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Disneyland has finally reopened its gates to guests after over 400 days of being closed. The parks may look different but Disneyland is still magical. However, this isn’t the time to visit for everyone.
If you are trying to figure out if right now is the right time for you to visit the Disneyland Resort, I am giving you answers to the most common questions, and even a few answers you may not have thought of, but are important to know.
To be clear – I am an out of state, fully vaccinated, Disneyland faithful. However, I did not enter the parks. My co-founders of the Disneyland with Kids group were all down there, and two of them were able to visit the parks, and have helped gather this information.
Disneyland Reopening – Important FAQs For Before You Book
I thought the best way to go about this is in the order that you might have the questions, so we will start with questions we see in the Disneyland with Kids group, on my facebook page, and in my messages and emails, for those debating on if they should, or even if they can, visit the parks.
If you are planning to book a vacation, I definitely suggest booking through my partners at Get Away Today. Not only do they have the best deals, but also the best customer service. And, if you find a better deal, they will price match it for you.
Who can visit Disneyland’s Theme Parks?
At this time only California Residents may enter the theme parks. Out of state guests may visit Downtown Disney, or book a stay at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, but they may not visit the theme parks. Proof of ID may be required when entering the parks.
Who can buy Disneyland Tickets?
Currently, both California residents, and out of state guests may purchase tickets. The residency restriction is only in place for actually entering the parks.
When can out of state guests visit the parks?
I spoke to multiple Disneyland “higher-ups” that were in the esplanade on opening day, and I promise, they want to allow everyone to visit Disneyland as soon as possible. They are working hard to help make sure that is able to happen soon.
If you are an out of state guest that is planning to visit Disneyland resort, my number one suggestion is to purchase your Disneyland tickets ASAP so that when they make the announcement that out of state guests may visit, you have your tickets in hand to make reservations.
I heard I need a reservation. Are my tickets my reservation?
It is correct that you need a reservation (more on that in a moment) but your park tickets are NOT your reservation. You will need to decide which Disneyland tickets to purchase, and have them already paid for, and your ticket number ready to make Disneyland reservations.
This is confusing because when you purchase a one-day ticket on the Disneyland website, you are asked to choose the day of your visit. To be clear, this is only to ensure you purchase a ticket at the correct pricing. Disneyland one-day tickets have tier pricing based on expected demand for that day. Choosing the day during ticket purchase is not making your reservation.
When you purchase multi-day tickets through Get Away Today, they do ask for your travel dates, but this is more to ensure they get you all updates, etc that you need before you travel. It is also for those who utilize the layaway plan to make sure you are paid off before your vacation.
No matter how you purchase your tickets, you must still make a reservation through the reservation system.
Note: You must pay off tickets on the layaway plan before you can make theme park reservations. For this reason, I actually suggest purchasing tickets outright first and then adding a hotel stay through them afterwards to make a vacation package.
Is parkhopping still allowed?
When you go to purchase tickets, you may wonder if parkhopping is still allowed, and it is, but it will look a little different.
Guests can parkhop to the other park, if they possess a parkhopper ticket, after 1:00 pm each day.
An important tip: before you purchase your tickets, check the reservation availability calendar on the Disneyland website and be sure to check the difference between one park and parkhopper. These are two different pools of reservations, and you may be surprised if you purchase a one park per day, and then find out the open reservations are only for parkhopper guests.
How do I make reservations?
You will make reservations through the Disneyland Reservation Website. You can access this through either the app or through the Disneyland Website. You will need a Disney account to make reservations. This is the same account you might use for the Disneyland App, Disney+, or My Disney Experience for Walt Disney World.
I have a full guide on how to make Disneyland Reservations, but my biggest tip is to make them as soon as possible. Reservations open at least 60 days in advance. At this time they are adding one day at a time to the calendar, but that could change at any given moment. I personally expect that once out of state visitors are allowed, we may see them open them up farther in advance.
To make your reservations you will need your party’s ticket numbers. You can add them to your Disney account during the process or add them right before in the app. I do not suggest adding them too far in advance as there have been system glitches where tickets disappear from the account but somehow still say they are “linked to an account.”
What guidelines should I know about before booking my vacation?
As I mentioned before, right now may not be the right time to visit for everyone. There are some guidelines in place that may make you decide to hold off on visiting the parks.
Insider tip: even if you plan on waiting to visit, I suggest booking your tickets now (you can even use Get Away Today’s layaway plan) so you lock in current pricing. Tickets purchased now are good through December 2022.
Here are some of the guidelines that may affect your decision:
Facemasks are required – even for photos
California has much stricter guidelines for facemasks, and all guests age 2 and up must wear a face mask at all times, even in photos and when socially distanced.
The only exception is when you are seated at a designated dining area, actively eating or drinking.
There are no “mask relaxation zones” like they have at Walt Disney World in Florida. But because of this, Disneyland has added a lot of tables through out the parks, and every single bench is labeled as a “designated dining area” so finding somewhere to sit and remove your mask while drinking some water will not be hard.
Temperature checks are required
All guests ages two and up will have their temperature checked. If any person in your party has a fever over 100.4 your entire party will be turned away.
Other changes that might make you want to delay your trip
There are a few other changes that may make you decide to wait, or maybe will make you decide this is a great time to go. Here is a quick list of those changes:
- No Extra Magic Hour or Magic Morning Entry at this time
- Fastpass and MaxPass are not in use at this time
- Many restaurants are not open (see the list of what Disneyland dining options are open and what is closed)
- No character dining options available
- The parks have reduced hours
- The tram and Toy Story buses are not operating at this time
- Character meet and greets are not happening, though you will see characters throughout the parks and be able to engage with them from a distance
- Fireworks, parades, and other attractions that draw large crowds are suspended at this time in order to encourage social distancing.
