This week, the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim California fully reopened, dropping a number of their covid-19 restrictions. Here are all of the changes that happened this week at Disneyland, so you can be properly prepared for your next trip.
Masks No Longer Required
Fully vaccinated guests are no longer required to wear face coverings at the park. Guests can go maskless outside and inside, on attractions, in shops, and anywhere else, with the only exception being enclosed transportation (like the shuttle between Toy Story Parking Lot and the Parks).
Guests who are not fully vaccinated must still wear masks. Disney will not be verifying vaccination records and asks guests to be honest about their status and act in accordance with their rules.
Temperature Checks Are Gone
Disneyland has dropped temperature checks. While there are legitimate questions about the effectiveness of this protocol, it is no longer an issue at Disneyland since the temperature screenings are no longer.
Out of State Guests Are Allowed
During the phased reopening, Disney limited Disneyland guests to those who reside in California. This was done to cutdown on travelers descending into the region as Southern California was ramping up their vaccination efforts.
With some of the best vaccination (and subsequent covid) numbers in the country, the region is ready for visitors and the California residency requirement has been dropped. All are now welcome.
No More Mandated Social Distancing
Disney has removed their 8 foot social distancing markers and simply ask guests to distance themselves as they seem appropriate. This has greatly condensed a number of lines that would wind around the park, giving the perception of huge wait times, when in reality it was due to 8 foot gaps between parties.
Indoor Queueing Allowed
Many attractions have indoor queues where guests line up before the ride. Disney was lining up guests outside since they reopened on April 30th, to avoid having groups indoor together. This, along with the 8 foot spacing, caused bottlenecks throughout the outdoor sections of the park.
These indoor queues are now reopen, so the lines are back to normal. This change is especially noteworthy for Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, Soarin’ Around the World, Star Tours, and Space Mountain.
California has lifted any capacity restrictions on Disneyland this week. The park is not going to 100% capacity immediately, but they have increased capacity dramatically since the change this Tuesday, June 15th. Prior to the change, the capacity limit was 35% and Disney was keeping their levels far below that.
There is a second factor to crowd capacity, aside from the capacity limitations being dropped. It is important to remember that a number of these other changes (indoor queueing allowed, no more social distancing, more rides opening, etc) all increase the capacity. For every show, ride, shop, or restaurant that is open, that bumps up the square footage of available space and increases the capacity. All of this is a complicated way of saying that there are a lot more guests visiting Disneyland this week than one month ago.
Ride Capacity Increase
Disney will be able to load all of the rows of their ride vehicles. Prior to this change, most rides were loading one group per ride vehicle. While that doesn’t affect rides like Haunted Mansion, it can really slow things down on Pirates of the Caribbean, Radiator Springs Racers, and any other ride that has a large number of seats per ride vehicle. During my last visit two weeks ago I saw the Cars from Radiator Springs Racers fly by in cars built for six people, filled with only one or two guests. This made the wait times painfully slow, however, this has changed and they can load multiple parties per ride vehicle.
Indiana Jones Adventure Removes Virtual Queue
To manage the long line for Indiana Jones, when they couldn’t line guests up inside the famous queue, Disney implemented a virtual queueing system and guests would reserve time slots to come back to experience the ride.
Since Disney can once again utilize the indoor section of the queue, this feature is no longer needed and has been removed.
A Number of Rides Reopen This Week
Golden Zephyr opened on June 15th and Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes opens this Friday the 18th. Over the next few weeks Disney will be reopening Tom Sawyer Island, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Storybook Canal Boats, Matterhorn Bobsleds, and Jungle Cruise.
A Number of Shows/Experiencing Reopen this Week
Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough in Disneyland’s iconic castle has reopened this week. Over in Disney California Adventure you can once again learn to draw your favorite characters at the Animation Academy and Explore the Sorcerer’s Workshop. We shared the news yesterday that Disneyland will be bringing back their nighttime show ‘Mickeys Mix Magic,’ along with fireworks, starting July 4th.
Rise of the Resistance Pre-Show Added Back
To keep the indoor section of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance under the state mandated 20 minute mark, Disney cut a pre-show scene from the attraction. The BB8 scene with Rey’s hologram was skipped over, but it is now back. Giving guests the complete Rise of the Resistance experience.
More Restaurants Opened Back Up
This week saw the triumphant return of a number off fabulous dining establishments throughout the Disneyland Resort. These include: Oga’s Cantina, Tiki Juice Bar, Docking Bay Food & Cargo, Alien Pizza Planet, and Rancho del Zocalo. Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) can be made on the app and a number of these restaurants also use mobile ordering, so get that Disneyland App downloaded.
The Toy Story parking lot will reopen at the end of the week, Friday, June 18th. Giving some much needed relief to the Mickey and Friends parking structure.
A number changes are set for the end of this month and through July and August, we will cover all of those and keep you updated on all the changes at Disneyland and the rest of the Disney Parks around the world.