Disneyland Reopening Guidelines Announced- Theme Parks Push Back and Emphasize Commitment to Health

Disneyland has endured the longest closure in its history due to the COVID-19 pandemic and unfortunately there is still no reopening date on the calendar just yet. Downtown Disney has been open since July and operating smoothly with new health policies in place. Scroll down for recap of all back and forth between California and the theme parks.

Keep reading our guide for everything you need to know about the new policies that will be required when Disneyland reopens, the long timeline of back and forth with California over reopening guidelines and everything you need to know about Downtown Disney.

Disneyland Theme Park Guidelines Announced

Oct. 20th: Today we finally got the guidelines for theme park reopening in California which will be based upon the tier color coding system (pictured below) for COVID risk level per county. Unfortunately, these guidelines did not bring the best news for fans of larger theme parks in California like Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood.

California's 4-Tier Reopening Plan

California Theme Park Guidelines based on 4-Tier Reopening Plan

Widespread (purple):

  • Closed

Substantial (red):

  • Closed

Moderate (orange):

  • Smaller parks can open with modifications
  • Capacity must be limited to 25% or 500 people, whichever is less
  • Outdoor attractions only can open
  • Reservations required
  • Local attendees only (from the same county as the park’s location)

Minimal (yellow):

  • Larger parks can open with modifications
  • Park capacity must be limited to 25%
  • Reservations required

Here is the specific guidance for theme parks and amusement parks.

This guidance includes additional considerations for:

  • Admission, entry, and security
  • All rides and attractions
  • Dining and concessions
  • Performances, interactive exhibits, and events
  • Uniform, costume, and wardrobe protocols

Disneyland Cannot Open Until Yellow Tier

Based on the guidelines above from the state of California website, Disneyland will not be granted permission to open until Orange County moves into the yellow tier on the California 4-tier reopening plan. For reference, as of October 20th Orange County is currently still in the red tier but has been close to moving into the Orange tier for the past few weeks. LA County, where Universal Studios Hollywood is located, is currently still in the purple tier.

This is not great news for theme park fans as the yellow is the most optimistic tier with case counts and positivity rates so low that only a few counties in California currently meets this metric. Keep checking back for details as we get them!

Disneyland to Open Disney Vacation Club Villas and Buena Vista Street 

Disneyland announced they will extend Downtown Disney to include Buena Vista Street in California Adventure on Nov. 19th along with the shops and restaurants in that area of that park. That includes popular restaurants like Carthay Circle and favorite sweets locations like Trolley Treats. This portion of California Adventure is now part of Downtown Disney so is subject to the same health and safety procedures such as required face coverings, virtual wait lists for popular stores, and limited capacity. You can read all about it in our guide. 

Disneyland will also welcome Disney Vacation Club members back to the Villas the Grand Californian starting December 6th. During this initial phase, the Disney Vacation Club Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will be open only for Members. The rest of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will remain closed to non-members. Additional information on what to expect at The Villas during your stay will be shared soon. You can read more about this phased reopening on the DVC website. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Understandably, the announcement of these guidelines have prompted a series of questions. I've done my best to answer based on what we know so far and what our speculations might be

When will Orange County be in the yellow tier? 

Well, that's the million dollar question isn't it? Right now Orange County is in the red tier. Before counties can move into the next tier, they have to meet the minimum metrics for that tier for two weeks before they can transition. So far Orange County has been very close to meeting the metrics to move into orange for a few weeks now. Some speculation has been that Orange County might not realistically move into a yellow tier until Spring/Summer 2021. You can look closer at the data for Orange County and other counties on the California COVID-19 tracking website. 

Didn't state officials visit the theme parks in Orlando?

While we didn't get all the details of those visits, in the press release the state mentioned they were concerned by the mixing of large groups at theme parks, high touch areas, and the influx of tourists coming into the state. It's hard to say what their exact reaction was to Disney World, as the reports from visitors have been extremely positive and there's been no outbreaks linked to the Orlando theme parks upon reopening.

During the press conference on Oct. 21st (which you can watch below in the article) the theme park presidents for Universal and Disneyland detailed how they never received feedback or details from the government officials after these visits. They described how detailed and intensive the visits were yet they were disappointed to never receive clear feedback from the governor after these visits or invitations to negotiate policies based on any concerns they might have had from these visits.

What constitutes a small theme park? 

