Dreaming of visiting the “Happiest Place on Earth”?
Whereas Disneyland and California Journey have been closed for nearly all of 2020, the 2 parks have reopened…with some main modifications.
Till June fifteenth, the park is simply permitting California residents. After that, it’s opening as much as everybody else!
Each parks will proceed to function at a restricted capability and quite a lot of issues are at present closed or are being refurbished.
As a heads up, reveals and fireworks usually are not at present working, and whereas they’re doing their finest to create that *Disney magic,* this does immediately affect the explanation experience strains are so lengthy. It’s just about all there’s to do proper now.
Wait occasions are additionally lengthy due to social distancing within the queues and on the rides. Ordering meals can also be fairly complicated, and there are a selection of limitations to what’s on provide.
Planning is essential in relation to making your Disney journey come true. So, when you’re a spontaneous/go-with-the-flow kind of particular person, it’s possible you’ll need to wait on making a visit to Disney. In any other case, it’s possible you’ll find yourself critically pissed off with how a lot planning the journey requires (particularly on the day of your go to).
That mentioned, when you’ve been counting down the times to get again to Disney, I’ll provide the COMPLETE rundown!
Right here’s what it is advisable to know when planning a visit to Disneyland and/or California Journey with COVID-19 restrictions.
Issues to Know Earlier than You Go
Earlier than I get into the super-specific particulars and technique that will help you plan your go to, I needed to handle a few of the most incessantly requested questions that I’ve been getting:
That is so complicated. The place do I begin?
Admittedly, a few of the enjoyable was taken out of our expertise as a result of all the things is so difficult and complicated. We made loads of errors as a result of there isn’t clear info to make the perfect choice. I’ll do my finest to simplify and clarify every step of planning and supply my private opinion on one of the simplest ways to go to!
How a lot does it value?
This relies on which tier of ticket you get, what number of days you’re spending there, what number of parks you need to go to, and all of the added prices of meals, and parking.
After we booked our tickets, the method was tremendous complicated since you had to purchase your ticket and make a reservation in separate steps. They’ve now simplified the reserving course of into one step, however there are nonetheless 5 completely different tiers of ticket costs on high of getting 1-day and park hopper choices. Plus, you may solely ebook your ticket on days the place there’s an accessible reservation for the park you need to go to.
Confused but? Don’t fear! I’ll break this down step-by-step later on this put up in its personal part.
On the precise rides are you socially distanced? What sort of cleansing protocols are in place?
Each queue has tape markers so every visitor social gathering stands 6 toes aside. For rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and It’s a Small World, you usually have 10+ folks multi function boat and line occasions are normally quick. However with the distancing measures, they have been spacing company out by at the least three rows so solely 1-2 events (solely 4 folks at occasions) can be in a single boat.
Because of this sure experience occasions are extremely lengthy.
For rides just like the Toy Story Halfway Mania the place you’re holding a laser gun, you get on as quickly because the final particular person will get off.
There’s nothing being sanitized or cleaned. Personally, loads of the distancing precautions appear form of pointless particularly as a result of issues weren’t being cleaned in between. There wasn’t somebody coming round to wipe down consuming surfaces, each desk we sat at was soiled and we wiped it ourselves with moist wipes.
All in all, social distancing is EXTREMELY in place, whereas cleansing appeared subpar/non-existent.
Have been the wait occasions lengthy?
For probably the most half, sure. Though the park is working at a diminished capability, as a result of of us are spaced out on the rides you received’t get on quicker. Additionally, as a result of reveals and meet-ups with characters aren’t at present taking place, everyone seems to be just about there for the rides.
That mentioned, I had some folks message me who went in Could and so they mentioned the wait occasions weren’t dangerous in any respect and so they virtually walked on. It seemingly relies on what day you go as Disney is figuring issues out as they go.
As a be aware, the park would possibly really look fairly crowded as a result of the strains are redirected to be utterly open air and everyone seems to be standing 6ft aside.
We did discover that it doesn’t matter what the listed queue time was estimated, they by no means took fairly as lengthy.
Do you suppose if somebody is visiting for the primary time, they need to wait till after COVID?
I might say undoubtedly wait till after COVID as soon as the park returns to regular. If you happen to stay domestically otherwise you’ve been to Disney fairly a bit, then it could be wonderful for you. However, for a first-time expertise, I might completely wait as a lot of the Disney magic isn’t again but.
Are there fireworks proper now?
