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Disneyland Reopens April 30. Here’s What You Should Expect

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Disneyland theme parks plan to reopen April 30. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)
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Disney announced plans to reopen both of its Southern California theme parks — you may know them as Disneyland and California Adventure — starting April 30 after the state issued revised guidelines allowing them to open sooner than expected. It has been a hard year for Disney stans but they're about to experience a whole new world, albeit with limited capacity and health and safety restrictions.

WHAT CAN I DO AT DISNEY THEME PARKS?

You’ll be able to go on popular rides at both parks although some attractions are expected to remain closed due to current restrictions and health concerns. Here’s what we know will be open.

At Disneyland:

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  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • “New magic” at the Haunted Mansion
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • It’s A Small World
  • King Arthur Carrousel
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Snow White’s Enchanted Wish
  • Space Mountain
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

At California Adventure:

  • The Incredicoaster
  • Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
  • The Little Mermaid — Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Toy Story Midway Mania

The open rides include the newly revamped Snow White’s Enchanted Wish in Fantasyland, which will reportedly be less scary than the previous version of the ride. There’s still no announcement of when the new Marvel Avengers Campus will open after being delayed from last summer, with Disney noting the California Adventure land will open at a later date.

WHAT SAFETY RESTRICTIONS SHOULD I EXPECT?

As long as Orange County remains in the red tier of California's reopening plan, the park is only allowed to reopen at 15% capacity. Disney plans to manage attendance with a new reservation system. You’ll now need a reservation and an admission ticket for the same park on that day. It’s also only open to California residents, with state guidelines forbidding visitors from elsewhere.

Full safety protocols have not yet been released but the industry organization representing California theme parks has released guidance (including efforts to reduce screaming on thrill rides), while the state has offered a few other details.

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Disney plans to invite employees, as well as community residents, to enjoy the parks ahead of the broader public.

New health and safety measures designed to promote physical distancing, reduced contact and enhance cleanliness will be in place. These include mandatory face coverings for visitors over the age of 2. Disney promises to have staff located throughout the parks to answer questions related to COVID-19 safety.

Due to the large crowds that gather for events, parades and “nighttime spectaculars” (including fireworks shows) are on hold.

Some fans are already getting a sneak peek, with California Adventure holding “A Touch of Disney” — a food-themed experience allowing people to visit certain parts of the park and see some of their favorite characters from a distance. It runs from March 18 through April 19, and it's already sold out.

Disney is also starting to reopen its hotels. The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa wil open its doors on Thursday, April 29, the day before the parks open. The exclusive Disney Vacation Club Villas will open on May 2 while the Paradise Pier Hotel and Disneyland Hotel remain closed for the moment.

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WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE ECONOMY?

The reopening is expected to be a boost for Southern California's economy, with Anaheim taking a hit this past year due to Disney’s immense influence in the area. A substantial number of employees, or “cast members” in Disney parlance, are preparing to head back to their jobs.

“We’re excited to have more than 10,000 cast members returning to work as we get ready to welcome our guests back to this happy place,” Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock said in a statement.

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