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The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California has been closed for more than 6 months, including Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, and the Disneyland hotels. So “When will Disneyland open?” We will discuss that and many other questions you have about the issue.
Can you believe that after months of wondering and speculation, we still don’t know when the Disneyland Resort and theme parks are going to open back up! We thought this would be happening in July, but here we are almost in October and still nothing.
Eventually, Disneyland WILL reopen, and when it does, there will be a ton of new information and guidelines about Disneyland that you’ll need to learn before going.
That’s why we thought it was a good idea to write a guide to the Disneyland reopening so you can get all the answers to the questions you have.
(Updated 11/13/20) – Disney has confirmed they do not expect the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim to reopen before 2021.
Starting in November, Disney California Adventure is reopening for dining and shopping only and will work as an extension of Downtown Disney.
Read on in the NEWS section for more on what this all means...
In this post, we are going to explain all the details of the Disneyland reopening and what changes are coming to the happiest place on earth. Think of this post as “Disneyland Reopening 101,” where we’ll handle all your FAQs to the best of our ability.
We are going to answer all your questions including which attractions & restaurants are open, if the special events are running and which entertainment and shows you’ll still be able to see.
We’ll let you know about the new safety guidelines, park capacity limits and how to get tickets with the new reservation system.
We’ll also show you how to get a refund for your Disneyland vacation including park tickets, hotels, and vacation packages if needed, and how to reschedule your trip.
Keep checking back as we will keep this post updated so you have all the latest information.
Even though Disneyland will be open soon, you need to recognize that it won’t be exactly what you are used to. The new safety measures will greatly change the guest experience but are necessary to open.
This will affect crowds and your overall touring strategy for the parks. Once you get used to it though, we think you will still be able to have a great time. Things are going to be changing quickly during this time which will require the patience of all guests planning on going to Disneyland for a while.
If you are going to Walt Disney World instead and are looking for updates and FAQs for that resort, read our Disney World Reopening Guide where we explain all the new guidelines in place there. Much of what has happened in Disney World as far as procedures are also coming to Disneyland, so that should give you a good idea of what to expect.
If you are looking for information about cruises, then check out our guide to Disney Cruise Line Closure. There we go in-depth on the latest news, cancellations and how to reschedule your booking.
Also, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. There we will bring you the latest updates on the Disneyland closure, and any new closures around the world. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter
We will try to answer all your questions, but if we leave something out feel free to ask us in the comments section below.
Latest Disneyland Reopening News
We don’t ever think we’ve seen a story as big as this one in the history of Disneyland. Just think about it, we are dealing with a situation that is affecting the entire world. Never since Disneyland opened its doors in 1955 has every single Disney theme park worldwide ever closed at the same time. It’s insane!
Now all that is changing as almost all the Disney parks are now reopened around the world. Any new updates about the reopening or closing and we’ll post it here. We hope to answer as many questions that you may have as possible.
Let’s take a look at the latest:
(NEWS: 11/13/20) – Disneyland Not Expected to Reopen Before 2021
While this may not be ground-shattering news, Disney has confirmed that they do not expect the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim to reopen before 2021.
This announcement by Disney CFO Christine McCarthy confirmed what many already believed to be true ever since California announced its theme park reopening guidelines, which have almost impossible requirements.
On the Disney investors conference call, CEO Bob Chapek stated the company is “extremely disappointed” at the way the State of California is forcing Disneyland to remain closed.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek reiterated that the company is “extremely disappointed” that the State of California continues to keep Disneyland Resort closed.
In order for Disneyland to be eligible to reopen, Orange Country would have to have a positivity rate of 2% or less to enter into the “Yellow” category. Right now it is in the moderate level (2-4.9% positivity rate) and it would need to sustain under 2% for at least 2 weeks.
Again, we think it will be a long road ahead until Disneyland reopens, most likely not before Spring 2021 or beyond. Stay tuned as we will update you if anything changes.
(NEWS: 10/23/20) – Disney California Adventure Reopening for Shopping and Dining
We now that many Disneyland fans were upset to hear the news earlier this week about Disneyland not being able to reopen for quite some time. Well, now we have some good news to share with you that will see part of one of the theme parks reopen once again.
Starting in November, Disney California Adventure is reopening for dining and shopping only and will work as an extension of Downtown Disney. Access will be limited to Buena Vista Street only, but it means guests will be able to be inside California Adventure once again!
The list of what is opening includes:
- Carthay Circle Lounge
- Elias & Co.
- Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe
- Julius Katz & Sons
- Kingswell Camera Shop
- Smokejumpers Grill
- Trolley Treats
- Vending Carts
Once again, none of the attractions at Disney California Adventure will be open, but only these select shops and dining locations on Buena Vista Street. They will likely be filled with holiday merchandise as well as seasonal food options.
No mention was made about the admission fee, but we can assume that it will remain free, just like Downtown Disney is.
If it works out and guests respond well to the idea, we anticipate them reopening Disneyland with a similar setup, and giving them a chance to go back there too, while at the same time putting some cast members back to work.
As Disney drops more info we will update you. Stay tuned.
(NEWS: 10/20/20) – California Announces Theme Park Reopening Guidelines
We are now one step closer to Disneyland reopening as the state of California has finally announced theme park reopening guidelines. These guidelines are what the theme park and sports industries have been waiting for in order to properly reopen.
Unfortunately, after these new announcements it doesn’t look like Disneyland will be able to meet the requirements until sometime in 2021 at the earliest.
California State Governor Gavin Newsom said a couple of weeks ago that they were in “no hurry” to release theme park guidelines, and there has been a heated debate between theme park companies, the unions, and the State of California.
Today during a COVID-19 briefing, California Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly gave an update and announced the following theme park reopening guidelines.
- The biggest news is that Individual theme parks can reopen only once their county reaches the Orange or Yellow risk level.
On Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom said: “We are going to break up the theme parks…Not just one or two brands, it is many different parts of the theme park industry.” Now we have a clearer idea of what he meant.
