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

A note from Mommy Frog: Starting July 30, 2021, face coverings will be required for all guests ages 2 and up while indoors, regardless of vaccination status. This includes upon entering and throughout many attractions, and in enclosed transportation vehicles (such as shuttles and buses). Face coverings remain optional for all guests in outdoor areas.

Visiting Disneyland - Pinterest 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. Masks are no longer required for fully vaccinated guests (except when using resort transportation such as Toy Story Lot buses). Unvaccinated guests ages 2 and up must still wear face coverings when inside. Disneyland began welcoming out-of-state visitors as of June 15, and guests will now take it upon themselves to worry about physical distancing. That's actually big news as those empty seats on rides fill up with guests and physically distant queues go away.

What Is Disneyland Like Right Now?

A year ago, we felt like we may never be comfortable in crowds again without a mask. So how was our first day back at Disneyland after the mask rules were lifted? It was wonderful. How nice it was to drink water when and where we needed it, walk down Main Street U.S.A. with ice cream or let Lily eat her popcorn from her stroller on the go. We still saw plenty of families who still decided to mask up. 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. Guests take the responsibility on themselves to mask up indoors if unvaccinated. A cast member is not likely to tell you to put a mask on your child before you enter a building.

Planning a Visit to Disneyland? Here's What It's Like Right Now-Mickey's Mix Magic lights up the castleWith most rides or attractions open, fireworks 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 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 nightly fireworks have returned! Mickey's Mix Magic is lighting up our summer nights and that makes us sooo hoppy! What a great way to end a magical day. The Disneyland Band and Pearly Band 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. 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 (the last ones we have seen are at 4 p.m.). We caught one with Mickey and pals, princesses and Peter Pan characters. The other one has a Frozen float with Anna and Elsa. The cavalcades run from 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 about when to expect them. Listen for music changes. It's hard to discuss timing. If a cavalcades starts on one end of the route, it can take about 15 minutes for it 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 cavalcadeThis 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 (pssst ... you don't really need it right now!), 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. 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! More and more rides are reopening too. Character dining at Plaza Inn — Minnie & Friends Breakfast — returns Aug. 12, 2021! So much good stuff is hoppening on a daily basis.

On a recent D23 podcast, Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock dropped that a new annual pass program will be rolled out by the end of the year! If you live in California, take advantage of the special California resident 3-day promo ticket while you await annual pass news. You can use it any three days before Sept. 30, 2021 (and not in just a two-week period like other multi-day tickets). Grab your ears, and let's hop into all of the magical details.

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 state is in a transition period as it ended all state-mandated theme park guidelines June 15, 2021. That means we see face coverings going away for vaccinated guests (and masks indoors for vaccinated guests except when eating). 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 will not be back until end of summer 2021. But the regular ones are there now!

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 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! Make sure you have a ticket, and make sure you get a reservation for the same day your ticket 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.

Here are three 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!
  • Once you have tickets and are ready to reserve (or if you want to view your existing reservations), head to this link: StartYourDisneylandExperience.com. 

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 open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. though Aug. 12. Starting Aug. 13, 2021, the park stay open until 11 p.m. Disneyland gets to stay open an hour later than Disney California Adventure, so keep that in mind when park hopping. We were dancing on Main Street U.S.A. when we got to see fireworks once again! Shows are either at 9 p.m. or 9:30 p.m., so check the entertainment calendar. You can stay to shop on 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 attractions. 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 Toy Story Lot is open, and the buses are running. All guests must wear a face covering on the bus. In the morning (at least before 11 a.m.) you can go through security screening in the parking 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. 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 parking structures are still open, but the trams are not operating, which means a lengthy walk. The structures are now opening earlier. Toy Story lot opens at 7 a.m. The structure hours could be changing to 7 a.m. as well. 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. Rope Drop has returned, so you cannot head straight to the attractions until they remove the ropes at the end of Main Street U.S.A.

You can now purchase Disneyland parking in advance. 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 7:15, 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 worth checking out but it does fill up early. Anaheim GardenWalk has a new Anaheim attractions flat rate of $25. You must text 949-532-8293. Text your parking ticket number and "AA" to get the rate. Payment 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!

Locker areas reopened inside the park now that physical distancing is not a concern. If you want to store a droid or lightsaber you purchased in the park, you may store them at 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. The bad news is that there are no parking trams or Mickey vans from the parking structure. It’s 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.

You can now rent manual wheelchairs, ECVs and strollers at the parking structure. 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 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.
  • 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 walk in 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.

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 temporarily unavailable, 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 lines never got long enough that we wished we had a FASTPASS ... until our more recent trips in mid-July. Lines are definitely returning, but they are still manageable. The shortest wait times are when the park first opens and the last three hours of the day. We save the early afternoon peak line times for meeting characters, dining and enjoying park entertainment.

Now that Single Rider has 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 in with you — refill stations are open!)

Usually, the first hour and last hour of park opening have the shortest lines. We hopped over to Disney California Adventure for the last two and half hours of the day and rode the six most popular rides in that time, as well as hung out with characters and ate a snack. You can get a lot done at the end of the day at either park!

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 six times a day!
  • Mickey and friends are at the Main Street, U.S.A. Railroad Station. But also check the area to the left of The Mad Hatter. You might catch some characters there.
  • 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 and 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 Minnie the Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore playing in a grassy area between the Hub and Tomorrowland!
  • At the ticketed A Touch of Disney event that took place in March and April, some lucky guests got to test a new and magical meet and greet with Tinker Bell. We hope to see some new character experiences come to life over the coming months!

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 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 ChewbaccaThis 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 does not require a reservation to build a droid.
  • Oga’s Cantina is open as of June 17.
  • 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.
  • The following retail shops are open: Black Spire Outfitters, Creature Stall, Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, Droid Depot, First Order Cargo and Toydarian Toymaker.
  • 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 OrleansYou 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. You can find the complete list of open and closed restaurants in our post on what will be open when Disneyland reopens.

A few fan favorites from closed restaurants seem to be popping up in neighboring restaurants, so 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. In fact, Mobile Order is the primary way to get food at some quick-service restaurants, so make sure you are prepared for this. 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 ordering (such as Tropical Hideaway and Plaza Inn).

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.
  • 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 .
  • There's a limited menu at Plaza Inn — the famous fried chicken and the pasta is still there!
  • These table-service restaurants are available: Blue Bayou, Café Orleans and River Belle Terrace. Oga's Cantina is open too. Plaza Inn breakfast character dining returns in August.
  • 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.
  • Find your Clam Chowder at French Market.
  • 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.
  • Breakfast chimichangas do not return until the end of summer.

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. Tropical Imports and Fantasyland Fruit Cart have reopened.
  • 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!
  • Park at Toy Story lot to enjoy bus transportation to the parks (bring a mask for the bus).
  • 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 (opening July 2).
  • 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.
  • Eat breakfast before you arrive, as choices are very limited in the morning.
  • Bring water. Fill stations and drinking fountains are open.
  • Mobile Order food before you get hungry.
  • Catch the Disneyland Band.
  • Nightly fireworks returned with Mickey's Mix Magic as of July 4!
  • 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)?

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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

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

Thank you very much! This is so helpful!

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

You're welcome, Jim!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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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!

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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

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