Capacity is what the state is using to rank theme park size. A small theme park is considered to have a possible capacity of 15,000 or less. Under the orange tier, attendance is then restricted to 25% of capacity or 500 guests whichever is fewer. For reference, all the major theme parks in Southern California have a higher capacity limit than that.

Can I get a refund for my Disneyland tickets?

If you booked with Get Away Today, you can switch your entire Disneyland package over to Walt Disney World which many of us here at this site have done successfully! If you purchased directly through Disney or from third party companies, your best bet is to contact them and ask for a refund. Some reports have been positive about people receiving refunds so it can't hurt to try. Or if you know you want to visit when they do reopen, hang onto them and wait.

What about annual passholders? 

Currently, these are the options for annual passholders depending on the type you had before the closure.

  • Paid in Full
    • Automatic expiration date extension with date updated prior to the park reopening (default option)
    • Partial refund of pass for days during park closure (must call)
    • Call (714)-781-7277 for more information
  • Monthly Payments
    • Payments made through 3/14-4/4 refunded
    • Payments will resume when parks reopen
    • AP will expire on original expiration date
    • Some people have reported being able to pick the option of choosing to postpone payments when the park reopens and extend the expiration date on their pass.
    • Call (800)-410-4656 for more information

We might see changes if the closure continues until next year but for now this is the policy Disney has been using for annual passholders. For those with expired annual passes, renewals along with new ticket sales have been on hold since summer.

What will happen if we get a vaccine for COVID-19?

I'm not a medical expert but the common consensus is when that happens we'd see cases go down far enough to meet that yellow tier regardless.

Will the state of California change their mind?

Based on the stance the Governor has been taking lately towards theme park guidelines and a cautious approach, it's not likely but then again- anything can happen! Your guess is as good as ours right now. The theme parks are definitely hoping for a collaborative approach with Governor Newsom. Kim Irwin, president of Universal, reminded the audience in their recent press conference that opening the parks won't even turn a profit for most of them because of the strict capacity guidelines and that their true focus is to get employees back to work along with supporting local businesses in their communities.

What happens if Orange County moves to yellow and then cases go back up resulting in them moving back to orange?

It was stated in the CA press release that theme parks would be expected to follow all state recommendations which could likely include being ordered to close in an instance like this. This is also not great news for Disney and other large theme parks as it will take a considerable amount of resources to reopen and if they were ordered to close again the effects could be detrimental to the parks.

What does Mickey Visit think about the theme park guidelines? 

I understand that health and safety comes first. Yet we feel comfortable coming back to the theme parks especially with how dedicated Disney has been towards safety procedures at Disney World and their other theme parks around the world. In fact, we are planning our trips to Disney World now and feel confident in the policies Disney has put in place to protect guests.

Will Disney and other California theme parks consider legal action? 

It's hard to say but it is looking like a consideration based on the most recent press conference between theme park presidents that took place on Oct. 21st- the day after guidelines were released. You can watch the press conference which is linked below in the article.

The theme park presidents emphasized their dedication to safety and health policies which have been successful at other theme parks they operate in the country along with their concerns about the devastating economic impact to their workers and the communities they operate in. The fairness of the guidelines was also questioned and compared to similar venues which are allowed to open such as zoos, museums, and family fun centers which operate in a similar fashion as the theme parks but don't have similar tier restrictions.

Theme Parks Respond to Reopening Guidelines

As soon as the theme park guidelines were released, theme park industries in the state of California have begin to respond with their disappointment.

Update 10/21: The California Attractions and Parks Association responded with a group press conference with the major theme parks including Disneyland, Universal, Legoland, Six Flags, and Knott's Berry Farm. You can watch it below.

Immediately after the guidelines were released on 10/20, Disneyland was the first to respond with a reminder of not just how disappointing this news is but as to how this will impact the community:

This was followed by a statement from Erin Guerrero, Executive Director, California Attractions and Parks Association:

To say today’s announcement on theme parks is disappointing would be a grave understatement. The Governor has not used science or data to inform his decision. Theme parks have opened and operated safely around the world for months. Data and science prove that theme parks can operate responsibly anywhere – there is no rational reason to believe they can’t do so in California. No one cares more about park employee and guest safety than the parks themselves.

Let me be unequivocal– the guidance issued by the Newsom Administration will keep theme parks shuttered for the foreseeable future. By forcing amusement parks to stay closed until their home county reaches Tier 4, the Governor has issued a “Keep Theme Parks Closed Indefinitely” Plan which will devastate California’s major theme park industry.

