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 15th, the park is just permitting California residents. After that, it’s opening as much as everybody else!
Each parks will proceed to function at a restricted capability and plenty 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 may be 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 supply.
Planning is vital with regards to making your Disney journey come true. So, should you’re a spontaneous/go-with-the-flow sort of individual, chances are you’ll need to wait on making a visit to Disney. In any other case, chances are you’ll find yourself significantly annoyed with how a lot planning the journey requires (particularly on the day of your go to).
That stated, should you’ve been counting down the times to get again to Disney, I’ll provide the COMPLETE rundown!
Right here’s what you might want 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 can assist you plan your go to, I needed to handle among the most regularly requested questions that I’ve been getting:
That is so complicated. The place do I begin?
Admittedly, among the enjoyable was taken out of our expertise as a result of all the pieces is so difficult and complicated. We made a number of errors as a result of there isn’t clear info to make one of the best determination. 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 price?
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.
Once 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 totally different tiers of ticket costs on high of getting 1-day and park hopper choices. Plus, you’ll be able to solely e-book 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 submit 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 occasion stands 6 toes aside. For rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and It’s a Small World, you usually have 10+ individuals multi functional boat and line occasions are often brief. However with the distancing measures, they have been spacing visitors out by no less than three rows so solely 1-2 events (solely Four individuals at occasions) can be in a single boat.
For this reason 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 individual will get off.
There’s nothing being sanitized or cleaned. Personally, a number of the distancing precautions appear sort 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.
Had been the wait occasions lengthy?
For essentially the most half, sure. Although the park is working at a lowered capability, as a result of people are spaced out on the rides you gained’t get on sooner. 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 stated, I had some individuals message me who went in Might they usually stated the wait occasions weren’t unhealthy in any respect they usually virtually walked on. It seemingly relies on what day you go as Disney is figuring issues out as they go.
As a notice, the park would possibly truly look fairly crowded as a result of the strains are redirected to be utterly outdoor 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’d 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 might be nice for you. However, for a first-time expertise, I’d 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 possibly can test 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 under however you must 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 seeking to keep in a resort listed below are a number of choices:
Did the 1 pm Park Hopper Cross create an enormous surge of crowds at the moment?
We have been the primary in line to maneuver over to Disneyland from California Journey. Once we truly bought to go in at 1 pm and there have been perhaps 100 individuals 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 unhealthy in any respect.
How far prematurely ought to I order fast meals and snacks?
I’ll go into extra element about this under, however round an hour earlier than you need to eat. Like I stated earlier, it takes fairly a little bit of planning! In order for you a assured time for supper, undoubtedly make restaurant reservations.
How was parking?
Parking was okay — my solely criticism was that we arrived a couple of minutes early (7:26 am) they usually 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 automobile congestion.
The constructions accessible are Mickey & Pals and the Pixar Friends Parking Buildings. The tram isn’t accessible to move visitors proper now. Parking is $25.
If in any respect potential, I’d advocate staying at a resort the night time earlier than so you’ll be able to stroll to the park and keep away from having to attend to park.
Do you might want to present vaccine proof to get in?
I didn’t want to supply vaccine proof for entry.
Do I would like to supply a California ID?
They didn’t test my ID and I don’t suppose I needed to enter my tackle 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 except 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.
Vital Dates to Take into account Earlier than Shopping for Tickets
A listing of vital dates which may affect your expertise:
- June 4, 2021: Avengers Campus opens
- June 15, 2021: California set to completely reopen (this might imply that Disney could possibly enhance to full capability); individuals from outdoors of California will now be allowed into the Disney Parks
- June 15, 2021: Disney’s Paradise Pier Resort deliberate to reopen with lowered capability.
- July 2, 2021: Disneyland Resort deliberate to reopen with lowered capability.
- July 16, 2021: The Jungle Cruise is about to re-open
Word: Splash Mountain is about to shut someday this 12 months to make refurbishments and remodel it right into a Princess and the Frog-themed experience, however no official dates have been launched to the general public.
How to Buy Tickets and Make a Reservation
The process is pretty simple once you understand how it works. They recently simplified the process where you can now buy your ticket and make your reservation in the same step.
Keep in mind that every day requires a different tier ticket (for example, weekends are tier 5 and midweek is tier 2-4) which means they are different prices.