Right now, firework reveals usually are not taking place. You’ll be able to verify this calendar to see what’s on the schedule (at this writing of June 2021, no reveals, no fireworks, no parades are on the calendar).
Are quick passes accessible?
Nope. I’ll get into this beneath however you need to be part of line queues for rides and quick passes usually are not accessible proper now, nor are single rider strains.
The place did you keep?
As a result of we stay comparatively shut, we drove there and again in a day. If you happen to’re trying to keep in a resort listed below are just a few choices:
Did the 1 pm Park Hopper Go create a giant surge of crowds at the moment?
We have been the primary in line to maneuver over to Disneyland from California Journey. After we really obtained to go in at 1 pm and there have been possibly 100 folks behind us. There have been some slowly trickling in surges, however we didn’t discover that Disneyland queue occasions went up after that. So it didn’t appear dangerous in any respect.
How far upfront ought to I order fast meals and snacks?
I’ll go into extra element about this beneath, however round an hour earlier than you need to eat. Like I mentioned earlier, it takes fairly a little bit of planning! If you would like a assured dinner time, undoubtedly make restaurant reservations.
How was parking?
Parking was okay — my solely grievance was that we arrived a couple of minutes early (7:26 am) and so they opened the parking line at 7:30 am on the dot — so they’d us drive across the neighborhood to return again at 7:30 am. Not an enormous deal; I notice they’ve practices in place to forestall automotive congestion.
The constructions accessible are Mickey & Associates and the Pixar Buddies Parking Constructions. The tram isn’t accessible to move company proper now. Parking is $25.
If in any respect doable, I might suggest staying at a resort the evening earlier than so you may stroll to the park and keep away from having to attend to park.
Do it is advisable to present vaccine proof to get in?
I didn’t want to supply vaccine proof for entry.
Do I want to supply a California ID?
They didn’t verify my ID and I don’t suppose I needed to enter my deal with when buying tickets, however I wouldn’t benefit from this (simply in case).
When have been you allowed to take your masks off?
You aren’t allowed to take your masks off within the park until you’re snacking or in a chosen consuming space. After which the masks goes proper again on. They’re VERY strict about masks in the meanwhile. You completely can not take it off outdoors of designated areas. Not even to drink water whereas ready in line.
Necessary Dates to Take into account Earlier than Shopping for Tickets
A listing of essential dates which may influence your expertise:
- June 4, 2021: Avengers Campus opens
- June 15, 2021: California set to completely reopen (this might imply that Disney might be able to enhance to full capability); folks from outdoors of California will now be allowed into the Disney Parks
- June 15, 2021: Disney’s Paradise Pier Lodge deliberate to reopen with diminished capability.
- July 2, 2021: Disneyland Lodge deliberate to reopen with diminished capability.
- July 16, 2021: The Jungle Cruise is ready to re-open
Word: Splash Mountain is ready to shut someday this yr to make refurbishments and rework it right into a Princess and the Frog-themed experience, however no official dates have been launched to the general public.
Purchase Tickets and Make a Reservation
The method is fairly easy when you perceive the way it works. They not too long ago simplified the method the place now you can purchase your ticket and make your reservation in the identical step.
Understand that each day requires a unique tier ticket (for instance, weekends are tier 5 and midweek is tier 2-4) which implies they’re completely different costs.
Right here’s how one can estimate the fee and availability of tickets:
Go to the Disneyland ticket calendar. You should verify which parks can be found on a given day and which tier tickets you will have to go to on these days.
Choose the variety of tickets you need to purchase, the variety of days to your go to, and whether or not you need 1 or 2 parks per day. Then, you will have to browse the calendar for availability and pricing.
Toggle between the Parks and Pricing view to see which parks can be found and the fee to go to every day.
For instance, if you wish to ebook a One-Day Disneyland ticket, Tuesday, July thirteenth is simply accessible for California Journey. July 14th is Tier 3 for $124 and July seventeenth is Tier 5 for $154.
If you happen to needed to do a Two-Day Park Hopper Ticket, you will have to verify the calendar to see which parks can be found as your “Beginning Park.”
TIP: I might extremely suggest solely visiting on days the place you can begin in Disneyland. If you happen to’re doing 2 days, it might be okay to start out in a unique park every day IF you need to experience the favored rides at California Journey proper when the park opens to keep away from strains.
Which Tickets Ought to I Get?
First issues first, I wouldn’t suggest doing what we did, which was the One-Day Park Hopper Ticket beginning at California Journey. I’ll clarify why however do as I say and never as I do (learn: be taught from my errors!).