This plan prolongs unemployment for tens of thousands of people, hastens bankruptcy for families and small business owners adjacent to parks, and contributes to insolvency for local governments whose budgets rely on parks as an anchor economic driver.

While we appreciate the more nuanced approach in the guidance for smaller theme parks, keeping California’s larger parks closed is unfair and unreasonable. Based on the responsible reopening of parks in other countries and states, science and data do not support the indefinite closure of this iconic industry in California.

Responsibly reopening amusement parks on a reasonable timeline can and should be done while we fight this pandemic – the two are not mutually exclusive. California’s theme parks and their phenomenal workforce are ready to reopen responsibly. Parks’ loyal guests are ready and the communities and local governments surrounding the parks are ready. We urge Governor Newsom to revise this guidance to allow for a reasonable and responsible reopening of California’s signature theme park industry in Tier 3.

The Mayor of Anaheim also released a statement:

Karen Irwin, President & COO, Universal Studios Hollywood:

Pushing us into Tier Four behind other businesses that have already reopened makes no sense. It ignores science, reason and the economic devastation this will bring to the thousands of our employees, the indirect businesses that rely on us and our industry overall.

The health and safety of our guests and team members has always been our top priority. We have designed detailed health and safety protocols that allowed us to open our theme parks in Orlando, Osaka and Singapore. We have collaborated with LA County health and government officials on a comprehensive plan to move forward safely here, and we are prepared and ready to reopen. Our theme parks are controlled primarily outdoor businesses that we have proven we can operate responsibly.

We should be in Tier Three, along with other industries that have proven they can reopen responsibly. Our employees are ready to go back to work and the fact that they won’t be able to do so until well into next year is shameful.”

Kurt Stocks, President, LEGOLAND California Resort:

“The guidance issued today by the state is arbitrary and unacceptable to the industry,” said Kurt Stocks, president of the Carlsbad-based park, in a statement. “Not allowing theme parks to open until Tier 4 will destroy the industry in California and the economic impact to industries that rely heavily on theme parks will be catastrophic. The administration’s actions to this point have cost tens of thousands of jobs across the industry, and today’s announcement will all but confirm that thousands more will be lost. Legoland California Resort has developed a comprehensive and robust reopening plan, taking every precaution to meet and exceed guidelines given to other businesses and industries since voluntarily closing seven months ago.”

Raffi Kaprelyan, Regional Vice President, Cedar Fair, operators of Knott’s Berry Farm, California’s Great America, and Gilroy Gardens:

Cedar Fair is extremely disappointed and frustrated with the lack of reasonable consideration given to the opening of California’s most popular theme parks. Our company has safely operated 7 of its 13 parks across the U.S. this year with zero cases of COVID-19 being traced back to our properties.

Our safety protocols have been proven effective, exceeding state requirements where we’ve opened. Following capacity parameters, we feel strongly that both Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park and California’s Great America in Santa Clara should be allowed to open under the same guidance afforded smaller parks such as Gilroy Gardens, which also operates under Cedar Fair management.

Suffice to say, the news today was not popular with theme park fans, community members, or many of the theme parks in Southern California.

Disneyland Resort Reopening Timelinedisneyland coronavirus

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disney announced on June 24th that unfortunately the proposed reopening date of July 17th for the Disneyland Resort and July 23rd for the Disney resort hotels would not be possible. The months that followed were filled with silence until September when Disney announced they were ready to reopen and were just waiting on that guidance. The theme park guidelines were finally released on October 20th which stated that Disneyland wouldn't be allowed to open until they move into the yellow tier which is detailed earlier in our guide. You can read through the timeline of this rollercoaster ride with the state of California below.

