is almost like visiting another planet. There are some important changes to note.

  • Savi’s Workshop — Handbuilt Lightsabers reservations are open now (you can reserve up to 60 days in advance):
  • Droid Depot is open and reservations to build a droid are open now.
  • Oga’s Cantina is open.
  • Ronto Roasters, Docking Bay 7 and Milk Stand are open. Mobile Order is the best way to get acquire food and drink.
  • You’ll still need to join a Boarding Group (virtual queue) for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
  • Droid Depot will store large purchases for you until before park closing.
  • First Order Cargo will ship items to your home.
  • You'll find characters up on platforms, balconies and stages (or inside the speeder garage). we've started to see them walking around too!

Planning a Visit to Disneyland? Here's What It's Like After Reopening - Mobile Order Sign at Ronto Roasters

There are new changes to join a Boarding Group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. You have two opportunities a day to join: 7 a.m. and 12 p.m. You can find all the details and hopful tips in our post on joining a Boarding Group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. The pre-show room with Rey and BB-8 is back!

Dining During Disneyland's Reopening Period

Planning a Visit to Disneyland? Here's What It's Like Right Now-The half Monte Cristo and pommes frites at Cafe Orleans

You can expect a more limited selection of restaurants at Disneyland than normal, with limited hours, as well as more limited menus. However, more and more options are opening all the time. Multiple cast members at restaurants say that full menus should return in September. You can find the complete list of open and closed restaurants in our post on what will be open when Disneyland reopens.

Planning a Visit to Disneyland? Here's What It's Like Right Now-Clam Chowder returned to Harbour GalleyMenus are modified and more limited than usual, but more normal menus are expected to return in September. Definitely look up the menus ahead of time online or through the Disneyland app. You’ll see an expanded number of Mobile Order locations to help you limit contact and maximize time. We also saw a lot more walk-up availability returning and some of the Mobile Ordering options being removed as some restaurants return to walk-up-only ordering (such as Tropical Hideaway and Plaza Inn). So you have options.

Planning a Visit to Disneyland? Here's What It's Like After Reopening-Dole Whip float swirl with loco moco bao from tropical HideawayHere are a few highlights, plus items that are not usually in those locations (so you can spot some favorites that may be found in new spots), as well as things you need to know:

  • New Mobile Dine Walk-Up List for table-service restaurants are available in the Disneyland app.
  • New Mobile Check-In is now in place at table-service restaurants.
  • New Mobile Order locations in place, such as French Market, Little Red Wagon and Plaza Inn.
  • You can now mobile order treats from the candy shops!
  • Blue Bayou reopened with adults drinks. Beer, wine and themed drinks such as Hurricanes are available. For tadpoles and non-drinkers, we can look forward to seasonal Mint Juleps!
  • Dole Whip flavors available include pineapple, mango, raspberry and lemon (pick two to swirl) at Tropical Hideaway (plus yummy new menu items have appeared) — no more Mobile Order here, but Tiki Juice Bar is back open with Mobile Order.
  • All table-service restaurants have reopened.
  • Plaza Inn breakfast character dining returned August 12, but with modified service and different characters.
  • You can make Disneyland dining reservations up to 60 days in advance. If you do not see your restaurant choice listed, try typing the name in. More times may pop up. If you do not see a lunch or dinner time, try checking hour by hour. You might see a reservation become available. Sometimes reservations open after 60 days, so keep checking.
  • Find your Clam Chowder in a bread bowl at Harbour Galley (Yum!).
  • Eat breakfast before you arrive. Market House has breakfast sandwiches and Jolly Holiday Café has muffins, croissants and cinnamon rolls. You can get a breakfast Ronto Morning Wrap or Ronto-less Garden Wrap at Ronto Roasters. But few restaurants are offering breakfast hours or selections at this time. Red Rose Taverne reopened with breakfast.  Carnation Café is open again, including for breakfast.
  • Breakfast chimichangas have returned to Ship to Shore Marketplace.

Planning a Visit to Disneyland? Here's What It's Like Right Now-Man hold Mickey pretzel in Tomorrowland

  • Find some of your favorite Disneyland snacks and hot foods (Mickey pretzel, turkey leg or chimichanga) at Ship to Shore Marketplace across from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (without Mobile Order). They have produce and pickles too! More pretzel stands have opened (we got one in Tomorrowland).
  • Speaking of pickles, since most produce stands are closed, you can find dill pickles and spicy dills on the menu as a side at Bengal Barbecue (and a pineapple spear) or dill pickles at Galactic Grill. Many Fruit Carts have reopened s there are more options.
  • Food may look different during Disneyland's reopening period. Café Orleans now serves a half portion of the famous Monte Cristo sandwich served with a side of the equally famous Pommes Frites (but for the same price as the full portion). And you cannot order the fries separately. The only way to get them is by ordering a Monte Cristo.

Specialty Churros:

  • Celebration churro with confetti dipping sauce — Sleeping Beauty Castle
  • Green Apple Churro in Tomorrowland
  • Original cinnamon sugar churros are at various churro carts in both parks, with more specialty churros found at Disney California Adventure Park! Type in churro in the Disneyland app to find open stands.