The kind of ticket for the absolute best expertise proper now would both be the Two-Day Park Hopper (beginning in Disneyland), the Two-Day (Disneyland solely), or One-Day Disneyland. Personally, I’ve by no means wanted a full day at California Journey. Even on our final go to, we completed with rides by 11 am and have been ready round to enter Disneyland for two hours.
Why wouldn’t I like to recommend a One-Day Park Hopper beginning in California Journey?
For Southern California locals who’re capable of do what we did — which is to drive to Disneyland and again in a day, we opted for a Park Hopper Go as we’ve been to each parks extra occasions than we are able to depend.
We all know which rides we like using and which of them we’re wonderful with skipping. This appeared like the best choice for us as we wouldn’t thoughts beginning our day at California Journey after which spending the remainder of the day at Disneyland. That’s usually how I might plan for a day on the parks.
Nevertheless, due to all of the restrictions, we didn’t get to have all of the experiences we needed to have.
Right here’s the deal — with the Park Hopper Go you’re solely allowed into the second park (in our case, that was Disneyland) till 1 pm. And that’s a tough 1 pm — there was no getting in earlier as soon as we have been finished at California Journey.
This isn’t that huge of a deal…until you’re attempting to experience fashionable rides like Indiana Jones or Star Wars Rise of the Resistance. Why? As a result of you need to be part of a digital queue for these rides.
By 1 pm, each rides have been utterly booked. We didn’t also have a likelihood to hitch the queue. This may not be a deal-breaker for everybody, however in case you are excited in regards to the new Star Wars rides, you completely want to start out your day in Disneyland.
(I’ll dish extra on digital queues in a while.)
Is it Value it for Disney’s California Journey?
That’s as much as you. We obtained into the park early (earlier than the official opening time) and this was Half-hour of pure bliss. We have been principally capable of stroll onto rides…after which extra folks began arriving.
I usually LOVE California Journey as a result of there are meals experiences, cool actions, and a few of the finest thrill rides. Nevertheless, there aren’t a TON of “huge child” rides so we have been finished with all the things by 11 am and able to transfer on.
The Vehicles experience will at all times have a ridiculously lengthy wait. Your entire day we have been on the parks, the queue wait by no means dropped beneath 90 minutes.
California Journey’s queues have been all 45-90 minute waits. Compared, strains at Disneyland have been 55 minutes at most, however many have been Half-hour or much less.
The Disneyland App is Important
Obtain the Disneyland App — create an account, get a ticket, after which you have got a QR code to your ticket in your profile.
All the pieces you do to your go to will probably be within the app together with queue occasions, becoming a member of digital queues Star Wars Rise of the Resistance and Indiana Jones, ordering meals, and checking into the parks. It’s additionally fairly useful for making restaurant reservations upfront.
Be ready for eating places to be totally booked and to depend on the app closely all through the day of your go to.
Pre-Planning for Your Go to
Obtain the Disneyland App and familiarize your self with the format.
I’m a giant believer in attempting to keep away from ready in strains as a lot as doable, so I’d suggest downloading the app at the least the day earlier than simply to get an thought of occasions. Verify queue occasions within the morning, mid-day, and within the night to see which rides have the longest wait time.
You might need to prioritize the rides with longer strains within the morning and splice in shorter ones all through the day.
If you happen to’ve by no means been to both park earlier than, this may even assist you to get a lay of the land so you may tick issues off and never zigzag by way of the park.
Make Reservations for Eating places
I extremely suggest reserving eating places effectively upfront (we didn’t and this was such a bummer).
It will have made the expertise a lot better, in my view, as a result of ordering meals with the app took loads of planning with a bunch of 4 with a lot of dietary restrictions. Within the app, you may filter by which park you’ll be at after which filter by eating.
As a be aware, the Blue Bayou restaurant inside Pirates of the Caribbean is generally a extremely romantic and upscale restaurant. A part of the romance is that it’s darkish, however due to COVID, they’ve to go away the entrance doorways broad open which pours vivid mild into the restaurant.
So it’s not the traditional vibe, and possibly not price it — until you’re going for the meals expertise.
Due to COVID, Disneyland is at present permitting outdoors meals and sealed drinks.
This hasn’t been the case prior to now, however as a result of issues are so restricted proper now, that is tremendous useful! If you happen to don’t need to carry issues round with you, you may put in lockers meals and drinks. Convey additional snacks and that form of factor!
