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 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 the moment closed or are being refurbished.
As a heads up, reveals and fireworks usually are not at the moment working, and whereas they’re doing their greatest to create that *Disney magic,* this does immediately affect the rationale experience strains are so lengthy. It’s just about all there may be to do proper now.
Wait instances 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 in terms of making your Disney journey come true. So, for those who’re a spontaneous/go-with-the-flow sort 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 severely annoyed with how a lot planning the journey requires (particularly on the day of your go to).
That mentioned, for those who’ve been counting down the times to get again to Disney, I’ll provide the COMPLETE rundown!
Right here’s what it’s worthwhile 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 often 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 every little thing is so sophisticated and complicated. We made quite a lot of errors as a result of there isn’t clear info to make one of the best determination. I’ll do my greatest 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 will depend 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 completely different tiers of ticket costs on prime of getting 1-day and park hopper choices. Plus, you may solely guide your ticket on days the place there’s an obtainable 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 publish 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 get together stands 6 ft aside. For rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and It’s a Small World, you usually have 10+ individuals multi functional boat and line instances are often quick. However with the distancing measures, they have been spacing company out by at the very least three rows so solely 1-2 events (solely Four individuals at instances) can be in a single boat.
For this reason sure experience instances 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, quite a lot 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 instances lengthy?
For essentially the most half, sure. Regardless that the park is working at a diminished capability, as a result of of us are spaced out on the rides you gained’t get on quicker. Additionally, as a result of reveals and meet-ups with characters aren’t at the moment occurring, everyone seems to be just about there for the rides.
That mentioned, I had some individuals message me who went in Might and so they mentioned the wait instances weren’t dangerous in any respect and so they virtually walked on. It probably will depend on what day you go as Disney is figuring issues out as they go.
As a word, the park may truly look fairly crowded as a result of the strains are redirected to be fully outside 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 assume if somebody is visiting for the primary time, they need to wait till after COVID?
I’d say positively wait till after COVID as soon as the park returns to regular. When you dwell regionally otherwise you’ve been to Disney fairly a bit, then it could be superb 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?
At the moment, firework reveals usually are not occurring. 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 obtainable?
Nope. I’ll get into this under however it’s important to be part of line queues for rides and quick passes usually are not obtainable proper now, nor are single rider strains.
The place did you keep?
As a result of we dwell comparatively shut, we drove there and again in a day. When you’re trying to keep in a lodge listed below are just a few 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 obtained to go in at 1 pm and there have been possibly 100 individuals behind us. There have been some slowly trickling in surges, however we didn’t discover that Disneyland queue instances 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 under, 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 time for supper, positively make restaurant reservations.
How was parking?
Parking was okay — my solely criticism 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 come back again at 7:30 am. Not an enormous deal; I notice they’ve practices in place to forestall automotive congestion.
The buildings obtainable are Mickey & Mates and the Pixar Friends Parking Buildings. The tram isn’t obtainable to move company proper now. Parking is $25.
If in any respect potential, I’d suggest staying at a lodge the night time earlier than so you may stroll to the park and keep away from having to attend to park.
Do it’s worthwhile to present vaccine proof to get in?
I didn’t want to offer vaccine proof for entry.
Do I want to offer a California ID?
They didn’t test my ID and I don’t assume I needed to enter my deal with when buying tickets, however I wouldn’t make the most of 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’t take it off outdoors of designated areas. Not even to drink water whereas ready in line.
Essential Dates to Take into account Earlier than Shopping for Tickets
A listing of vital dates that may affect your expertise:
- June 4, 2021: Avengers Campus opens
- June 15, 2021: California set to totally 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 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 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 should 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 on 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 guide a One-Day Disneyland ticket, Tuesday, July 13th is simply obtainable for California Journey. July 14th is Tier three for $124 and July 17th is Tier 5 for $154.
When you 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 suggest solely visiting on days the place you can begin in Disneyland. When you’re doing 2 days, it might be okay to start out in a special 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: study 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 in a position to 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 instances than we will depend.
We all know which rides we like using and which of them we’re superb 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 executed at California Journey.
This isn’t that massive of a deal…until you’re attempting to experience widespread rides like Indiana Jones or Star Wars Rise of the Resistance. Why? As a result of it’s important to be part of a digital queue for these rides.
By 1 pm, each rides have been fully booked. We didn’t actually have a probability to hitch the queue. This won’t be a deal-breaker for everybody, however if you’re excited concerning the new Star Wars rides, you completely want to start out your day in Disneyland.
(I’ll dish extra on digital queues afterward.)
Is it Price 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 30 minutes of pure bliss. We have been principally in a position to 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 greatest thrill rides. Nevertheless, there aren’t a TON of “massive child” rides so we have been executed with every little thing by 11 am and able to transfer on.
The Vehicles experience will at all times have a ridiculously lengthy wait. Your complete 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 on your ticket in your profile.
All the pieces you do on your go to can be within the app together with queue instances, 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 an enormous believer in attempting to keep away from ready in strains as a lot as potential, so I’d suggest downloading the app at the very least the day earlier than simply to get an concept of instances. Verify queue instances within the morning, mid-day, and within the night to see which rides have the longest wait time.
Chances are you’ll need to prioritize the rides with longer strains within the morning and splice in shorter ones all through the day.
