Disneyland to reopen in late April

Disneyland’s brilliant nighttime fireworks light up the skies above its trademark Cinderella Castle.

Courtesy of Mickey Visit

Disneyland’s brilliant nighttime fireworks light up the skies above its trademark Cinderella Castle.

Sharon Sun, Photojournalist

Due to the pandemic, the nightly fireworks that split the Anaheim sky over Disneyland Park have disappeared as coronavirus fears caused the theme park to announce a temporary closure. However, in light of the waves of vaccinations pushed out to California residents, Disneyland has revealed its multi-phase plan to reopen its facilities along considerations of the COVID situation and health guidelines. In particular, the franchise’s most anticipated openings — that of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park — will both be on April 30. 

As of now, the Disneyland Resort only has its Downtown Disney District open. A shopping district boasting Disney-themed restaurants, entertainment, and gift shops – its wide and open avenues enable guests to more easily socially distance themselves and lessen the risks of transmitting or contracting the virus.

On April 29, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will return to welcome guests after its hiatus. Next, on April 30, both of Disney’s famous theme parks — Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park — in Anaheim will reopen their doors to tourists, exercising new safety procedures in order to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.  The Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel have not yet had a set date for return, which may be revealed later down the road as experts continue to grasp the trends for the coronavirus.

Based on guidelines from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Disneyland will exercise enhanced sanitation procedures in order to maintain a heightened level of cleanliness to avoid transmission of the virus through contact. Further, according to disneyland.com, in order to minimize contact, some parts and experiences of the parks will be adjusted. Lastly, modifications will be made in order to encourage social distancing in an effort to hinder transmission through the air of the virus’s particles.

Importantly, as physical distancing limits the capacity of the parks, park attendance will be managed by a reservation system, meaning that aspiring tourists will need to schedule beforehand for entry. Further, all guests — as well as employees — must wear face coverings when entering the park (2 years or older). Temperature screenings will also be performed at select locations in order to identify any potential symptoms of the virus. 

While the reopening of the theme parks is sure to be exciting for amusement park enthusiasts and Disney fans, the coronavirus still remains an issue to look out for. As such, certain locations or restaurants within the theme parks may be limited in capacity or continue to be closed temporarily according to guidance from health experts. 

Yet, people may still remain wary of the risks of transmission in these theme parks — which are typically areas of high density. Kayla McKechnie (11) does not believe that it would be safe to return to amusement parks before the complete containment of the coronavirus. “Even with the vaccine becoming more accessible, many people are still apprehensive to take it,” she says. “So, by opening amusement parks we are just creating another way for the virus to spread in large numbers.”

Nevertheless, Disneyland’s return marks a landmark moment of hope for our return to the normality before the coronavirus. Mark your calendars!