Disneyland Reopening Timeline

  • June 10th: Disneyland proposes reopening date of July 17th for Disneyland Resort followed by Disneyland resort hotels.
  • June 24th: Disneyland announces that the reopening date was postponed since the State of California did not issue reopening guidelines for the theme parks. Discussions from this point and until September remained uncertain and Governor Newsom would often state ‘guidelines are coming soon' whenever he was asked about theme parks.
  • July 9th: Downtown Disney opens to the public with new health measures in place.
  • Aug. 28th: Governor Newsom reveals new tier system for California but initially theme parks were considered exempt from these tiers.
  • Sept. 22nd: Disney officials held a small virtual press conference and implored the Governor to release guidelines with Disney parks chairman Josh D'Amaro stating, “We're ready. It's time.” This press conference was followed by letters of support from Orange County officials, local area businesses, and even legislators in California. Following this press conference, local officials in towns where theme parks have a major impact on local businesses  pleaded with the state government for guidelines citing large local deficits and devastating impacts to small businesses.
  • Sept. 29th: Disney announces the unfortunate layoff of 28,000 employees as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the press release, the Walt Disney Company stated that the layoffs were “exacerbated in California by the State’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.” This announcement blew up in the news bringing national attention to the extended closure of Disneyland.
  • Sept. 30th: Disneyland fans heard word that reopening guidelines would be released by the end of the week which sent rumors flying. Many of these rumors focused on restrictive guidelines that may have restricted Disneyland to only accepting guests within a certain radius and/or restricted Disneyland reopening until Orange County would be in the yellow tier.
  • Oct. 2nd: Disneyland called upon Governor Newsom to delay the guidelines and revisit discussions with the theme parks. The governor's office agreed which put the release of guidelines back on hold. On that same day Walt Disney Company chairman Bob Iger resigned from Governor Newsom's reopening economic task force.
  • Oct. 7th: Governor Newsom said in a statement that he's not in a “hurry to release guidelines” for theme parks in Southern California stating that: “There’s disagreements in terms of opening a major theme park,” said Newsom. “We’re going to let science and data make that determination.” The governor went on to say regarding the tensions regarding theme park guidelines “but we’re going to be led by a health-first framework, and we’re going to be stubborn about it.”
  • Oct. 7th: Later that same day, Disney released the following statement in response to Governor Newsom's remarks which you can read below.

  • Oct. 10th: Disneyland adopts recommendations from local Orange County health agency after their tour of the theme parks. The local health agency proposed a reopening in the orange tier in the state of California's tier system. Orange County remains in the red tier but there is optimism they are not far from moving up to less restrictive orange tier.
  • Oct 14th: It was revealed that Governor Newsom has sent a team of state officials out to Florida to survey the theme park operations in Orlando to help inform the Governor's decisions on the guidelines and when they might be released. This revelation was quickly followed with information that confirmed state officials were going to visit California theme parks next to go over safety measures and policies.
  • Oct: 19th: Newsom stated in a press conference that guidelines would be released tomorrow but reminded viewers that California was going to continue to be stubborn about their approach with a health-first focus. This conference also mentioned that the guidelines may split up for the theme parks- meaning that larger theme parks such as Disneyland, Universal, etc. may have different guidelines than other small scale theme parks in the state.
  • Oct: 20th: The state of California releases theme park guidelines which unfortunately didn't have the best news for Disneyland fans. Disneyland will not be allowed to reopen until Orange County moves into the yellow tier which is likely months away.

This has been quite the rollercoaster (and not the kind we like!) of reopening news and rumors since Disneyland's closure in March. Downtown Disney has been open since July with great success and no known outbreaks of COVID-19 reported at the popular dining and shopping district. Unfortunately, it was disappointing news for Disney to receive the guidance that restricts Disney from reopening until the yellow tier which is likely months away.

In the meantime, if you're missing that Disney magic (like we all are!) consider reading through our guide to Disney World which has been successfully open with no outbreaks since July. We are currently planning our own trips to the Most Magical Place on Earth with great excitement and confidence in Disney's safety policies.

Disneyland is Prepared to Open

When you visit Downtown Disney you can access the esplanade and get a peek at the front gates of Disneyland and California Adventure. You can see that Disney has already installed plexiglass barriers on the gates and ticket lines which gives an good indication that once an opening date is approved that they will be ready!

From a distance, you can see plexiglass has been installed behind the iron gates.

Plexiglass has been installed to protect guests and cast members.

A closer look at the plexiglass at the ticket stations.

The parks will manage attendance with a new reservation system. All guests, including Disneyland Annual Passholders, will be required to obtain a park reservation guaranteeing entry. These reservations will be subject to availability. We don't have any further details on this yet, but we will share them with our newsletter email list when they are released. Walt Disney World's reservation system gives us a good idea of what to expect with on-site guests having first priority, then annual passholders, and other ticket holders.