Small theme parks and big theme parks have different reopening rules, so not all the guidelines apply depending on what size they are. Smaller theme parks (defined as 15,000 guest capacity or smaller) can open in the Orange (Moderate) level, while bigger parks (like Disneyland and California Adventure) can open in the Yellow (Minimal) level.
- The county requirements for being in the Orange Moderate level are 1-3.9 new daily cases (per 100k) and 2-4.9% positive tests.
- The requirements for Yellow Minimal level are Less than 1 new daily cases (per 100k) and less than 2% positive tests.
These are extremely difficult levels to reach for Disneyland and it means the parks won’t likely be reopening until sometime in 2021.
The rest of the guidelines are as follows:
- Face Masks for guests and employees (except when eating or drinking)
- Limited capacity – 25%
- Reservations required
- Limited capacity at indoor dining and drinking establishments to 25%.
- Plexiglass dividers on switchback lines/queues for attractions and concessions, or ensure sufficient physical distance between visitors.
- No indoor lines are allowed for any attraction or ride.
The announcement was made after much anticipation and a whole 7 months after Disneyland closed back in March. The state had in mind to release their requirements some weeks ago but then postponed those plans after pushback from the theme parks.
Some of the guidelines are identical to safety protocols already in place at Walt Disney World. In fact, representatives from the State of California paid a visit to the Florida theme parks to get an idea of how Disney is handling the situation and what it could be like in Disneyland.
However, the fact that Disneyland falls under the harder to achieve requirements and can only open when Orange County reaches the Yellow risk level means that we are going to have to wait quite a while to actually go back to Disneyland again.
Even worse is for the Disneyland Cast Members who now look to be out of work even longer. All this after Disney has shown itself able to responsibly handle running a theme park in these stressful times. Not one single documented case of COVID transmission has taken place at a theme park, including Walt Disney World in Florida.
Disneyland President Ken Potrock has already issued a statement about the state’s new rules saying they are “mandating arbitrary guidelines that it knows are unworkable and that hold us to a standard vastly different from other reopened businesses and state-operated facilities.”
“These state guidelines will keep us shuttered for the foreseeable future, forcing thousands more people out of work, leading to the inevitable closure of small family-owned businesses, and irreparably devastating the Anaheim/Southern California community,” Potrock said.
No reopening date has been announced for Disneyland, but at least now officials there know what they have to do to meet the state’s requirements.
We’ll keep you updated on this story as it develops and we know more.
NEWS 9/29/20 – The Walt Disney Company Laying Off 28,000 Cast Members
Due to the economic difficulties, it’s been under since the parks closed in March, The Walt Disney Company has announced they are laying off 28,000 employees the Parks, Experiences and Products segment of the business.
A big factor in these layoffs is the fact that the State of California has still not let the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim reopen, and 2,700 of the cast members are from the Disneyland Resort.
Disney Parks Chairman, Josh D’Amaro had this to say:
In light of the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business, including limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and the continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic – exacerbated in California by the State’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen – we have made the very difficult decision to begin the process of reducing our workforce at our Parks, Experiences and Products segment at all levels, having kept non-working Cast Members on furlough since April, while paying healthcare benefits.
Approximately 28,000 domestic employees will be affected, of which about 67% are part-time. We are talking with impacted employees as well as to the unions on next steps for union-represented Cast Members.
Over the past several months, we’ve been forced to make a number of necessary adjustments to our business, and as difficult as this decision is today, we believe that the steps we are taking will enable us to emerge a more effective and efficient operation when we return to normal.
Our Cast Members have always been key to our success, playing a valued and important role in delivering a world-class experience, and we look forward to providing opportunities where we can for them to return.
We can’t say this is a shock seeing as how low attendance has been in the parks, but it’s always sad to see so many families affected by this change. We hope things return to normal as soon as possible and these affected cast members can find work in the meantime.
We’ll keep you updated as soon as we know more.
When is Disneyland Reopening?
The question everyone wants an answer to is “When is Disneyland Reopening?” The Disneyland theme parks have been closed since March and even after the latest announcements, right now we still don’t know and don’t look much closer to an announcement.
Can you believe we might have an entire year without Disneyland being open?? Who would have ever thought we would ever get to this point?
The State of California released its theme park reopening guidelines and it doesn’t look good for Disneyland at this point. Even with pressure from the unions, local businesses and corporations like Disney and Universal, they haven’t budged.
Disneyland will reopen when the state of California determines that the situation has been contained and is no longer a threat to public health. According to the new guidelines, theme parks fall into one of two reopening risk groups: Orange (Moderate) or Yellow (Minimal).
Essentially, Disney, and the bigger theme parks like Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal, falls into the more strict Yellow level, meaning that it can’t open until the county where it is located (Orange County) reaches certain safety thresholds according to the state. Those thresholds are extremely difficult to reach and it means that we are likely months away still.
For example, businesses in the Yellow category must have less than 1 cases per day per 100k people and less than a 2% positivity rate.
For an area like Orange County with universities, that will be extremely difficult to do, if not impossible in 2020. Not only do the percentages need to be met, but they have to be maintained for weeks before being able to move into the next tier.
As I am writing this post, Orange County is still in the Red level, where it has been since Labor Day. Even if tomorrow we wake up and it qualifies for Orange, 2 weeks still have to pass before going into that level.
If then by some chance it were to then fall even further and qualify for the Yellow category (where Disneyland can actually reopen, 3 more weeks need to go by.
All that said, you can see why it’s almost impossible for Disneyland to reopen before the end of the year. In our opinion, a best-case scenario would e for Disneyland to qualify in Early 2021, but even that is very optimistic.
The more likely scenario is that cases rise during the Winter and it takes the better part of the spring to get Orange County numbers down ow enough to allow theme parks to reopen once again.
Being tied to the county and how many daily cases they show is a very difficult position for Disney. That leaves them with their hands tied as far as being able to organize a workforce, train them, and send them back to work.
Once Cast Members can go back to work, they will need to get trained on the new safety procedures which will take at least a week or so, even though Disney management should be well-versed now after the reopening of other Disney Parks. All those things take time, and not knowing when Disneyland will even qualify, makes this an unenviable position to be in.
Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock recently spoke out against the unfairness and over-restrictiveness of these guidelines, and what a detrimental effect it will have on the local economy with thousands of families affected. How long this story goes on we’ll have to wait and find out.
I wouldn’t count on Disneyland reopening before April/May 2021, and even then we’ll have to see how things develop over the next few months. The only thing that could help Disneyland open sooner is if the California Government softens on the requirements for theme parks, and in that case, Disney could reach the numbers more easily.
This, of course, is a problem for you if you have an upcoming trip to Disneyland planned or are trying to figure out when you should reschedule your vacation that was just canceled.
We don’t have any insider knowledge of the situation, but if you were planning a trip in the next 4-6 months, you have to expect that there is a good chance you will have to postpone to a future date.
If I were booking a Disneyland trip right now, I wouldn’t reserve anything before May 2021, just to be on the safe side.
In my opinion, if you want to be sure that Disneyland will be open and everything will be back up and running again, we’d wait until Late Spring 2021 or even Summer 2021, especially if you are coming from a far distance and planning a trip here.
Of course, we’ll be revisiting this topic as the weeks pass and we’ll let you know as soon as we have more info about when Disneyland is reopening. Until then, hang tight.
Will There Be Soft Openings?
Just like at Disney World, there will most likely be soft openings of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure a few days before the official public opening. This will likely be for Cast Members and Annual Passholder only. We’ll let you know when we have dates.
What You Need to Know
Details about the Disneyland reopening are still unclear, and a lot of info will come out in the next weeks and months as things progress. So far we know that they are using many of the same safety procedures already in place in Walt Disney World and other international Disney Parks like Disneyland Paris, Shanghai, and Tokyo.
These are the most important ones to know:
The first change in Disneyland are all the new safety measures that guests and Cast Members alike have to comply with. These include wearing face masks, practicing physical distancing, temperature screening and increased sanitization throughout the parks.
Limited Park Capacity
One big change is that the Disneyland parks have a much lower maximum park capacity at the moment compared to what they normally have. It would be impossible to practice physical distancing if the parks were full, so right now they are keeping it low.
The State of California has stated theme parks can reopen at no more than 25% capacity. The hope then is that capacity can be slowly increased as cases drop and the situation becomes less dangerous. In any case, they will limit the number of people in the parks to have enough space to practice the 6-foot distance rule comfortably.
The Disneyland Resort has introduced a new park reservation system that guests need to use in order to gain entrance to the theme parks. These reservations are different from park tickets which are also required.
- There are 3 separate reservation inventories depending on which type of park ticket you have and are split between Disneyland Resort Hotel guests, Annual Passholders, and Park Ticket Holders.
By using a reservation system, it allows Disney to better plan how many guests are going to be in the parks each day.
For a complete guide to how it works, read our post on the Disney Park Pass Reservation System in Disney World.
Hotel Reservations & Ticket Sales
- Sales of 2020 Disneyland vacation packages and hotel rooms have now resumed and guests can book reservations.
- 2021 Disneyland vacation packages and hotel rooms are also now available for booking.
Right now ticket sales could be limited, but the more Disney increases park capacity, the more people will be able to buy tickets.
Not Everything Open
Before deciding whether to visit Disneyland in 2020 and into 2021, you should know that not everything is going to open right away. The 2 theme parks will open, but some of the restaurants, attractions, shows, and shops will remain closed. Some of this is due to safety and some of it is attendance driven.
Attractions – The majority of the Disneyland attractions and rides will be open, but some remain closed.
Entertainment and Shows – This is a big change as the entertainment options are significantly less and some will remain closed during the reopening phase. Fireworks, nighttime spectaculars and some indoor theaters will not be running.
Restaurants – Many restaurants in Disneyland are not reopening at this time. If fewer people are coming to the parks than normal, it certainly doesn’t make sense to open all the restaurants. Restaurants have new safety protocols like distanced tables and plexiglass dividers at cashier counters.
Also, character meals and buffets are also not happening now.
Reduced Park Hours – Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure will not be staying open as many hours as they normally would as operating hours have been reduced. Expect to arrive at the parks later than normal and go home a bit earlier.
Character Meets – One of the best experiences in Disneyland will not be running right now. Guests have to distance from cast members and this means characters too.
Suspended Services & Perks
Many of the services you are used to having when visiting Disneyland are not running during the reopening phase. Here is what to look for:
FastPass/MaxPass – Both FastPass and MaxPass will not be running at this time. That means all ride queues are stand-by only and you’ll have to wait in line. This change lets the lines move faster and the extra space can be used to distance guests.
Dining Reservations – Disneyland guests are still able to make dining reservations, although likely with a few changes.
Special Experience Bookings – All special events and experience bookings have been canceled at this time through the end of 2020. New instructions for booking special events will be given soon.
New Guidelines Overview
What exactly is Disneyland doing to protect its guests and Cast Members who work there? Disney has set in place new guidelines in place for theme parks, hotels, restaurants and stores for Disneyland, much like they’ve done in Disney World and in the other parks worldwide.
Here is a list of all the guidelines you need to be aware of before going to Disneyland:
- Guests and Cast Members are required to wear Face Masks
- Temperature Screening upon entrance
- Increased Sanitization
- Cast Member Safety Training
- Safety Signs
- Additional Hand-washing & Hand Sanitizer Stations
- Distancing Ground Markers in Queues
- Limiting Attraction Availability and Capacity
- Limiting Entertainment Options
- Plastic Dividers at Checkout
- Touchless Transactions at checkout
The Disneyland staff has been well trained on the new safety measures during the months when the parks were closed. As protocols continue to change, Disney will make sure Cast Members continue to receive training.
Face masks are the most difficult of the new safety measures for people to get used to and the most uncomfortable. Nonetheless, Disney has put this in the guidelines for peoples’ safety, and it has worked so far in other parks.
- All Cast Members and Guests 2 years and older are required to wear face masks at all times. The only exceptions are while dining, swimming or in the “Relax areas.”
