Disneyland reopens on Friday, April 30th after over a year and we have ALL the information you need to help you on your first day back at the Happiest Place on Earth! Tips, tricks and a whole lot more that you may need to read this twice, and share with your friends!
As you walk into the park, ride vehicles are driving down Main Street, music is playing, cast members are wearing their costumes, the smell of popcorn and churros is in the air, characters are seen out and about in their new locations safely out of reach from guests... it's magic all around!
The Mickey and Friends and Pixar Pals parking is open! However, the trams are not running, so be prepared to walk the tram route over to the main gates. Another option is you can Uber and get dropped off at the Harbor Blvd. gate, which is closer to walk to the main gates. If you are thinking of parking in Downtown Disney for the day... you may want to think again! Starting April 30th, Downtown Disney will begin charging hourly parking upon exit again.
There are updates all around the parks!
When you walk around, you'll notice updates everywhere, including Fantasyland’s Snow White ride, changes to the Haunted Mansion ride, you can peek at Avengers Campus from Radiator Springs Racers, there is a Falcon & Winter Soldier photo op and so much more! So make sure you keep an eye out!
Lines may look long, but don't let that fool you... they're not!
Due to California guidelines, time spent indoors is limited. So while lines may look long, they're really not because once you are let inside the queue, it’s a quick-moving path to load onto the ride. The lines are also spaced out six feet apart so don't let those posted times freak you out!
How are they maintaining distance on rides?
- Indoor rides are operating with no more than 50% capacity (and in most cases much less than that). And all rides, shops, and restaurants are working hard to keep guests six feet apart from each other.
- Indiana Jones no longer seats the middle row. It’s now a plexiglass divider. Additionally, it’s only one party on the two rows they are seating. So, if there are two parties of 1 individual, the jeep dispatches with just 2 guests aboard. Expect longer waits here due to spacing.
- Pirates of the Caribbean is leaving at least two rows empty between guests and seating just one party per row.
- Splash Mountain was only seating one party per log during a recent test. Another attraction that will operate well under the 50% capacity limitation on indoor attractions.
- Rise of the Resistance is seating two parties per vehicle with plexiglass between the rows for higher capacity since this is a high demand ride! Remember, you can now get your boarding pass at 7am and 12pm through the Disneyland app! For the 7am boarding pass, you must have at Disneyland reservation in the morning if you are park hopping.
- Smugglers Run is seating one party per ship. The empty seats are put on autopilot.
- They’ve placed plexiglass in various queues where guests might be closer than six feet from each other. For example, the stairs up to the Big Thunder Mountain loading platform now have a plexiglass screen between the two sides. The same is for Space Mountain.
- Some other rides like Small World and Snow White are seating one party per vehicle.
Dining... why are so many restaurants closed?
According to MiceChat, one of the reasons why so many restaurants will be closed on opening day is because of limited resources and the length of time and effort it takes to get a location back up and running after such a long closure. Now that the opening day restaurants are mostly ready to go, focus is now turning to the next round of restaurants to return, which should be within a few weeks from opening day. Places that are starting to gear up for mid-May reopenings at Disneyland include Blue Bayou, River Belle Terrace, Alien Pizza Planet, Docking Bay 7 and Club 33. There may be even more over at California Adventure.
Virtual Dining Waitlist:
Each table-service restaurant will have a virtual waitlist option in the app and there’s a QR code at each restaurant you can scan to pull up the waitlist page. You’ll then be notified if they have a spot for you.
Mobile Ordering Food:
If you don't want to sit and dine, a quick service meal will do! All you have to do is place an order at the place you want to eat (there will also be QR codes outside the location) and you can pay on the app and it will tell you when your food is ready! Each quick service meal location has a ton of outdoor seating as well.
Finally... we know you're wondering if there is any entertainment!
You can expect to see some characters stationed at certain locations safely distance from guests. For example, Mickey and Friends will be at the Main Street U.S.A. Train Station, many princesses will be at Royal Theater, Mickey and Minnie will be in Toon Town, Chewbacca will be at Galaxy's Edge and so much more! For now, as Disneyland first opens, there will not be any parades to prevent guests from queuing up to see characters or sitting shoulder to shoulder on the curb. However this can change if Disneyland decides to have character drive down the streets of the park like Walt Disney World has been doing with cavalcades.
A couple more tips.. make sure you download the Disneyland app before you head to the parks and don't forget a portable charger! You're going to need it with all the pictures you'll be taking. And if you forget your charger, Disney has Fuel Rod stations around the park that you can purchase a portable charger.
Have a magical trip to Disneyland!
Photo credit: Tara Soudbaksh