Some experiences will be temporarily suspended like parades, nighttime spectaculars, and other entertainment options that may create crowds. Characters will still be present in the park and if you're following our Walt Disney World reopening guide, you can see how Disney has cleverly incorporated characters on horses, boats, and parade floats to still bring magic to the parks while effectively being distant.

You can read everything we know so far about the Disneyland reservation system in our guide.>

Downtown Disney Disneyland Safety Measures

Downtown Disney reopened on July 9th with new safety and limited capacity measures in place. Disney learned a lot from the Walt Disney World Disney Springs reopening to help them successfully reopen Downtown Disney. Keep reading for a photo and video tour of opening day and must know new policies for visiting Downtown Disney!

Guests effectively social distancing as they wait to get to the temperature check points.

You undergo your temperature screening before you head through security

Plexiglass is installed between guests and cast members in the security tents

The Lego Store!

Cast members are in place to encourage social distancing in lines.

World of Disney often utilized the Virtual Shopping Queue (more info on this below!)

You can find handwashing stations throughout Downtown Disney- we will likely see these installed in the parks when they open.

You can see our full video tour of reopening day at Downtown Disney on our Facebook page:

DOWNTOWN DISNEY – ✨😍✨ Full tour! All info —> https://mickeyvisit.com/disneyland-opening/

Posted by Disneyland Secrets on Thursday, 9 July 2020

When guests arrive, they will be directed to park at Simba Lot (at Disneyland Drive and Katella Ave). There are reduced capacity measures in place to help create effective social distancing. If Downtown Disney is at capacity they will let guests in as others leave throughout the day.

All guests are required to wear masks and go through temperature check points before entering. The area is being constantly cleaned and the cast members are doing a great job of encouraging social distancing.

Which locations are open in Downtown Disney?

The majority of the shopping and dining locations at the Downtown Disney District are now open with the World of Disney, Disney Home Store, and Marceline's Confectionery being the most popular. Disney will use a mobile wait list to manage store capacity when needed.

Unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic, The VOID has been ordered to close and it's been reported they've been served with a Notice of Event Default and Lease Termination. They have been ordered to cease all use of Disney promotional material, trademarks, etc. So The VOID is not open but for different reasons.

How is shopping different?

  • Mobile Wait List: At some retail locations, including the World of Disney store and Marceline’s Confectionery,  a mobile wait list system might be used to manage the number of Guests shopping when the location and/or queue are at capacity. Guests can choose to provide their name and mobile number to receive a text message when they are able to return.
  • New Product Launches: Guests can still find new merchandise at the Downtown Disney District. However, monthly program releases and limited-edition merchandise will be by reservation only. Guests can visit the Merchandise Events page for more information on future buying opportunities.
  • Dressing Rooms: For the time being, dressing rooms are not be available for use.
  • Returns: Eligible returns and exchanges will be accepted at the World of Disney store, as well as the other Disney-owned and -operated locations in the Downtown Disney District, subject to the returns and exchange policy.

What is dining like?

Dining locations have been reopened to incorporate the enhanced health and safety measures, physical distancing, use of face coverings, increased cleaning, and limited-contact Guest services.

To promote physical distancing and touchless transactions, a number of changes include:

  • Increased outdoor patio-style seating
  • Parties seated at tables 6 feet apart
  • Digital or single-use menus available at many locations

For some table service restaurants, Guests will be able to make advance dining reservations by booking online. Some dining locations may also use their own reservation system or virtual waitlist.

Read more about Downtown Disney in our guide. 

Face Covering Rules and ClarificationsNEWS! Disney's Face Masks Are Starting to Ship to Customers ...

Disney has updated their policy regarding face coverings to help guests be informed on what type of face covering is allowed in the parks. As a reminder, guests aged 2 years of age and older must wear a face covering at all times (including water rides) except when dining.

  • All face coverings (whether disposable or reusable) must:
    • Be made with at least two layers of breathable material
    • Fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin
    • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
    • Be secured with ties or ear loops and allow the guest to remain hands-free
    • Guests must be stationary and socially distanced to remove their masks to eat or drink
  • Unacceptable styles:
    • At this time, based on guidance from health authorities, neck gaiters and open-chin triangle bandannas are not acceptable face coverings nor face coverings containing vales, mesh, or holes of any kind.
    • Costume masks are also not considered appropriate and are prohibited from being worn, in alignment with Disney’s existing rules.