We understand that covering your face all day long can get old really quickly, but if you want to go to Disneyland at this time, face coverings are required.
What if I have a Medical Condition and Can’t Wear a Face Mask?
There are no exceptions to the face mask policy in Disneyland and the rule is strictly enforced. If some guests cannot wear a face-covering due to a medical issue, Disney is encouraging them to stay home for the time being.
When will the Face Mask requirement End?
Right now there is no end in sight for the face mask policy. Disney will continue to follow direction from the local and state authorities about wearing a face-covering. As long as they are still recommending it, guests will have to wear them.
You can count on face masks being required in Disneyland through the rest of 2020 and sometime into 2021.
Read our Guide to Face Masks at Disney for a more detailed look and the latest updates.
Since wearing a face mask all day gets old really quick, Disney has created areas in the parks that are designated “mask-free.” In these “Relaxation Stations,” you can take your face mask off and relax for a while.
Though it’s unclear if Disneyland will be able to operate them, here is the details on relaxation areas in Disney World:
- There are 2-3 relaxation stations in each Disney Park.
- Distancing is still required in these relaxation stations.
- The max guests in each relaxation station changes from location to location.
- Some are indoor, some outdoor.
- Indoor relaxation stations provide a break in the air conditioning.
All guests and Cast Members must undergo temperature screening upon arrival at the entrance of the theme parks and Downtown Disney.
Guests and Cast Members with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will not be allowed entrance to the parks.
Temperature screenings are not currently being enforced when arriving at the hotels. This could change and we’ll let you know if the Disneyland hotels start enforcing temperature screenings.
Increased Cleaning and Sanitization
Cleaning and sanitization will be drastically increased at the Disneyland Resort including in the theme parks, hotels, restaurants, rooms, restrooms and even on the attractions themselves.
Disney is training cleaning staff and housekeeping in improved sanitization methods, as well as paying extra attention to all high-traffic areas including tables, doors, benches, handrails, escalators, restrooms, and more.
Disneyland requires all guests to social distance from other people at a distance of at least 6 feet (2m). This applies to anyone not in your traveling party, including Cast Members.
To help guests understand how far to stay away from others, Disneyland has new distancing ground markers wherever lines normally form. Guests must stay behind these lines when queued up for attractions, shops and restaurants.
Disneyland Cast Members also will likely walk around the parks making sure guests are following social distancing rules.
Handwashing & Hand Sanitizer Stations
Disneyland will have new handwashing stations and hand sanitizer dispensers which have been installed throughout the Resort. Handwashing is highly encouraged and a key way to stop the spread of germs.
We love that hand sanitizer is found in many areas that are “high-touch,” especially before and after going on the attractions.
Distances in the queues for attractions, restaurants and shops must be respected, but in order for the rules to be followed easily, guests need to understand them and see them visibly in the parks.
Numerous signs have been installed throughout the parks and resorts advising guests of the various safety reminders and guidelines to follow.
You will also notice the large plexiglass dividers that have been installed throughout the Disneyland Resort. These help limit physical contact between guests and Cast Members and can be found at cash registers, Guest Relations, etc.
They also have been added to attraction queues to separate guests while waiting in line to ride.
Cash transactions are discouraged in Disneyland during the reopening phase. Guests should use contactless payment options when possible such as credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, Apply Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, etc.
When Are New Ticket Sales Starting?
2020 Disneyland theme park tickets are not currently available to the public to purchase. All new ticket sales have been put on hold including Annual Passes and renewals.
New ticket sales for 2021 and vacation packages have also been put on hold at the moment. We’ll let you know as soon as they go on sale again.
Can I Get a Refund for Tickets?
Disneyland is not giving full refunds for unused theme park tickets during the closure period. Instead, they are extending the expiration on those tickets from their original use dates.
Check the Disneyland website for the dates that your tickets can be used and more refund information or call (714) 781-4636 if you have any questions
Will There Be Lower Ticket Prices Because of Fewer Attractions, Entertainment & Reduced Hours?
While this would be nice, don’t expect the changes in Disney Parks to lower park ticket prices. Disney is not in the habit of lowering ticket prices, and we don’t expect them to start now. There might be some nice deals on hotel rooms and vacation packages though so keep an eye out.
How Many Days Have Annual Passes Been Extended?
Disney World annual passes have been extended by the number of days Disneyland is closed. If the total amount of days from when the parks closed to when they open again is 200 days for example, your annual pass will be extended by that amount of days.
When Will My New Annual Pass Expiration Date be Updated?
Right now, the new annual pass expiration date shoould be reflected in the passholder’s account already.
Making Park Reservations
Guests going to Disneyland now need a park reservation to get in, much like the same Park Pass system already in place in Walt Disney World.
Since it is important to keep park capacity low right now, Disney has come up with this new system of online park reservations which limits the number of guests per day.
- Guests must make individual reservations for the park they want to visit on a given date.
- Park reservations are FREE.
- All guests are required to make BOTH a park reservation and have valid theme park admission to have entrance to the parks.
- There are limits on how many park reservations you can have at one time.
When Does the Reservation System Go Online?
The Disney Park Pass system will be Online Soon and accepting reservations on the Disneyland website.
Annual Passholders Need Park Reservations – Even Annual Passholders are required to make park reservations for the days they want to visit. All guests including Annual Passholders are limited to ONE PARK PER DAY.
Who Has Top Priority for Park Reservations?
Guests with a reservation at one of the Disneyland resort hotels will get first priority when making park reservations. Disney wants to make sure those guests have park pass availability and can get into the parks first, and then guests with regular tickets and finally Annual Passholders.
Who is Guaranteed a Reservation?
No one. Both Disneyland hotel guests and Annual Passholders are NOT guaranteed a park reservation. You should make a reservation right when you buy your park tickets because passes are subject to availability.
Disneyland will continue to increase park capacity as time goes on, which will allow for more park reservations to be available.
Read our post to learn How to Make Disney Park Pass Reservations in Disney World which will give you more insight into how the whole process works.
What Is Open in Disneyland?
