While Walt Disney World has been open since mid-July following coronavirus closures, questions about when Disneyland in California will reopen have been left up in the air. Until now, that is. This week, Disney Parks announced that Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure will reopen with “limited capacity” on Friday, April 30.
“I think as people become vaccinated, they become a little bit more confident in the fact that they can travel, and, you know, stay COVID-free,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said during an appearance on CNBC on Wednesday. “Consumers trust Disney to do the right thing, and we’ve certainly proven that we can [open] responsibly, whether it’s temperature checks, masks, social distancing, [or] improved hygiene around the parks.”
This comes on the heels of Chapek’s statement in early March, where he said that the California theme park would reopen sometime in April. The reopening will take some time, as the park will recall more than 10,000 furloughed cast members and retraining them. “I am pleased to say the response has been great thus far, our Cast Members have been excited to get back to work,” Chapek said in a statement published to Twitter on Tuesday, March 9. “Also this is good news for the Anaheim community, which depends on Disneyland for jobs and business generated by visitors.”
Disneyland had originally planned on reopening as soon as July 17, exactly 65 years to the date the theme park first opened its doors in 1955, but extended its closure due to the pandemic. But with a new reopening date on the horizon, here is everything you need to know.
Disneyland Will Reopen On April 30
While the theme park remains closed until April 30, people can still visit the Downtown Disney District, where select retail and dining businesses are open. Buena Vista Street, which is part of Downtown Disney, will close on March 15 to prepare for a new ticketed experience.
This comes on the heels of the news that California theme parks and sports stadiums can reopen come April 1 under certain guidelines and restrictions, according to the Los Angeles Times. Attendance will reportedly only be allowed to residents living in the state of California at the time of opening, Deadline has reported.
Disneyland Will Have New Safety Measures
In order to ensure the health and safety of all guests, new measures will be put in place as the coronavirus pandemic continues. According to Disneyland, guests can expect to see the following:
- Face coverings to be worn by guests and staff members at all times
- Hand washing stations and physical barriers placed throughout the park, to ensure that guests and staff are protected
- Physical distancing and reminders for guests to stay six feet apart
- Temperature checks prior to entering the theme park
- Limited contact with cast members
- Enhanced cleaning with heightened protocols
Disneyland’s Reopening Has Been Delayed For Months
Walt Disney World reopened last year with limits on attendance, controlled guest density, and social distancing measurements in place, according to the Disney Parks Blog. It was expected that Disneyland could follow suit and open sometime in July. But now, nearly nine months later, it is clear that this wasn’t the case.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said during an appearance on The View on May 29 that he was afraid of moving too quickly when it comes time to reopen. "My biggest fear is that we forget the reality of the last eight, nine, 10 weeks in this state and in this nation and imperil, and put ourselves at real risk for not just a second wave but recognizing that we're not even out of the first wave of the pandemic."
Disneyland cautions guests on its website that when the parks do reopen, there is still a risk of contracting COVID-19. "We have taken enhanced health and safety measures — for you, our other Guests and Cast Members — and we ask that you follow all posted instructions while visiting the Disneyland Resort," Disneyland's website reads. "However, an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 currently exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death... By visiting the Disneyland Resort, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19."
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here.
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