Disney currently has face masks available for $6 each or four for $20 in World of Disney including some cute park inspired prints like Haunted Manson or it's a small world!

Universal Studios Hollywood CityWalk Open Universal CityWalk Hollywood - 101 Things To Do In Los Angeles

Universal CityWalk is also open with preventative health policies in place such as:

  • Limiting capacity and following social distancing guidelines throughout all entertainment venues, restaurants and shops throughout the destination.
  • Increasing cleaning and disinfection procedures, and frequently cleaning all high touch surfaces.
  • All team members will undergo temperature checks and wear face coverings.
  • All team members will participate in extensive training on new procedures.
  • Face coverings and temperature checks required for guests.

Read more about the new safety updates for Universal CityWalk here. 

Disneyland New Policy UpdatesStar Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney's Hollywood Studios ...

Disney's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pamela Hymel announced Disney's collaborations with colleagues in operations, local health and government authorities and US Travel Association on their health guidelines to ensure the safety of guests during a phased Disneyland opening.

These measures include:

  • Physical distancing and capacity measures: Managing guest density in queues, restaurants, hotels, ride vehicles and other facilities throughout the park and across the resort. These measures will be taken to implement physical distancing guidelines based on guidance from health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and appropriate government agencies. This will also likely include implementation of guest capacity measures to comply with state and federal guidelines. Disney is exploring the use of technology to aid with these efforts with the use of the Disney App that we've seen used for virtual queues at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
  • Cleanliness and sanitization: Increased cleaning and disinfection, determining where that should take place (for example, in high-traffic areas), and the cleaning products and processes used.
  • Screening and prevention support: Following guidance from the government and the medical community regarding enhanced screening procedures and prevention measures, including those related to personal protective equipment (PPE), such as face coverings. Some measures, like adding hand sanitizers and hand washing stations across the resorts, have already been implemented.
    • Face coverings are required for ages two and up. Face coverings must have ties or ear loops- no gaiters or bandanas are allowed.
  • Cast training: Further emphasizing Disney's strong culture of health and safety amongst  cast members, and continuing to provide new training and reinforcement closer to reopening.
  • Parades and Nighttime Spectaculars: activities that draw large group gatherings will return at a later date.
  • Character Meet and Greets: Character meet and greets temporarily unavailable- characters will still be in the park in new ways to entertain and greet guests- likely from a distance.

It's important to note that Disney is doing their best to create a safe environment for guests and cast members for Disneyland opening while also keeping the experience as magical as possible. Remember: these restrictions won't be in place forever.

Walt Disney World Reservation System

Walt Disney World has been open successfully since July with their new reservation system in place. The most important thing here to note is how different Walt Disney World and Disneyland are due to the size of the resorts, amount of hotels, annual passholders, and tourist demographics.

However, we still learned some interesting tidbits from this announcement that could give us insight into how Disneyland may proceed. Here are the most important takeaways:

  • Disney World on-site resort guests get first priority at reservations, followed by Annual Passholders, and regular ticketholders.
  • Guests have been given advance notice to make their reservations. The reservation system wasn't rolled out ‘quietly' or with no notice.
  • Guests use their Disney account to make their reservations.
  • Disney World initially paused 2020 ticket sales which have now resumed.
  • Guests looking to travel in 2021 can make reservations through September 2021.

Again, it's important to keep in mind that Disney World and Disneyland are very different so we might not see the same policies implemented at Disneyland. For example, our travel partner has confirmed Disneyland will allow park hopping while it is not currently available at Disney World.

You can read more about Walt Disney World's reservation system in our guide.

Walt Disney World and Disney Springs Opening Details

While the policies enacted at Walt Disney World may look different for Disneyland, it's helpful to look at what they're doing to get an idea of what we might expect at Disneyland. The announced policy changes fall in life closely with the recommendations by medical experts and travel partners Disney described above.