The Disneyland Resort has been closed for many months, and it remains mostly closed at this time.
Here is the reopening latest status for the Disneyland Resort:
- Disneyland Park (Closed, Reopening TBD)
- Disney California Adventure (Closed, Reopening TBD)
- Disneyland Hotels (Closed, Reopening TBD)
- Downtown Disney (OPEN)
No reopening date has been given for either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure.
Disney has the necessary plans in place, and is able to open the parks responsibly like in Disney World but is waiting for an answer from California Governor, Gavin Newsom.
What Attractions and Entertainment Will Be Open?
It’s important to note that the theme parks will open in phases and without the full lineup of attractions, shows, and restaurants. Some rides might not be running when you go, plus things like character meets, fireworks shows and other entertainment will not be open.
When Will Those Higher-risk Experiences Reopen?
At this time we don’t know when these things are opening back up. As more info comes out we’ll update you about what is open and what’s not.
The Disneyland Park reopening is TBD.
Guests will have to make a Disney Park Pass reservation to get access to the park. More details on how that works below in the “Making Park Reservations” section.
- Limited Disneyland Park Hours.
- Some attractions and entertainment are limited.
- The fireworks shows Mickey’s Mix Magic, Halloween Screams and Believe…in Holiday Magic and the nighttime spectacular Fantasmic! will not be running at this time.
Even though character meets have been suspended for the time being, Disneyland is promising to still have characters present in the parks. Will they have character cavalcades like in WDW? We’ll have to find out.
Disney California Adventure
The Disney California Adventure reopening is TBD.
Guests will have to make a reservation to get access to the park. More details on how that works below in the “Making Park Reservations” section.
- Disney California Adventure Park Hours.
- Some attractions and entertainment are limited. Please check back soon for more info on the opening including rides, entertainment, and dining.
- The California Adventure nighttime spectaculars like “World of Color” and “World of Color – Season of Light” have been temporarily suspended and are not running at this time.
Character meets have been suspended for the time being, but there will still be characters present at Disney California Adventure when it opens. It’s possible we will get the popular character cavalcades in Disney World, but we are waiting on confirmation from Disney.
Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort is currently OPEN. This includes shops and restaurants. The phased reopening of the Downtown Disney District started on July 8, 2020, and everything has been running smoothly so far.
Since the reopening, more shops and restaurants have slowly opened up and now the majority of them are welcoming guests.
There is an attendance limit on Downtown Disney right now and if it reaches capacity you have to wait to get in.
Downtown Disney is enforcing the same new safety measures and guidelines in place at the theme parks. These apply to all guests and Cast Members:
- Temperature screenings prior to entry.
- Face coverings required for everyone 2 years and older.
- Physical distancing practices including physically-distanced queues and physical barriers.
- Temporary operation modifications, including reduced hours at select locations and no scheduled entertainment offerings or high-touch interactive areas.
- An increased focus on disinfecting, sanitation, with hand-washing stations and hand sanitizers in key areas.
The Disneyland Resort hotels are currently CLOSED and a reopening date is TBD.
- Disneyland Hotel – Closed, Reopening TBD
- Grand Californian Hotel – Closed, Reopening TBD
- Paradise Pier – Closed, Reopening TBD
Guests arriving at a Disneyland hotel will likely need a confirmed hotel reservation or dining reservation to enter. Important information will be sent to you from Disney before your arrival date so look for emails.
Face Masks – Guests 2 years old and up will be required to use face masks throughout the hotel (dining and in the pool are the only exceptions).
Obviously with very low occupancy and attendance limits in the parks, there is no rush to open all the Disneyland hotels and they will probably reopen one at a time. As soon as attendance picks up, we will start to see the remaining hotels reopening.
Disney World has now reopened new hotel reservations. For a while, they had paused new reservations to service guests with existing reservations first before taking on new ones.
When Can I Make a Disneyland Reservation?
Now. 2020 Disneyland Resort Hotel reservations are now available. Please note that if you book a hotel room and the parks aren’t open yet, you will lose your reservation.
Disneyland has currently waved all cancellation fees on hotel reservations up to the date of check-in for reservations with arrivals through the closure period.
Will My Hotel Reservation Get Cancelled?
Disney is canceling some hotel reservations if those resorts aren’t yet open. How far into the future depends on how long those hotels are closed for. If your reservation is canceled, you will get a notice from Disney. If that happens you will be given the chance to reschedule to a later date.
A Disneland Resort Hotel Reservation does NOT guarantee theme park access, but it definitely gives you a better chance (more on this in a moment).
Disney is increasing cleaning a sanitization throughout the resort hotels in all areas.
- Guest rooms will be fully sanitized before their arrival.
- All common areas of the hotels will be cleaned with higher frequency, especially high-traffic areas including: doors, handles, tables, elevators, escalators, buttons, restrooms, handrails, benches, etc.
- More hand sanitizer stations are being added.
- Improved In-Room cleaning protocols and staff training.
- Modified housekeeping schedules.
There are also some big changes happening with the restaurants at Disneyland both in the theme parks and at the resort hotels. Here’s what you need to know:
- Safety Guidelines – Disneyland restaurants are following the same safety measures as the parks and resorts. Masks are necessary, except when seated at your table to eat.
- Limited Capacity – Restaurants are operating with a lower than normal capacity. Reservations may be more difficult to get.
- Limited Restaurants and Experiences – Some restaurants will remain closed at this time, as well as some experiences like character dining and dinner shows.
- Technology – Disney is utilizing new technology to help guests stay safe while dining. These include contactless payments, digital menus, Disney Mobile Ordering, and more.
Are Special Events in Disneyland Still Happening?
Most of the special events at Disneyland in 2020 have already been canceled. These include:
- Disneyland After Dark
- Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite
- Disneyland After Dark: Villains Nite
- Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party
- and more…
Refunds and Canceling Reservations
Thankfully, if you have a vacation coming up during the time that Disneyland is closed you will be able to get a refund and cancel your booking without penalty. Disney is being more than generous with their refund policy, and working with everyone to either cancel or change plans.