Order Food Early

Here is our advice for Mobile Order: Do not wait until you are hungry to order food. Popular locations could mean that available return windows are up to an hour or two away. This is improving, but definitely plan ahead what you would like to eat earlier in the day. Order it. Choose a return window that works for you. If you need to cancel, or modify the timing, you can. But at least you will have a guaranteed meal or snack at the time you set. Do not wait until you arrive to tap, “I’m here. Prepare my order.” It takes some time to prepare food. Tap it before you walk over. This will cut down on any wait times. You may still encounter lines to pick up food. Practice patience as guests and cast members get used to being back in the park and operating in this new world we are living in.

Shopping During Disneyland's Reopening

Most shops are open. Contactless payment methods such as credit, debit, gift cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay are preferred, but shops will accept cash.

You may want to delay shopping on Main Street, U.S.A. until the park is closing. The larger shops and Candy Palace are open for an hour after the park closes. The app lists store hours. That way you do not have to carry your items around and can make better use of your time while the park is open. Consider it a bonus hour!

Disneyland Reopening Tips and Tidbits

Visiting Disneyland During Reopening - Group in Front of Sleeping Beauty Castle

Here are a few tips during this transitional period:

  • Wear sunscreen and sun protection!
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes — you will be on your feet more than ever, and that walk to and from the structure adds a lot more steps into your day!
  • Bring a face covering and a back-up.
  • Park at Toy Story lot to enjoy bus transportation to the parks.
  • Get your park ticket and park reservation in advance.
  • Download the latest update of the Disneyland app.
  • Read up on Mobile Order.
  • Read up on how to join a Boarding Group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
  • Check-in online at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa up to five days in advance. The same goes for Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel.
  • Bring cashless forms of payment (Apple Pay, dining cards, gift cards and credit or debit cards), but cash is accepted.
  • Use the Disneyland app to check wait times. The little tear drop at the bottom pulls up the park map.
  • The PhotoPass photographers may only use their cameras to take photos of you right now. Be sure to ask for Magic Shots!
  • You can purchase PhotoPass+ in the app by tapping the plus sign (+) and Buy Disney PhotoPass+. It's $19.99 per day.
  • Be aware that VIP Tours are the only tours available.
  • Know that Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is closed for makeovers but open for shopping.
  • Eat breakfast before you arrive, as choices are limited in the morning.
  • Bring water. Fill stations and drinking fountains are open.
  • Mobile Order food before you get hungry.
  • Catch the Disneyland Band, Dapper Dans, Pearly Band or the Bootstrappers.
  • Fireworks are back on select nights.
  • Visit Disneyland's Know Before You Go site for the most up-to-date details before your trip.

Are you as excited as us that Disneyland has reopened? Hopfully, you have better idea of what to know when visiting Disneyland during this time. Remember to purchase your Disneyland Resort tickets in advance and also make a theme park reservation. With limited capacity, some days are already full. Keep hopping back as we visit, learn more and share hopful tips and what to know about visiting Disneyland at this time.

Related: Ready to ~Hop~ Back to Disney California Adventure Park? Here's What to Expect

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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Jun 7, 2021 at 12:10 p.m. Jim Says...

Hello,

Thank you for the excellent tip!

Could you advise to which Downtown Disney security checkpoint we should enter if are lucky enough to find parking at Stovall’s Inn? I’m assuming there are more than one security stations available at Downtown Disney, and just want to make sure we walk to the right one from Stovall’s Inn.

If we have to park at the Mickey & Friends or Pixar Pals parking structure, would you suggest taking the pedestrian bridge (the one over Magic Way street) and walk to Downtown Disney security to avoid the long security lines at the parking structure (before walking to the Esplanade via the same road the trams normally take)?

Reply
Jun 7, 2021 at 12:06 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jim!

There is a pedestrian path just before the Paradise Pier Hotel that goes along the left side and back of the building. It’s between the building and Downtown Disney Parking. But you can also pass the hotel and make a left after the hotel to get there as well. There is the one security checkpoint in that area and it is not usually crowded at opening. We have not walked on the bridge since the parks reopened, so we're not exactly sure, but we have not yet encountered long security lines at the structure.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jun 8, 2021 at 12:16 p.m. Jim Says...

Thank you very much! This is so helpful!

Reply
Jun 8, 2021 at 8:36 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

You're welcome, Jim!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 9, 2021 at 3:46 p.m. Heather Epstein Says...

Where did you park off property that was very convenient and allowed for a short wait time at security? Thank you!

Reply
May 10, 2021 at 12:24 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Heather,

You have two options! You can park at the Anaheim Hotel off Harbor Boulevard. It can be a 30-minute wait to get through security before opening. We parked at the Best Western Stovall’s Inn off Katella Ave across from Downtown Disney parking and entered through Downtown Disney security. We had no wait at security and walked through Downtown Disney to get to the front gate lineup. It’s about an equally long walk as the structure from that side, but we saved time getting through security. It’s about a 5-minute walk from the hotel to the security entrance and then another 15-minute walk to the parks. Security generally opens half an hour before the parks open.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
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