When you’ve by no means been to both park earlier than, this can even assist you get a lay of the land so you may tick issues off and never zigzag via 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 significantly better, for my part, as a result of ordering meals with the app took quite a lot of planning with a bunch of Four with plenty of dietary restrictions. Within the app, you may filter by which park you’ll be at after which filter by eating.
As a word, the Blue Bayou restaurant inside Pirates of the Caribbean is generally a very 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 vast open which pours brilliant mild into the restaurant.
So it’s not the conventional vibe, and doubtless not price it — until you’re going for the meals expertise.
Due to COVID, Disneyland is at the moment permitting outdoors meals and sealed drinks.
This hasn’t been the case up to now, however as a result of issues are so restricted proper now, that is tremendous useful! When you don’t need to carry issues round with you, you may 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 useful proper now to remain at a lodge close by as a result of for those who stroll to the park you save quite a lot of time. Plus, it’s $25 to park.
We obtained there at 7:26 and so they 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 once they accepted funds, then we drove in and parked. We didn’t have strollers to take care of or youngsters to get out of the automotive, however for those who do have little ones with you, I’d account for at the very least 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 automotive 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 at all times make the most of 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 a protracted drive and wanted a rest room break earlier than going inside.
At any time when we go to Disneyland, as a result of we don’t have youngsters or a stroller, we at all times get a big locker and share it with whoever we’re going with (on this case my mother and father).
I often convey 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 the complete day. It’s $10 for a big (and effectively price it for my part!).
Ideas for Rides and Journey Queue Instances
I talked to individuals who went and so they had a superb expertise and experience instances have been regular. That was personally not my expertise. There’s no solution to predict if it will likely be crowded or if line instances can 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 instances so that you will be first in line.
For California Journey: Vehicles, Soarin’ over the World, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
For Disney: Area Mountain, Splash Mountain (for those who’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 note experience queue instances and so they replace consistently, so you may determine what to experience subsequent.
A couple of annoying issues I needed to say:
As a result of queues are redirected to be fully outdoors, it may be REALLY exhausting to search 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 won’t be used to getting in line for Pirates of the Caribbean all the way in which previous Huge Thunder Mountain. And, many of those “Line” indicators usually are not branded for the experience they’re for.
Remember the fact that you can not take off your masks whereas in line for a experience. So, for those who’re about to attend 55 minutes to get on a experience, make 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 may be part of a digital queue for each rides at 7 am and 12 pm. Chances are you’ll or might not get in at 7 am — for those who don’t, you may attempt once more on the 12 pm queue opening.
Nevertheless, for those who’re doing a Park Hopper Cross 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 probably 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 — it’s important to bodily be in Disneyland.
Which, let me remind you, we have been in a position to 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 is not going to be your cup of tea.
You should plan to order your meals at the very least an hour upfront and pre-book the window of time by which you’ll need to order.
You possibly can view the menus method forward of schedule, and maybe that is my greatest recommendation. When you 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 desire a hamburger from Tomorrowland — for those who go on the app at 11 am, it’s worthwhile 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 “I’m Right here.”
Then, you await them to arrange your meals.
I can see how this is able to be actually troublesome with youngsters who get cranky once 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 sophisticated it was. When you place your order, that’s it. When you neglect to order one thing, you may’t simply add it to your order while you arrive.
So, make 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 can 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 bogs, get a locker and go straight into whichever park you’ve bought a ticket for. When you do select to do California Journey first, the one time we have been in a position to 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 word, there are not any single rider strains proper now! Don’t consider third get together apps!
Then, guide it over to Soarin’ Over the World. Due to social distancing, it is going to take you at the very least 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 sometimes have the longest strains, adopted by Toy Story Mania and the Incredicoaster. So, if you will get on these first, it will likely be price it to have began in California Journey.
We felt form of “executed” with California Journey by 11 am however, sadly, our Park Hopper Cross wouldn’t enable us into Disneyland till 1 pm. When you’re hungry, this can be the prime time for a snack break because it takes ceaselessly to get meals (I’ll give extra particulars on this in a bit).
Beginning in Disneyland
When you’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 for those who miss the primary spherical.
As talked about, I extremely suggest entering into the park earlier than opening so that you will be first in line for a experience.
If you’re going to Disneyland with little youngsters: Head straight onto the Disneyland Railroad for a full loop across the park (for those who 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 the complete day resulting from social distancing. Then, be ready to attend 20-30 minutes for many of the kiddie rides.
When you’re going with “massive youngsters”/adults: Go straight to Pirates of the Caribbean or Area Mountain. Each of those rides constantly have lengthy waits due to social distancing.
- When you solely have at some point, 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 now not in place
- Get a locker and produce snacks with you
- Get to the park BEFORE the listed opening time so that you will be the primary in line on widespread rides
- Keep in a lodge in a single day earlier than your go to so that you don’t should take care of parking
- Make restaurant reservations effectively upfront
- Carry a portable battery to cost your telephone
My Last Ideas
Is It Price Going to Disneyland Proper Now?
When you’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 completely completely different mentality when you may simply brush it off and say I can go once more anytime.
However, for those who’re out of state or dwell abroad 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 price 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 for those who’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 mentioned, 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. If you would like a snack or meals it’s important to plan an hour upfront.
When you’ve obtained any questions concerning your journey to Disneyland or California Journey throughout COVID restrictions, please let me know within the feedback under!