“Disneyland Resort will work with guests who wish to change or cancel their visits and will provide refunds to those who have hotel bookings during this closure period. We anticipate heavy call volume over the next several days and appreciate guests’ patience as we work hard to respond to all inquiries.”
You have two options:
- Cancel and get a refund
- Reschedule your trip
We are going to break down all your options for refunds below. However, something to keep in mind is that Disneyland is extremely overwhelmed with calls right now from guests asking about this information. If you want to call, expect long wait times and try to be patient with the representative when you do talk with them.
Here is How You Can Cancel Disneyland Reservations and Get a Refund:
- Either way, you can call The Walt Disney Travel Company at (714) 520-5050 to cancel your booking.
- Reservations can also be canceled online on the Disneyland website here.
- Even better, if you booked your trip to Disneyland through a travel agent, then we recommend you contact them first, and they will take care of the necessary changes for you.
We’re happy Disney is making these adjustments for guests as many have been thinking about changing their travel dates to a later time. Disney is very good in situations like this as they have shown a willingness to work with travelers in the past.
What if the Disneyland reopening date gets pushed back?
Right now Disneyland is closed indefinitely. However long it ends up being closed for, Disney will extend the refund policy to accommodate the guests affected. So if you have a vacation planned then, you will still get a refund.
Now let’s break down the type of refunds Disneyland is giving you…
Vacation Package Refunds
Guests can cancel Disneyland vacation package booking scheduled from now through the closure period for a 100% full refund at no cost and with no penalty (excluding third-party products and fees).
Even if you aren’t able to cancel your booking before the scheduled check-in date, you still will receive a full refund with no cancellation penalty.
You can call The Walt Disney Travel Company at (714) 520-5050 or go Online to get a refund.
If you booked your vacation through a travel agent, contact them to make sure a refund or change is given. If you booked through another source (3rd party online), then you will need to contact them for a refund.
If airfare was booked separately, guests are responsible for any change or cancellation fees moving the dates might occur.
Hotel Room Only Refunds
Any Disneyland hotel rooms booked with stay dates during the affected closure dates will be 100% refunded to guests with no cost and no penalty. This offer is for any stays booked from now through the end of the closure period.
Because of the high volume of calls, Disneyland will be sending an email communication to all guests with rooms booked during the affected dates. This email will provide options on canceling or rescheduling your vacation.
Once again, if you aren’t able to cancel your booking before the scheduled check-in date, don’t worry. Disney knows the situation and you still will receive a full refund with no cancellation penalty.
You can call The Walt Disney Travel Company at (714) 520-5050, go Online to get a refund or contact your travel agent for assistance.
If you have purchased a Disneyland or Disney California Adventure theme park admission, you have options to still use those tickets. Any unused tickets purchased for use between the affected dates will be extended to use at a future date.
- Unused 1-Day Tickets (Tiers 1-5) – These are valid through the end of their respective validity period. Admission dates depend on which tier ticket you purchased. Check the Disneyland website to see when your tickets can be used.
- Unused Multi-Day Tickets – These are valid through the end of their respective validity period. Check your ticket for details.
- Southern California Resident Tickets – The expiration date has been extended through December 16, 2021. Tickets can be used on non-consecutive days. Blockout dates include November 21 – 28, 2020; December 19, 2020 – January 10, 2021; March 26, 2021 – April 11, 2021; July 4, 2021; November 20 – 27, 2021.
- Promotional Child Ticket – Expiration will be extended through December 16, 2021, and expire 13 days after first use or December 16, 2021, whichever comes first.
- Canada Resident Ticket – Expiration will be extended through December 16, 2021, and expire 13 days after first use or December 16, 2021, whichever comes first.
- Military Salute Ticket – Tickets can be used on non-consecutive days and expire on December 16, 2021. Blockout dates are from December 19, 2020 – January 4, 2021, and March 26, 2021 – April 11, 2021.
Disney isn’t giving full refunds on ticket purchases only but only extending the use of them out to the future. If anything changes on this we’ll let you know.
Disney Flex Pass Reservations
Any Disney Flex Pass reservations for the closure dates will be fully refunded to the guest without penalties or fees.
Dining Reservations & Other Experiences
Besides tickets and vacation packages, you are probably wondering about what will happen to other experiences you have booked like dining reservations, etc. Here is what we know…
Any of the following reservations scheduled during the Disneyland closure period can be canceled without any penalty or fees to the guest and will receive a full refund.
- Disneyland Dining Reservations
- Droid Depot
- Savi’s Workshop Lightsaber Building Experience
- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
- Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures
- Disneyland Resort VIP Tours
Technically, you don’t even have to do anything to get a refund. Even if you forget to cancel your reservation, a full refund will be given to you automatically without any penalties or fees.
Much like the extra experiences, if you have purchased a ticket to a Disneyland special event during the closure period you will get a full refund without penalties or fees.
Guests will be automatically given a refund for special events during the closure within 30 days, and don’t need to contact Disney.
Modifying or Canceling Your Flight
If you have booked a flight during the closure period and did not book it through The Walt Disney Travel Company, then you will have to contact the airline on your own to see if they will let you either cancel your flight for a refund or change your travel date to a future time.
This will depend on the airline, what type of ticket you bought and if you purchased insurance as part of the booking.
Some airlines like Southwest will allow you to modify your flight dates without a fee, which is one reason we prefer to fly Southwest when we can! You will have to check with whatever company you choose and follow their current cancellation or date change policy.
If you booked your flight with a travel agent then you will want to contact them for help, otherwise, see if you can make the necessary changes online which will save you a ton of time than calling on the phone right now.
Rentals, Strollers, Cars, Etc
If you have rented a car, stroller, ECV or any other third-party rental, you will need to contact them and find out what can be done to modify or cancel your reservation and if refunds are given.
Canceling Disneyland Vacation After the Parks Reopen
What if you have a Disneyland vacation planned for dates after Disneyland reopens? Can you still cancel them and get a refund without penalty?
Right now refunds or cancellations are given to guests without occurring fees and penalties, for any future date through the closure period.