Here’s how to estimate the cost and availability of tickets:
Visit the Disneyland ticket calendar. You want to test which parks can be found on a given day and which tier tickets you’ll need to go to on these days.
Choose the variety of tickets you need to purchase, the variety of days in your go to, and whether or not you need 1 or 2 parks per day. Then, you’ll need 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 e-book a One-Day Disneyland ticket, Tuesday, July 13th is just accessible for California Journey. July 14th is Tier three for $124 and July 17th is Tier 5 for $154.
If you happen to needed to do a Two-Day Park Hopper Ticket, you’ll need to test the calendar to see which parks can be found as your “Beginning Park.”
TIP: I’d extremely advocate solely visiting on days the place you can begin in Disneyland. If you happen to’re doing 2 days, it will be okay to begin in a distinct 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 advocate 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 very 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 Cross 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 nice with skipping. This appeared like the most suitable 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’d 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 Cross you might be 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 performed at California Journey.
This isn’t that massive of a deal…except you’re attempting to experience well-liked rides like Indiana Jones or Star Wars Rise of the Resistance. Why? As a result of you must be part of a digital queue for these rides.
By 1 pm, each rides have been utterly booked. We didn’t actually have a likelihood to hitch the queue. This may not be a deal-breaker for everybody, however if you’re excited concerning the new Star Wars rides, you completely want to begin your day in Disneyland.
(I’ll dish extra on digital queues afterward.)
Is it Value it for Disney’s California Journey?
That’s as much as you. We bought into the park early (earlier than the official opening time) and this was 30 minutes of pure bliss. We have been principally capable of stroll onto rides…after which extra individuals began arriving.
I usually LOVE California Journey as a result of there are meals experiences, cool actions, and among the finest thrill rides. Nevertheless, there aren’t a TON of “massive child” rides so we have been performed with all the pieces by 11 am and able to transfer on.
The Automobiles experience will all the time have a ridiculously lengthy wait. All the day we have been on the parks, the queue wait by no means dropped under 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 30 minutes or much less.
The Disneyland App is Important
Obtain the Disneyland App — create an account, get a ticket, after which you could have a QR code in your ticket in your profile.
Every little thing you do in your go to shall 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 prematurely.
Be ready for eating places to be absolutely 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 an enormous believer in attempting to keep away from ready in strains as a lot as potential, so I’d advocate downloading the app no less than the day earlier than simply to get an thought of occasions. Test queue occasions within the morning, mid-day, and within the night to see which rides have the longest wait time.
You could 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 can even make it easier to get a lay of the land so you’ll be able to tick issues off and never zigzag via the park.
Make Reservations for Eating places
I extremely advocate reserving eating places effectively prematurely (we didn’t and this was such a bummer).
It might have made the expertise a lot better, in my view, as a result of ordering meals with the app took a number of planning with a bunch of Four with plenty of dietary restrictions. Within the app, you’ll be able to filter by which park you’ll be at after which filter by eating.
As a notice, 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 depart the entrance doorways broad open which pours vivid mild into the restaurant.
So it’s not the conventional vibe, and doubtless not value it — except 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 previously, 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’ll be able to put in lockers meals and drinks. Carry further 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 should you stroll to the park you save a number of time. Plus, it’s $25 to park.
We bought there at 7:26 they usually made us drive via 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 take care of or children to get out of the automobile, however should you do have little ones with you, I’d account for no less than one other 10 minutes to get organized.
Following this, you undergo a temperature test and bag checkpoint earlier than you can begin strolling to the park alongside the trail the shuttle would usually function.
From our automobile to the park entrance, it was about 20-25 minutes.
A Word on Lockers and Bringing Snacks
There are not 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 all the time benefit from them!
There are additionally bathrooms at these lockers, in addition to on the backside of the parking construction if you first park, in case you had an extended drive and wanted a toilet break earlier than going inside.
At any time when we go to Disneyland, as a result of we don’t have children or a stroller, we all the time get a big locker and share it with whoever we’re going with (on this case my dad and mom).
I often deliver a full change of garments together with socks and footwear (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 your entire day. It’s $10 for a big (and effectively value it in my view!).
