It all started with a mouse named Mickey Mouse that animator Walt Disney created back in 1928. Years later he dreamed of a place that families could go where parents and children alike would enjoy themselves. On July 17, 1955, this dream became a reality when Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California. Since then Disneyland has grown not only to Disney World in Orlando but to Disney Parks around the world in Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai. And in California, a second theme park, Disney’s California Adventure opened in 2001.
Since it’s opening in 1955, the park has only closed for a handful of days:
- November 23, 1963 – The day after John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
- January 17, 1994 – The day of the 6.7 Magnitude Northridge Earthquake
- September 11, 2001 – The day of the terrorists attacks in the US.
But on March 14, 2020 Disneyland would close for it’s longest closure in the park’s history. While other Disney Parks around the world, some of which opened and then closed again, due to strict mandates in the state of California, Disneyland remained closed for 412 Days! But on Friday April 30, 2021 Disneyland and California Adventure will FINALLY open their gates once again!
It’s been a long time coming but the parks will finally be open again. Of course like everything else over the past year, there will be differences that you should be aware of if you have the chance to visit the parks when they open. Alot of these differences are similiar to the changes at the parks at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando:
- All guests age 2 and up will be required to wear a face mask unless they are eating or drinking while stationary.
- Social distancing markers in lines for rides, restaurants, stores, etc.
- Park reservations will be required to be made in advance.
- Mobile ordering services at quick service dining locations
- Fast Pass and Disney’s Max Pass Service will not be available.
- Character Meet & Greats will not be available.
- Parades and Fireworks will not be available.
Due to the state of California have much more strict rules than the state of Florida, there will be some additional differences at Disneyland and California Adventure:
- Disneyland and California Adventure will be operating at 25% occupancy , Walt Disney World Parks are currently at 35% occupancy
- Only California residents will be allowed in the parks and proof of residency may be asked for.
- A maximum of 3 households can visit the park together as one group.
- Park hopping will be allowed after 1pm, in Florida it’s allowed after 2pm.
- Indoor lines for rides will be limited to limit the amount of time that people are inside around other people.
- Indoor rides must be under a 15 minute time limit. This means that the popular Star Wars ride, Rise of the Resistance which normally is an 18 minute long ride will be altered to be under 15 minutes now.
California’s rules may seem a little strict compared to Florida, but I recently read that they have the lowest positivity rate in the country, so obviously their strict rules are working. Whatever it takes to get a little sense of normalcy while being safe!
Lots of changes and lots of things missing, but after 412 days, it’s sure to be a magical experience to be in the parks again. It’s all a matter of preference, but from my experience at Walt Disney World in Florida, the magic is still there just in a different way. From what I’ve seen from friends on social media who have attended cast previews the past couple of days, the magic is definitely still there and they all had a great time and were so happy to be back in their happy place.
Walt would be happy to see how much we have all missed his original park so much. Is anyone living in California planning on visiting Disneyland and California Adventure soon?
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