Disney hasn’t yet mentioned what will happen for guests with vacation packages after the parks reopen and if they can still cancel without penalty or not.
If your vacation is in the next few weeks or months and you want to push it to a date even further out, we suggest you doing that now while you still have the chance. If you wait, Disney could change the policy and not let you move the date anymore without incurring a penalty.
Annual Pass Policies
Disney has just updated some policies and if you have a Disneyland Annual Pass, you now have some options available to you about extensions, holding payment or even getting a partial refund.
Annual Passes Already Paid in Full
For guests who have already paid for their Disneyland annual pass, there are 2 options available to you.
- The default option is that your expiration date will be extended out by the number of days Disney World ends up being closed for. For example, if Disney World is closed for 60 days total, your annual pass will get an additional 60 days added on to it.
- If you don’t want to have your annual pass extended, you can get a partial refund based on the number of days of the park closure period.
Before the latest update, annual passholders didn’t have a choice and had their passes automatically extended, as in option 1.
Annual Pass Monthly Payment Plans
This is another change because at first monthly payments for annual passes continued on like normal. Instead, since April 5, all monthly payments have been stopped and will not continue until the theme parks reopen.
Disney is also refunding all prior payments made during the time that Disneyland was closed from March 14 through April 4, 2020.
- There is one important thing to note with this option. Annual passes will NOT be extended in this case, because you are now paying for fewer months than before and not a complete year. If guests do want their annual pass expiration to be extended once the parks open again, they can choose this option. In this case, payments will continue once the parks open until the full 12 months are paid.
These changes give people who are struggling in this economic downturn a chance to take some of that money tied up in their annual passport, and put it towards essentials like food and shelter. We are extremely happy Disney decided to do this as it will help a lot of people.
To get a partial refund or extend your annual pass past the original extension on the monthly payment program call (714) 781-4567. Expect long wait times when calling and try to be patient.
Monthly Payment Program
Even though you can’t use your Disneyland annual pass at this time, the monthly payment program will continue.
“These Annual Passholders will have their Passport expiration date extended based on pass type and level of access due to the impacts of the closure, and will not be required to make any payments during that extended period.”
This means you have to still keep making your scheduled payments like always. However, once your original payments are complete, you do not have to keep making payments during the extension period.
Other Rescheduling Tips
Right now with all the uncertainty going on in the travel industry, we think purchasing travel insurance is a good use of your money if you can find it at this time. We usually don’t go for it, with things up in the air and the possibility of your plans getting changed, we think it’s a good idea.
Some policies have restrictions so make sure you get a policy that lets you cancel at any time.
Also, we highly recommend using a Disney Travel Agent. They will help you make any of the necessary additions to your package and also will handle any cancellations or modifications you need. Plus there is no additional cost so there’s really no downside.
What Will the Crowds Be When it Reopens?
Everyone wants to know what the crowds will be like when Disneyland opens back up and it’s a big factor when planning your next trip there. Crowds will be lower than usual, but perhaps not quite as low as you may be hoping.
Walt Disney World had record-low crowds for the first couple of months when it reopened, but the story might be different in Disneyland due to the high percentage of locals that make up the daily guests to the park.
In Walt Disney World, 70-80% of its regulars are not from the Orlando area and it is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the U.S.A. Due to the current circumstances, many of those tourists cannot visit theme parks at the moment which has decreased crowds.
On the other hand, the vast majority of daily visitors to Disneyland are locals and live close by. They are able to visit Disneyland after work or on a day off very easily. Most of them can’t wait to get back to Disneyland and have had serious withdrawal during these long months.
Of course, during the first weeks and months, the parks are limited to about 20-30% of normal capacity, which means the parks will have really low crowds no matter how many want to go.
That will be the best time to go if you are worried about crowds. Attraction wait times will be extremely low and there will be plenty of space to walk around without getting too close to other guests.
How quickly Disneyland increases the attendance will be key. We think the people will be waiting since we are coming up on the holiday season, so it will just be a matter of Disney letting them through the gates or not. If they increase capacity, I think you’ll see big crowds during the holidays.
Once the Winter hits though, crowds should disperse and we could be looking at a very quiet January and February. Those too might be great times to visit to avoid crowds.
We’ll keep our eye on this once Disneyland reopens and let you know how things are developing.
Should You Go to Disneyland When it Reopens? Will It Be Safe?
When Disneyland finally does reopen, many are wondering if they should go right away and if it will be safe. Disney has been extra careful with its park reopening plans worldwide and wouldn’t reopen if they didn’t think it was ok for guests to come without a high risk of contamination.
When you feel comfortable going however is totally up to you. We can’t decide that for you. It has to be something you and your family are comfortable with. After all, you want to have a good time while you are there and shouldn’t go and spend all that money if you will be worried the whole time.
From our personal experience in the parks in Disney World since reopening has been nothing but positive from a safety point of view and 99% of the time we think Disney has gone above and beyond in this department. There are so many new safety precautions that are in place that we feel much safer going to a Disney park at this point in time than we do going to our local grocery store for example.
Our own opinion is that when Disneyland reopens it will be perfectly fine to go again and we have no reason at this time to think Disney would put your health at risk.
Whether or not you decide to continue with your previously booked Disneyland trips or book new ones in 2020 or 2021 is completely up to you and your family and your safety should always be the highest concern.
Disneyland Deals & Travel Advantages
Obviously, since the parks close, cancellations have been way up and need reservations way down. Even when the parks reopen, we expect crowds to be lower than normal which could be good if you are looking for a deal.
Disneyland is not a cheap place to visit, and we’ve seen multiple price increases in recent years for tickets, hotel rooms and food around the parks. However, if crowd levels aren’t where they should be when Disneyland reopens, Disney is going to hold the brakes on too many price increases immediately.
In order to start attracting more guests to start coming back to the parks, we will likely see some great deals on vacation packages and hotel rooms especially. Until they get on-site occupancy where they want it to be, they will have to do something.
