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Disneyland Has Reopened. Here’s What We Have Learned.

May 11, 2021

On April 30th, after more than 15 months away, Disneyland Resort finally reopened its theme parks. 

Since then, we’ve learned a lot about policy changes and updates. Disney is also pumping out updates about the stuff that hasn’t returned yet.

Here’s what we know about Disneyland’s Triumphant Return.

The Basics of Disneyland’s Reopening

Disney has limited capacity due to California’s theme park reopening guidelines. The maximum number of guests is 25 percent of the total capacity.

While California officials have since updated another policy, Disneyland only allows state residents to visit for the time being.

Guests do need Park Passes, which has proven challenging due to the tremendous demand to visit Disneyland. People really missed it.

Something important you should know is that Disneyland sells tiered tickets. You can look at the official page to learn about the blackout dates for each tier.

Disneyland doesn’t offer FastPasses right now, which means MaxPasses aren’t an option, either. 

The only form of digital queuing occurs with Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Boarding Groups. 

Otherwise, you’re waiting in short lines. At Disneyland Park, only TWO rides have required waits of 30-35 minutes. 

Those are Haunted Mansion and Indiana Jones Adventure. Every other attraction was 25 minutes or less, even the new Snow White’s Enchanted Wish!

Speaking of that attraction, there was a minor controversy over its final scene, but the whole thing is overblown. 

It was really just one article that got amplified by people who disagreed. 

Overall, Disney has avoided significant problems, which is remarkable given how long the two theme parks sat on the sidelines. 

Park Changes of Note

Photo courtesy Disney Tourist Blog

You must pass a temperature test at the park entrance, a practice that Walt Disney World has eliminated. 

However, you’ll notice a change even before that if you visit Downtown Disney. The parking lots have added self-pay parking machines. 

This step reduces the number of interactions with cast members, a longstanding gripe about parking at Downtown Disney.

As you know, Disneyland Park possesses less space than its Walt Disney World siblings. So, the focus inside the parks is avoiding clustering.

Management has placed signs on benches to remind guests where they can and cannot sit to ensure social distancing.

You’ll find more than hand sanitizer stations at the parks. Disney has added complete sink stations complete with paper towel dispensers. 

Unlike at Walt Disney World, you cannot remove your mask for pictures. Otherwise, the park experience is quite similar.

The one oddity involves attractions. Disneyland has taken a phased approach, starting with slightly more than half of its rides operating.

As I speak, you can ride about two-thirds of the stuff at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. 

The parks will continue to bring back stuff over the next few weeks. That’s welcome news, as it also means that lines will grow even shorter!

More options mean more guests spread across the park. However, Jungle Cruise will remain closed until its re-theming is complete. 

By the way, here’s a video of the new Snow White ride:

And here is the pre-show queue at Haunted Mansion, the one with pet puns:

Poor Stripey. Also, I should mention that Haunted Mansion does include an active Stretching Room experience. So, that’s one point in favor of Disneyland.

The DVC Perspective

Grand Californian
Photo courtesy Disney Tourist Blog

When Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa reopened, it came with a few disappointments. 

The two most famous restaurants didn’t return, and the hotel’s best amenity wasn’t available, either. 

Thankfully, the situation will improve in late May. Napa Rose and Storytellers Café are scheduled to reopen on May 28th.

On that date, the hotel will also bring back the private entrance to Disney California Adventure (DCA).

Yes, if you haven’t heard, Disney is only allowing guests to return from the park to the hotel. You cannot enter DCA from the hotel…until May 28th.

So, if you’re visiting over the next two weeks, some amenities aren’t available. Starting on May 28th, the hotel gets back to normal. Of course, June 4th is the next big day, as that’s when Avengers Campus finally debuts.

To learn more how to experience the magic for less, rent DVC points or rent out your DVC points as a Member visit the friendly team at DVC Rental Store. To purchase a DVC resale contract visit our partners at DVC Resale Market.

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