Ideas for Rides and Trip Queue Occasions
I talked to individuals who went they usually had a nice expertise and experience occasions have been regular. That was personally not my expertise. There’s no solution to predict if it is going to be crowded or if line occasions shall be lengthy.
The very best recommendation I can supply 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: Automobiles, Soarin’ over the World, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
For Disney: House Mountain, Splash Mountain (should you’re okay with getting moist, experience this primary or final, most folk 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 they usually replace consistently, so you’ll be able to 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 laborious to search out the top of the road. Disney Solid 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 way in which 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, should you’re about to attend 55 minutes to get on a experience, be sure you 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’ll be able to be part of a digital queue for each rides at 7 am and 12 pm. You could or could not get in at 7 am — should you don’t, you’ll be able to strive once more on the 12 pm queue opening.
Nevertheless, should you’re doing a Park Hopper Cross and begin at California Journey, you’ll be able to’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 crammed by those that didn’t make it on from 7 am.
Right here’s the true bummer: to hitch the Indiana Jones experience queue — which opens at 12pm — you must 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 bought into Disneyland, the queue was absolutely booked.
What Buying Meals Is Like
For my spontaneous mates on the market, this won’t be your cup of tea.
You want to plan to order your meals no less than an hour prematurely and pre-book the window of time by which you’ll need to order.
You possibly can 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 if you need to eat the day of your go to.
Right here’s the way it works:
Let’s say you desire a hamburger from Tomorrowland — should you go on the app at 11 am, you might want 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 organize your meals.
I can see how this is able to be actually tough with children who get cranky after they’re hungry. I’m a grown lady 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’ll be able to’t simply add it to your order if you arrive.
So, be sure you double-check your order and there are not any modifications.
The one issues that don’t require you to order via the app are popcorn and churro stands. For these, there shall be socially distanced queues. We waited about 15 minutes in line for popcorn. And, they ran out of churros the day of our go to.
Methods for Visiting the Disneyland Parks
Use loos, 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 Automobiles experience (the wait was round 90 minutes for the remainder of the day).
As a notice, there are not any single rider strains proper now! Don’t consider third occasion apps!
Then, e-book it over to Soarin’ Over the World. Due to social distancing, it would take you no less than an hour later within the day as they restrict the variety of individuals on every experience.
Then, go to the Guardians of the Galaxy experience (beforehand Tower of Terror).
These three usually have the longest strains, adopted by Toy Story Mania and the Incredicoaster. So, if you may get on these first, it is going to be value it to have began in California Journey.
We felt sort of “performed” with California Journey by 11 am however, sadly, our Park Hopper Cross 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 eternally 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 — keep in mind there’s one other 12 pm digital queue should you miss the primary spherical.
As talked about, I extremely advocate 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 (should 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 your entire day because of social distancing. Then, be ready to attend 20-30 minutes for a lot of the kiddie rides.
If you happen to’re going with “massive children”/adults: Go straight to Pirates of the Caribbean or House Mountain. Each of those rides constantly have lengthy waits due to social distancing.
- If you happen to solely have at some point, I’d extremely advocate 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 now not in place
- Get a locker and convey snacks with you
- Get to the park BEFORE the listed opening time so that you may be the primary in line on well-liked rides
- Keep in a resort in a single day earlier than your go to so that you don’t must take care of parking
- Make restaurant reservations effectively prematurely
- Carry a portable battery to cost your telephone
My Remaining 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 now 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 very totally different mentality when you’ll be able to simply brush it off and say I can go once more anytime.
However, should you’re out of state or stay in a foreign country and also you’ve been saving for this dream journey to Disneyland and it’s your first time going, I’d say simply wait. It’s simply not value it to go proper now. There are some massive disappointments and with out the conventional character experiences and magical interactions, it’s simply not the identical.
I’ll say that should you’re prepared to go (only for the rides) and perceive that it gained’t be the identical or essentially 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 stated, with COVID restrictions, I actually wouldn’t do each parks. For spontaneous individuals, this isn’t the time to go to, you’ll be endlessly annoyed and spend a lot time in your telephone planning out your day. In order for you a snack or meals you must plan an hour prematurely.
If you happen to’ve bought any questions relating to your journey to Disneyland or California Journey throughout COVID restrictions, please let me know within the feedback under!