We’ve seen this happen after 9/11 and other disasters, and they’ve already done this some in Disney World. There is no reason why we shouldn’t see some great deals at Disneyland too. I don’t think there will be as many as what we’ll see in Walt Disney World, but if you were thinking of going to Disneyland anyway in 2021, right after the parks reopen might be as good of a time as any.
As new deals on Disneyland vacations are released, we’ll let you know so you can take advantage.
When Should You Book Your Next Trip?
Since Disneyland will be reopening soon, you may be wondering when is a good time to visit. You might have had a vacation planned to Disneyland that was canceled in the last year and so you are anxious to go.
Many of our readers have told us they had an upcoming vacation, but had to cancel due to the current circumstances. Others have upcoming vacations, but are wondering if it might be better to postpone to a future date.
First of all, we are sorry if this is your situation. Having plans ruined stinks for adults and children alike, especially when you have been looking forward to them for a long time.
Closing Disneyland when they did was in the best interests of everyone involved, but at least that is changing and we should be able to get back there shortly.
Obviously, when you personally decide to book your next trip to Disneyland depends on a few factors. First of all, you may not have the financial resources to do it, or there may be travel restrictions depending on where you are coming from.
If those things are out of the way there are a few options for you.
The first one is to go right away. Since Disney already has a lot of experience in other parks handling the new safety precautions, Disneyland should be very prepared when they reopen. If you are trying to go for the best wait times, the first few weeks will likely be ideal.
We understand that if you are coming from far away, you have to plan these things out and when the parks first reopen, might not be possible for you. In that case, the Spring or Summer 2021 will be an ideal time for another trip to Disneyland and perhaps more realistic for most.
We also think it’s almost certain the Disneyland Resort will be open by then, which means therre is a very low chance of booking your trip and then have to switch it all around.
Even if you aren’t planning to go until later 2021, we think now is a good time to jump on the empty hotel rooms you can find right now before they get all booked up after the reopening. If new offers come out you can always have them applied to your current room.
By some chance if Disneyland is still closed by the time your trip comes, you will get a full refund, so there is very little risk involved.
The only reason I would hold off until later than that would be if you just don’t want to go to the parks with the current safety restrictions, or if some of the missing entertainment options (fireworks and character meets) is a big deal to you. Those are harder to predict when we will see them back in the parks, and it still might be a while.
Even though we’ve had fun in the parks since reopening we realize it might not be for everyone, and in that case, you can wait a bit until more info comes out.
Future Impact on Disneyland & Anaheim
Besides what this thing is doing to peoples’ health, it’s also been disastrous for the local economy in Orange County and for the nation as a whole. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been lost in the area surrounding Disneyland and Southern California because of this problem.
There are hundreds of small businesses, hotels, restaurants, and shops that rely on the traffic that the tourists going to Disneyland bring them. Many of those have already been forced to go out of business since the Disneyland closure, and more are at risk.
Not to mention the tens of thousands of Cast Members have been at home for months and are relying on their jobs at Disneyland to get by.
Disney itself is facing an unprecedented situation where they had every theme park and the Disney Cruise Line closed for a significant time in 2020. Not only that but now all of their movies are being pushed back into next year with no one going to the cinema. That means two of their biggest streams of revenue were almost completely dried up without knowing when they will be back.
How will this affect Disneyland? Disney leadership has already said they are making big budget cuts to the theme parks, including the Disneyland Resort.
Right now Disney is working on multiple projects to bring more attractions to the parks. We recently found out a bunch of new details about the Avengers Campus coming to California Adventure which is going to be that park’s version of Galaxy’s Edge. Right now we have no idea when it’s opening now that its previous opening date in July has been canceled.
Read here about all the Disneyland attractions that might be delayed or even cut due to the financial problem these closures have left the company with.
How long will it be delayed? What happens if they decided they don’t have enough money to complete it as soon as originally planned or have to cut the budget and not make it to their original vision?
Then we also have the fun Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway which just opened in Hollywood Studios also set to open in Disneyland Park in 2022. That attraction is most likely still coming, but maybe not at that date.
The entire travel industry is suffering and if this goes on for too long, there is no telling the repercussions we will see in the parks. There are many current and future attractions in danger of being cut or greatly affected because of this situation, so we’ll have to keep a close eye on what happens.
Let’s hope it doesn’t get that far, but we are pretty pessimistic right now about it. Disney is hemorrhaging too much money for some new attractions or projects to not get pushed out years into the future, if not totally canceled. The quicker they get everything under control, the less of an impact it will have, even though it’s already been a big one.
At this point we still don’t know what is going to happen, we have to wait and see. This is something unlike anything else that The Walt Disney Company has had to deal with, and it’s coming at a critical time as they have a new CEO taking over for Bob Iger. (Iger has since taken back some control of the company due to this critical point in time)
We are definitely shocked at this series of events and are paying extremely close attention to how everything plays out.
We think Disney has done the right thing in closing down the parks when they did, but answers need to be given to the company from the state so they know how they can proceed.
We hope that we shared with you some good information about the Disneyland reopening that you can use to get a refund, reschedule your vacation or if you are thinking about planning a trip in 2021.
Again, if we missed anything you were curious about, leave a comment below and we’ll get to it as soon as we can. Until then, let’s sit back and see what happens to Disneyland in the coming weeks and months with the hope that we’ll be able to visit the happiest place on earth soon!
We will continue to keep you updated on the Disneyland reopening along with the status of the parks, closure time and any more info we get. Stay tuned!
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No. Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure and the Disneyland Hotels are not currently open. Only Downtown Disney District is open at this time.
Disney has created a modified guest experience which will help increase the safety of guests. Some examples include wearing face masks, hand washing stations, and distancing in attraction queues. So far guests have reacted well to the new changes and have followed the guidelines in Downtown Disney.
Yes, face masks are part of the new safety guidelines Disney is enforcing. This will be necessary for the foreseeable future.
I want to know what you think about the impact of the Disneyland closure and the future impact it’s having…
- Does this affect your vacation?
- When are you planning to go back to Disneyland?
- What other questions do you have about the Disneyland closure, etc?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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