Lockers are to the left of the Disneyland Park Entrance (outdoors of the park).
About Parking and Lockers
The parking construction doesn’t open till 7:30 am so it’s considerably helpful proper now to remain at a resort close by as a result of when you stroll to the park you save loads of time. Plus, it’s $25 to park.
We obtained there at 7:26 and so they made us drive by way of the neighborhood and never come again till 7:30.
On the dot.
We then sat within the line of vehicles till about 7:45 after they accepted funds, then we drove in and parked. We didn’t have strollers to cope with or children to get out of the automotive, however when you do have little ones with you, I might account for at the least one other 10 minutes to get organized.
Following this, you undergo a temperature verify and bag checkpoint earlier than you can begin strolling to the park alongside the trail the shuttle would usually function.
From our automotive to the park entrance, it was about 20-25 minutes.
A Word on Lockers and Bringing Snacks
There aren’t any lockers contained in the parks. Lockers are to the left of the Disneyland Park Entrance (outdoors of the park) and, no matter COVID or not, I at all times benefit from them!
There are additionally bogs at these lockers, in addition to on the backside of the parking construction while you first park, in case you had an extended drive and wanted a toilet break earlier than going inside.
Every time we go to Disneyland, as a result of we don’t have children or a stroller, we at all times get a big locker and share it with whoever we’re going with (on this case my dad and mom).
I normally carry a full change of garments together with socks and sneakers (if I’m planning to experience water rides like Splash Mountain) or, on the very least, a jacket for later within the day when it begins to chill off.
There’s a digital code and you may entry and lock it as a lot as you need for all the day. It’s $10 for a big (and effectively price it in my view!).
Suggestions for Rides and Journey Queue Occasions
I talked to individuals who went and so they had a wonderful expertise and experience occasions have been regular. That was personally not my expertise. There’s no strategy to predict if it will likely be crowded or if line occasions will probably be lengthy.
The perfect recommendation I can provide is to reach earlier than the park opens and beeline it for the fun rides which have the longest wait occasions so that you may be first in line.
For California Journey: Vehicles, Soarin’ over the World, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
For Disney: Area Mountain, Splash Mountain (when you’re okay with getting moist, experience this primary or final, most people need to experience this within the warmth/center of the day), Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World, and the Disneyland Railroad.
Within the Disneyland App, you will notice experience queue occasions and so they replace consistently, so you may determine what to experience subsequent.
Just a few annoying issues I needed to say:
As a result of queues are redirected to be utterly outdoors, it may be REALLY arduous to seek out the top of the road. Disney Forged Members are holding “Line Begins Right here” indicators to point the place a queue begins.
Nevertheless, you may not be used to getting in line for Pirates of the Caribbean all the best way previous Massive Thunder Mountain. And, many of those “Line” indicators usually are not branded for the experience they’re for.
Understand that you can’t take off your masks whereas in line for a experience. So, when you’re about to attend 55 minutes to get on a experience, make sure to quench your thirst or eat your snacks earlier than getting in line.
About Digital Queues
The 2 rides that require a digital queue are Star Wars Rise of the Resistance and Indiana Jones. For these going to Disneyland first, you may be part of a digital queue for each rides at 7 am and 12 pm. You might or might not get in at 7 am — when you don’t, you may strive once more on the 12 pm queue opening.
Nevertheless, when you’re doing a Park Hopper Go and begin at California Journey, you may’t be part of the 7 am queue. You CAN be part of the 12 pm queue, however by that point, it’s seemingly already stuffed by those that didn’t make it on from 7 am.
Right here’s the actual bummer: to hitch the Indiana Jones experience queue — which opens at 12pm — you need to bodily be in Disneyland.
Which, let me remind you, we have been capable of enter the park at 1 pm. So by the point we obtained into Disneyland, the queue was totally booked.
What Buying Meals Is Like
For my spontaneous mates on the market, this won’t be your cup of tea.
You should plan to order your meals at the least an hour upfront and pre-book the window of time wherein you’ll need to order.
You’ll be able to view the menus approach forward of schedule, and maybe that is my finest recommendation. If you happen to didn’t make restaurant reservations, browse menus within the Disneyland app and select the place, what and while you need to eat the day of your go to.
Right here’s the way it works:
Let’s say you need a hamburger from Tomorrowland — when you go on the app at 11 am, it is advisable to select your pickup window, which could not be for an hour later.
