For the 50+ Traveler

After being closed for more than a year, Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure are ready to open to visitors.

Company officials have set April 30 as the opening date for the Southern California parks. But things will be much different than in years past, starting with limiting capacity by a substantial amount as the country continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

“The day all of us have long been waiting for is almost here,” Ken Potrock, president of the Disneyland Resort, said in a press release. “We’re excited to have more than 10,000 cast members returning to work as we get ready to welcome our guests back to this happy place.”

New Reservation System

Officials have not yet announced what the capacity limits will be, but they will be significant. Social distancing will be in place, and other rules will be enacted based upon current state and local requirements at the time of the opening.

For the time being, attendance will be limited to California residents, per the current state guidelines. Guests will also be required to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance due to the limited availability.

Details about the reservation system are still being finalized, according to Michael Ramirez, public relations director for Disneyland Resort. He urged people interested in updates to visit regularly for the most current information.

Disneyland Hotels Reopening

In addition to the parks, Disneyland Resort hotels will welcome guests back with a phased reopening. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa will reopen in April, and Disney Vacation Club Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa will welcome guests starting May 2.

Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel will reopen at a later date.

Characters And Parades

While most attractions will be open, some of the other aspects of the parks will be different.

Characters from Disney movies and shows will be wandering the park grounds as usual, but not as they have in the past.

“Beloved characters will pop up in new ways, and sometimes in unexpected places as they remain mindful of physical distancing,” Ramirez said in announcing the reopening on the Disney Blog.

Other experiences that tend to draw large groups of people, such as parades and nighttime spectaculars, will not take place yet, Ramirez said.

New Attractions

Among the changes in the parks is a reimagined attraction in Disneyland’s Fantasyland, Snow White’s Enchanted Wish.

Visitors will also flock to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the most recent major addition to the park. One of the attractions, Rise of the Resistance, had only been about a little more than a month before the park shut down early last year. It takes guests aboard a full-size transport shuttle before being captured by a Star Destroyer, finding themselves in the middle of a battle between good and evil forces.

At California Adventure, visitors will still have to wait to experience Avengers Campus, a completely new land, which remains under construction.

As with the park attractions, restaurant and food options will be open for the most part, but some will be modified or unavailable.

Events Before Reopening

In the weeks leading up to the reopening, A Touch of Disney will go on as planned. The event, running March 18 through April 19 at California Adventure, allows guests to wander the grounds, sample food, and take photos at select locations. The event has sold out, Ramirez said.

In addition to A Touch of Disney, the days leading up to the reopening will allow cast members and local community members to be the first park guests.

Ramirez is excited about finally welcoming guests back to the parks.

“You’ll soon be welcomed back to enjoy unforgettable attractions, see beloved Disney friends, shop for the latest merchandise, savor the world-famous food and drinks, capture fun photos and cherish special magical moments,” he said.

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