5 Changes Disneyland Made for Reopening and How to Best Prepare

Photograph by Jessica Kim

Despite some of the changes and restrictions, Disneyland’s whimsy and charm were just as remembered. The monotony of everyday life was replaced with Dole Whip for breakfast, riding Radiator Springs Racers twice in one day, and hearing the “Up” theme song on Main Street once again. 

1 There’s fun in safety.
The magic is back but not without added precautionary measures being made in full force. On top of limiting capacity to 25 percent per state guidelines, masks are also required and can only be taken off when eating or drinking in designated dining areas. Solar-powered hand sanitizing and washing stations are abundantly available all around the resort. Social distancing in lines is enforced using markers on the ground and cast members proactively monitor spacing as well. Attractions seat either one party per unit or safely apart on rides such as Guardians of the Galaxy, and plexiglass is strategically placed between guests and cast members where necessary. The limited capacity may be a precautionary decision, but it also means shorter lines—a refreshing and welcoming change to the Disney experience.

2 Get comfortable with navigating the Disneyland app.
Dining, attraction, and entertainment offerings have been limited but there is still an abundance of options. Characters now greet and take pictures with guests from a safe distance in a few designated locations such as the Disneyland Railroad Main Street Station and around the fountain in front of Carthay Circle. The app is the best resource for finding places that are operational or to check for wait times in order to maximize the 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. day.

3 Pack a charger–ordering is online too.
The use of the app continues as every food location utilizes and encourages ordering ahead of time. Pick-up times can be as soon as possible or even scheduled for later in the day. Though orders can be placed in person, mobile ordering means skipping any potential lines and heading straight for designated pick-up windows. Don’t forget! Ice water is readily available at most quick-service locations, so hydration does not need to be compromised with added weight in bags.

4 Getting a place in virtual queues will take speed and luck.
Since lines can be expected to be short, FastPasses are not available. However, there are virtual queues to be aware of. The most difficult one to get in is for Rise of the Resistance, the newest attraction at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Both batches of reservations (which opened at 7 a.m. and  12 p.m.) were gone in a matter of seconds. Heartbreak was made up for by the nearly walk-on neighboring attraction Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run as well as the greatly missed Blue Milk.

5 Pair your favorite Disney gear with your comfiest shoes.
We’re no stranger to a full Disney day but this past year has put us out of practice so be warned–there will be A LOT of walking! The trams are not currently running so guests will be making the walk down the road from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure to the iron-clad gates that are open once again. Excitement and adrenaline fuels steps at the top of the day, but don’t forget to take breaks. There are plenty of added outdoor seating areas to sit, unwind, and take the parks in after its more than year-long closure.

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