When you bodily arrive on the restaurant inside your pickup window, you employ the app to pick out “I’m Right here.”
Then, you await them to arrange your meals.
I can see how this could be actually tough with children who get cranky after they’re hungry. I’m a grown girl and I get cranky after I’m hungry lol.
I used to be mildly ready for this as a result of I heard it was a nightmare, however I didn’t notice simply how unnecessarily difficult it was. When you place your order, that’s it. If you happen to neglect to order one thing, you may’t simply add it to your order while you arrive.
So, make sure to double-check your order and there aren’t any modifications.
The one issues that don’t require you to order by way of the app are popcorn and churro stands. For these, there will probably be socially distanced queues. We waited about quarter-hour in line for popcorn. And, they ran out of churros the day of our go to.
Methods for Visiting the Disneyland Parks
Use bogs, get a locker and go straight into whichever park you’ve bought a ticket for. If you happen to do select to do California Journey first, the one time we have been capable of get on something was very first thing within the morning because the park was opening.
Beginning in California Journey
Get to the park earlier than opening and get to the Vehicles experience (the wait was round 90 minutes for the remainder of the day).
As a be aware, there aren’t any single rider strains proper now! Don’t consider third social gathering apps!
Then, ebook it over to Soarin’ Over the World. Due to social distancing, it would take you at the least an hour later within the day as they restrict the variety of folks on every experience.
Then, go to the Guardians of the Galaxy experience (beforehand Tower of Terror).
These three sometimes have the longest strains, adopted by Toy Story Mania and the Incredicoaster. So, if you may get on these first, it will likely be price it to have began in California Journey.
We felt form of “finished” with California Journey by 11 am however, sadly, our Park Hopper Go wouldn’t permit us into Disneyland till 1 pm. If you happen to’re hungry, this can be the prime time for a snack break because it takes perpetually to get meals (I’ll give extra particulars on this in a bit).
Beginning in Disneyland
If you happen to’re beginning your day at Disneyland or spending your complete day there, be part of the queue for Star Wars Rise of the Resistance and Indiana Jones at 7 am — bear in mind there’s one other 12 pm digital queue when you miss the primary spherical.
As talked about, I extremely suggest moving into the park earlier than opening so that you may be first in line for a experience.
If you’ll Disneyland with little children: Head straight onto the Disneyland Railroad for a full loop across the park (when you plan to experience it in any respect). Then, head to It’s a Small World. On the day of our go to, these two rides had a minimal 45-minute wait all the day resulting from social distancing. Then, be ready to attend 20-Half-hour for a lot of the kiddie rides.
If you happen to’re going with “huge children”/adults: Go straight to Pirates of the Caribbean or Area Mountain. Each of those rides persistently have lengthy waits due to social distancing.
- If you happen to solely have in the future, I’d extremely suggest solely visiting one park proper now (my vote is for Disneyland)
- If it’s your first time to Disneyland or CA Journey, wait till COVID restrictions are not in place
- Get a locker and produce snacks with you
- Get to the park BEFORE the listed opening time so that you may be the primary in line on fashionable rides
- Keep in a resort in a single day earlier than your go to so that you don’t must cope with parking
- Make restaurant reservations effectively upfront
- Convey a transportable battery to cost your telephone
My Closing Ideas
Is It Value Going to Disneyland Proper Now?
If you happen to’ve by no means been to Disneyland, wait till Covid restrictions are not in place.
I’ve been going since I used to be a child and I can drive there in simply an hour or two. It’s a completely completely different mentality when you may simply brush it off and say I can go once more anytime.
However, when you’re out of state or stay abroad and also you’ve been saving for this dream journey to Disneyland and it’s your first time going, I might say simply wait. It’s simply not price it to go proper now. There are some huge disappointments and with out the traditional character experiences and magical interactions, it’s simply not the identical.
I’ll say that when you’re prepared to go (only for the rides) and perceive that it received’t be the identical or probably the most regular “Happiest Place on Earth,” then go for it.
Decrease your expectations and perceive that they’re opening amidst a pandemic so issues aren’t going to be regular.
That mentioned, with COVID restrictions, I actually wouldn’t do each parks. For spontaneous folks, this isn’t the time to go to, you’ll be endlessly pissed off and spend a lot time in your telephone planning out your day. If you would like a snack or meals you need to plan an hour upfront.
If you happen to’ve obtained any questions concerning your journey to Disneyland or California Journey throughout COVID restrictions, please let me know within the feedback beneath!