After being closed for 1 year, 1 month, and 2 weeks, the Disneyland Resort, which includes Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, will (FINALLY) re-open today. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa opened yesterday, April 29th, to get guests checked in and the pool and restaurants open. Downtown Disney has been open for quite some time, the exact number of days is hard to pinpoint, since it opened with strict limitations, then those were pulled back, then reopened again, partially, it has been less clear with Downtown Disney. However, all three parts of the Disneyland Resort: Parks, Hotel, and Shopping/Dining District, will be open for guests starting today.
Prior to the March 14th, 2020, shutdown of Disneyland, the park had only closed a handful of times, and never for more than one day. It closed following the assassination of President John F Kennedy, for one day, to mourn with the country, it closed for one day after a nearby earthquake, simply to get have the time to check all of the rides, it also closed the day after the events on 9/11/2001, out of safety concerns and out of respect for those lost and the tone of the country. However, on 9/12/2001, the park reopened. Disneyland did not even close the day after Walt Disney died, back in December of 1966. That is how rare a single day closure is with Disney Parks.
We do not need to explain why the parks were closed these last 13+ months, we all lived it and we all suffered through it, and unfortunately, many of our family, friends, and neighbors got very sick and even worse, many died. It was a terrible year and Disneyland being closed was just the rotten cherry on the top.
But it is time to look forward, stay safe, get vaccinated, and follow guidelines, but, keep looking forward.
Today the two parks open, DL and DCA. There will be a number of health related requirements, such as mask wearing and social distancing, some of the queues will be rerouted to keep the bulk of the line outdoors. Some shows will be closed, due to California’s rule that any indoor show must be no longer than 15 minutes.
Disney has also limited guests, for now, to residents of California. This rule was in line with California’s guidelines from just two weeks ago. However, within the last 10 days, California has loosened that requirements and says non-residents, with proof of vaccination, can visit. Disneyland has yet to change their rules, keeping the California resident requirement in place. It is unclear how Disney will enforce this rule. Guests had to attest to being a resident when they purchased tickets, which is all the state required back when they were mandating that rule. Interestingly, there is no fine print that describes what they mean by “resident,” nor is there a list of approved documents to prove a guest is a resident. Not every guest has a drivers licenses or state ID, an not everyone with a California drivers license or California state ID is necessarily a resident. Would they require a utility bill? Would they require one’s credit card or debit card to link to a billing address within California?
While I can punch holes in everyone of those requirements, guests would at least know what Disney is going to require. My sneaking suspicion is that Disney will rely solely on the guest’s attestation at the time of purchasing their ticket and leave it at that. The rule is great and if they intend to enforce it with strict requirements, they need to clearly define what they consider to be a California resident and then provide a numerated list of documents that they will accept as proof of residency.
This is just an interesting feature of the reopening that I (as a lawyer) find fascinating.
Aside from all off that, the point of this article was just to say HAPPY RE-OPENING DAY Disneyland! We’ve missed you greatly and we are so excited to come visit you soon.