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Disneyland Reopening Date 2021 – Who Can Go and What to Expect

After a false alarm for reopening last year, we finally have a reopening date for Disneyland Resort. April 30, 2021, will be the day that Disneyland will reopen to the public. But will you be allowed to go?

Theme parks in California were finally given a plan to reopen by the governor in March. Their reopenings will have capacity limitations depending on what color level the county is in at the time.

Counties in the red tier (tier 2) can open at 15% capacity beginning April 1st. And as capacity increases as the risk levels decrease. Tier 3 (orange) can have a 25% capacity, and tier 4 (yellow) can have 35% capacity. But all of these rules only allow California resident visitors.

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disneyland sleeping beauty castle
Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle © Stuffed Suitcase

Disneyland Resort will manage attendance with a theme reservation system like what they’re using at Walt Disney World. To enter, you’ll have to have made a reservation for park entry in advance and you’ll need valid admission for the same park on the same date.

Admission and a reservation will be required for guests ages 3 and up. This registration will also likely be how Disneyland adheres to the California residents-only requirement.

Theme park reservations will be limited and subject to availability. Again, at this time, only California residents can make reservations and visit the Disneyland Resort.

It’s good to note that the special event, Touch of Disney, which is taking place from March 18th to April 19th is not part of this reopening plan. It’s a food and shopping event and doesn’t include the full park being in operation.

Guests will also have the opportunity to stay at a Disneyland hotel once again, with a phased reopening. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will reopen on April 29, with limited capacity. The DVC Villas at the Grand Californian will plan to reopen on May 2nd. Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel will reopen at a later date.

When Disneyland reopens it will be very different from the Disneyland experience we have come to expect. Here are the changes you’ll see take place around the Disneyland Resort.

Enhanced Protective Measures: Disney will require mandatory face coverings for both Cast Members and Guests, with the addition of hand-washing stations and physical barriers, where appropriate. Get some Disney face masks at Etsy, the Disney Store, and Amazon.

Physical Distancing: Theme park capacity will be reduced to enable physical distancing. Signs will encourage Guests to move responsibly throughout the property and keep their distance.

Temperature Checks: All Guests will undergo temperature screenings prior to entering the Downtown Disney District or the theme parks; in addition, health screenings and temperature checks will be required daily for Cast Members.

Limited-Contact Enhancements: Cashless transactions will be encouraged. There will be an emphasis on using Mobile Order for dining in the Disneyland app.

Reduced Activities: While in the red tier, there will be limitations on indoor attractions and indoor dining will not be offered. Based on what we’ve seen happening in Disney World it’s also likely that there won’t be timed parades. Fireworks and shows with crowds will also not be happening. And character meet and greets will be socially distant.

New Disneyland Reservation System for Reopening

All guests will be required to make advance reservations for park entry and will be subject to availability. Reservations are not yet available, but it’s likely that tickets will be required to make a reservation and you’ll use your My Disney Experience account to make the reservation.

My best advice for you if you want to book a Disneyland vacation and keep up to date on all the correct rules and reservations is to use a Disneyland travel agent. I work with Get Away Today and they do an amazing job with Disneyland planning and travel reservations. At no extra cost to you!

disneyland hotel bed
Disneyland Hotel bed © Stuffed Suitcase

Before You Make a Reservation

One thing to keep in mind before you rush to the Disneyland resort is that new policies and procedures are not the only things to look out for.

Dining experiences, attractions, and other entertainment are subject to change or might not be available at all. Although Disneyland has not come out with a list of attractions that definitely will not be available, it’s easy to see how many of the experiences will not be possible unless they are significantly modified.

The only thing Disneyland has said for certain is that parades and shows are definitely out. These main entertainment attractions draw crowds as Imagineers design them to do. Bringing large crowds together is counter to the efforts enforced by health authorities and the local government.

Meeting Cruella de vil at Disneyland
Meeting Cruella at Disneyland. © Stuffed Suitcase

Although there might be characters roaming around the parks, character meet-and-greets with hugs, autographs, and photo ops will also be unavailable for the time being.

You’ll need to decide if the cost of a Disneyland vacation is worth the limited access and experiences.

disneyland castle with text overlay for disneyland reopening 2021
When will Disneyland reopen in 2021? © Stuffed Suitcase

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