What to Know
- Disneyland theme parks will reopen April 30 with limited capacity.
- Reservations, open only to California residents until further notice, will be required.
- The move comes after Orange County moved out of the state's most restrictive tier for reopening earlier this month.
Disneyland theme parks will reopen April 30 with limited capacity after a nearly year-long closure under California's coronavirus pandemic rules.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure park in Anaheim will reopen with a new theme park reservation system designed to better manage capacity limits, the company said. All guests will be required to obtain a reservation in advance.
Park reservations will be limited to California residents until further notice.
Local news from across Southern California
The parks will operate at 15% of capacity, and park admission and offerings are not guaranteed, Disney said. Certain hotels, restaurants, attractions and other offerings might be modified or unavailable.
State health officials announced earlier this month that theme parks can reopen beginning April 1 in counties that have reached the red tier of the state's four-level Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Orange County moved into the red tier last week.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek made an earlier announcement at an Annual Shareholder Meeting that the company was targeting late April for reopening.
Disneyland California Adventure in Anaheim has been partially open, and a new event called "A Touch of Disney" debuts March 18. The location transformed into a large-scale vaccination site in Orange County's fight against the virus.
“The day all of us have long been waiting for is almost here,” said Ken Potrock, president of the Disneyland Resort. “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 closed in late March 2020 as the pandemic intensified in California and throughout the U.S., but California cleared a path earlier this month for a reopening nearly a year after coronavirus restrictions shuttered major entertainment spots. The state relaxed guidelines for reopening outdoor venues as a fall and winter surge seemed to be ending, with COVID-19 infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths plummeting and vaccination rates rising.
New public health rules would allow live concerts at stadiums and sports arenas to reopen with limited attendance April 1. Amusement parks also will be permitted to reopen in counties that have fallen from the state’s purple tier — the most restrictive — to the red tier.
In all cases, park capacities will be limited, and COVID-19 safety rules such as mask-wearing requirements will apply.
Chapek said a late April opening allows for the recall of more than 10,000 furloughed cast (employees) and retraining them in accordance with the state of California's new requirements.
California COVID-19 Vaccinations
The map tracks the number of doses administered by a recipient's county of residence according to the The California Department of Public Health.
The move followed several important milestones, with California ramping up vaccinations for the poorest neighborhoods, counties reopening more businesses and Gov. Gavin Newsom passing a measure aimed at encouraging schools that have restricted students to online learning to reopen classrooms this month.
Applauding the move were the thousands of workers who were laid off by Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm and other big locations. Ten thousand lost their jobs alone at Disneyland and its related attractions in Orange County, not to mention the knock-on effect to nearby restaurants and hotels.
Most of the major theme parks are in Southern California, which has moved from the most restrictive reopening tier established by the state to the less restrictive red tier.
Only 11 counties remain in the most restrictive tier.
Theme parks in the red tier will be limited to 15% capacity.
Outdoor sports will be limited to 100 people in the purple tier but will increase up to 67% in the yellow tier.