Walt Disney World follows similar safety measures that we've seen in place for Disney Springs and other Florida theme parks. These include:

  • Certain Experiences Temporarily Suspended: Experiences that draw large group gatherings– such as parades and nighttime spectaculars – will return at a later date. In addition, “high-touch” experiences such as makeover opportunities, playgrounds and character meet and greets will remain temporarily unavailable. Characters will be in the parks, at a distance, to still greet guests.
  • Reduced capacity: Walt Disney World will have a reduced guest capacity and an advanced reservation system in place to manage attendance. All guests will be required to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance. More details about this new reservation system will be available soon.
  • Screening and prevention support: Guests 2 years of age and older and cast members will be required to wear appropriate face coverings in theme parks and common areas of resort hotels. Face coverings must have ear loops or ties- no gaiters or bandanas allowed. All guests and cast members will also undergo temperature screenings prior to entering a theme park.
  • Cleanliness and sanitization: Increased cleaning and disinfection, determining where that should take place (for example, in high-traffic areas), and the cleaning products and processes used. Cashless transactions are recommended.
  • Physical distancing: Managing guest density in queues, restaurants, hotels, ride vehicles and other facilities throughout the park and across the resort.
  • New Signage: Disney also revealed a list of new signs to remind guests of hand washing, touchless payment, distancing measures, etc.
  • Mask Relief Areas: There will be designed ‘guest relaxation' areas for guests to safely remove their masks and get a break from wearing them throughout the park. More details coming soon on how this will be implemented and what safety procedures will be in place for these areas.
  • Reduced Operating Hours: As of now Disney World's operating hours will be much shorter with an average time of operation from 9AM-7PM. Over time, along with capacity, Disney World will begin extending operating hours based on the circumstances surrounding the pandemic.

We will keep things updated as we learn more about these new policies and Disney's commitment to safety.

You can read more about how Walt Disney World is handling their reopening in regards to dining, FastPass+ reservations, vacation packages, and preventative health measures in our guide.

Get Away Today Comeback Offers for Anaheim Area HotelsHoward Johnson Hotel at Disneyland Opening

Local Anaheim area hotels are offering unprecedented discount rates to offer incentive for travel for the rest of the 2020 year. Now is a great time to get a fantastic deal on a fabulous Good Neighbor hotel near Disneyland.

We often stay at these Anaheim area hotels and have magical experiences. Some of these local area hotels are even closer to the resort than the official resort hotels. When you book with Get Away Today you get even more reduced rates along with the potential of other perks like free parking, breakfast, waived resort fees, and more.

You can read some of our staff reviews on a few of our favorite neighboring hotels within walking distance to Disneyland below:

With so many hotels to choose from, you can find a great deal for a place that fits your family with these amazing comeback offers. Click here to start your vacation planning!>

Plan Your Disneyland Opening Vacation!

Keep reading our blog to keep you updated on everything you need to know to prepare for Disneyland opening! We have a team of writers working hard to keep you updated weekly on events in the parks and tips for navigating the magic. Subscribe to our free deals newsletter to receive helpful planning information, exclusive Disney deals, and access to the lowest priced Disney tickets anywhere. You can find more information on planning your vacation here:

Disclosure: We have used all the products recommended on Mickey Visit. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products featured.

6 comments add yours

  1. Tickets for August. We have reservations at at Disneyland neighborhood Hotel. We’re only there for two days, how are we supposed to know that we’re guaranteed to get in the parks on those two particular days? That would be the 19th and 20th of August?

    • Unfortunately, Disneyland hasn’t released an opening date or information on if they will do a reservation system (we anticipate they will follow a pattern similar to what Walt Disney World is doing though!) and how that will work out. I would bookmark this page and keep checking back because this is where we will post all official updates from Disneyland when we get them.

      • Hi. I have pretty much the same question. Hoping for an update. I also have reservations in August/September booked at a good neighbor hotel. My booking for the hotel and park tickets was through Disney Travel. Would I be considered a “guest with existing reservation” who would take priority?

        Also, I’m planning to attend the Star Wars Celebration, assuming it still takes place. I was going to go to the park at night. If the park closes early then my tickets are no good on the days of the celebration. Does Disney offer any type of compensation or refund for the reduced value of the tickets?

        Thank you!

        • Those are both great questions! We just don’t know all the details yet about how the reservation work. I do think it’s a good move to have an existing travel reservation in place. From what we’ve seen at Disney World, people with existing reservations have taken priority over those without tickets/reservations. As for the Star Wars Celebration, we still don’t know much about how that will be handled. I have good faith Disney will do everything to make it right if the celebration is cancelled. Keep checking our guide, this is where we will post all updates immediately after we get them.

  2. We have a trip booked for September but the kids don’t want to go if they are required to wear masks. Is Disneyland going to require masks like Disney world?

    • It’s safe to assume that Disneyland will also require masks for ages 2 and older when they open.

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