Disneyland Reopening – FAQs for your Visit
Once you have decided you want to visit Disneyland, you may have a lot of questions regarding your actual visit. Upon reopening, the parks definitely look different than before, but you will still feel the magic and have a great time with these helpful tips.
I had MaxPass on my Pre-Purchased Ticket, Can I get A Refund?
I had to speak to A LOT of Cast Members to get the answer to this. Anybody not directly involved with ticketing directed me to the app chat, which we know has a huge wait time.
Finally, on the second day of the parks being opened, I happened to be heading back to my hotel from Downtown Disney, when I saw a group of ticketing cast members be dismissed by a group of managers. I stopped and asked them and got what we believe to be the best, most correct answer as they said that is what they had just covered with the cast.
If you had a ticket with MaxPass, you may visit any guest service during your trip to request a refund, which will be given on a Disney gift card. You can also go to the Disneyland website and send in a guest service request via email and use the “online ticketing help.” This is true even if you purchased your tickets through my partners at Get Away Today.
If you do not want a Disney Gift Card, you can request a paper check, but it will take 6-8 weeks to process.
Can I use one of my MaxPass tickets for Photopass service
My understanding after talking to several cast members is yes, but I definitely suggest using the “link ticket with photopass” option in the app to make sure it works. If not, then you will need to get a refund and then utilize the app to purchase Photopass.
Photopass service is $19.99/day
What time should I arrive at Disneyland
I suggest arriving at least an hour before opening if you want to be one of the first people in.
According to my friends Leslie at Trips with Tykes and Julie at Mom Rewritten (who were both able to go in) they starting letting guests in the parks around 8:15 for a 9:00 am opening and the rides were immediately available. No wait.
From Downtown Disney, we noticed that the Harbor Blvd entrance was pretty much cleared out by 30 minutes after park opening, with no wait to get in.
If you don’t want to have to wait at security and don’t mind missing the first few moments in the parks, arriving 30 minutes or so after park opening is perfectly fine.
However, we witnessed a pretty steady stream of people walking over from the Disneyland parking structures until we left both mornings around 10:30 am.
Are the lockers available at Disneyland Park?
At this time, the lockers inside the parks are not available for guests. However, the lockers in the esplanade, and the lockers in the Disneyland picnic area, are available for guests to use.
I hope this is able to change in the coming months, but happy that the ones between the parks are available to guests.
Reopening Disneyland Attractions FAQs
Rides at Disneyland are both a big reason to visit, and a big point of confusion as so much has changed. Remember, MaxPass and Fastpass are no longer available, but what else should you know about rides at Disneyland?
I have covered which rides will be open and which will be closed in a prior post, but you can also see this on the Disneyland App.
Are queues socially distanced?
Yes, Disneyland has not only socially distanced the queues with markers, but queues are outdoors as much as possible.
For Haunted Mansion, I have seen that the elevator, etc has spots marked for where to stand, and it looks like they are taking a maximum of 4-6 groups.
You will get very used to seeing markers on the ground asking you to wait at a certain point.
But you will also need to bring your patience, and be willing to speak up if people are crowding you. After all, just like before, Disneyland guests can sometimes be oblivious.
What about Rise of The Resistance Boarding Passes?
Disneyland has updated how Rise of the Resistance Boarding Passes work. They now have 2 times available to grab a boarding pass, one at 7 am (which you can do from your hotel) and the other at noon.
You can find great info on obtaining a boarding pass from Trips with Tykes. I know she will be updating this post shortly.
Is Rider Switch Pass (AKA Parent Swap) Still Available?
With the removal of Fastpass and MaxPass, many parents are wondering if Parent Swap is still being utilized. YES… parent swap is still available on rides with a height requirement.
Is the DAS Pass still available?
Disney’s Disability Access Service Pass helps those who are unable to wait in long lines have an alternate place to wait. YES – the service is still available for guests who need it and functions the same as before the closure.
Will i get to interact with characters?
While traditional meet and greets are not available, Disneyland has placed our favorite characters around the parks where you can interact with them in new and exciting ways.
From having a socially distanced chat with Rapunzel and Eugene/Flynn, to the brand new Tinkerbell interaction, there are exciting ways to engage with characters through out the park.
Are shows still available?
This is a surprising – some of them…
Mickey’s Philharmagic, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, and a few other shows are still available.
But many of our favorites are not. Frozen Live at the Hyperion, Mickey and the Magical Map, and other shows will have to return at a later date.
Dining at Disneyland – FAQs About the Reopening
Are all the restaurants open?
No. Many of your favorites will be open, but some are closed. Those that are open may have a limited menu. You can find out more about Dining at Disneyland after it reopens here, and get some great tips too.
Can i bring in my own food and drink?
Yes, you can, and I highly suggest bringing in food to Disneyland – at least snacks and water. Because of all the changes, lines for the free water at restaurants are long, if they even have free waters available.
Lines for the limited dining options can be very long, and mobile order can be booked up. So parents, definitely have snacks on hand for young children that may not be able to wait an hour or so for food once they decide they are hungry.
Do I have to mobile order?
While some dining options offer sit down dining or walk up service, mobile order is definitely being pushed as the preferred option. Because of this, mobile order may not have an available dining time for an hour or more from when you place your order.
While some of us may not know exactly when or what we will be hungry for, we will sadly have to do a little planning on this one. I suggest placing a mobile order for your lunch as soon as possible, and one for dinner no later than mid-afternoon.
Did I miss any of your Disneyland questions? If so let me know and I will add them to the list.
Ready to book a Disneyland vacation?
If you are ready to book your Disneyland vacation, head on over to my partners at Get Away Today to check out their deals on discount tickets and hotel stays. If you book a stay of 2 nights or more, be sure to use code CrazyAdventure to save even more on your vacation.