Disneyland and Disney California Adventure finally reopen after more than a year of closure due to the pandemic. Disneyland has been closed for over a year. (It still sounds unreal even though we lived it, right?)
I went to Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure (DCA) to stock up on fairy dust and see what will happen in 2021. There are a lot of changes and new guidelines to visit now. Fortunately, most of the changes are good and some of the changes are only part of the expected safety precautions for Covid-19. Overall, it was a great experience and I’m so glad I was gone.
Now I’m sharing my top 11 things you need to know before visiting Disneyland or DCA below. Bear in mind – things change quickly. Check website and app for the latest information.
And remember – guidelines during a pandemic in California are very different from Florida. And the rules for Walt Disney World are very different from Disneyland at the moment. This information only applies to my experiences going to Disneyland and DCA in Anaheim, California.
I will link to resources for more information at the bottom of this post.
Disneyland tickets and reservations
You need a ticket to Disneyland and / or California Adventure (you can get a ticket to one park or a Park Hopper ticket that allows entry to both) * and * you need a reservation to enter. So you should check day and park availability.
If you get a Park Hopper Pass, you have to choose one park to enter first, then you can go to the other park after 1pm. I got a Park Hopper ticket, but by the time I went to make a reservation, California Adventure was the only option to start my day. At around one in the afternoon, I headed to Disneyland and had no problems.
Check out the Disneyland website for more information.
2 new things about parking structure
There is a temperature check outside the parking building (before you reach the park entrance). If you park your car in the large Mickey & Friends parking area, cast members and signs guide you to a security checkpoint. (This was happening outside of the parks, not here.)
There is also a checkpoint to check the temperature here. There were several cast members with temperature devices and I barely had to pause while they were checking out.
The main difference from the previous one was that there were no trams to take you from the parking area to the theme parks and downtown Disney. Everyone had to go down the road that the trams were traveling in. Not long ago, but there are no attractions or distractions so you feel a little bored.
Tip: Be sure to wear comfortable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking around Disneyland and California adventure. If your feet hurt before hitting the parks – it’s going to be a long day.
Face mask rules in Disneyland and California
You must wear your face mask at all times unless you are actively eating or drinking in a specific area. Yes, we’re all used to wearing masks now, but the rules are getting more and more relaxed in public, but not in Disneyland. Cast members and banners will remind you to keep your mask on as you walk around in line.
This means = No eating or drinking while standing in line to ride a horse. So you will have to take this churro in a corner or dining area. You also have to hold it while the ride.
Disney Characters and Social Distance
There has been a lot of Disney character pics, but you have to keep a social distance.
Limited capacity … but it doesn’t look like it.
The parks capacity was only 35% when I went. I thought they’d feel like they were empty and I’m going to run straight to the front of all the lines and have a lot of great pictures without 100 other park goers behind me … nope.
This doesn’t seem empty as all of the attractions, open stores, and restaurants require social distancing. So the riding lines are proliferating. After that, the tours maintained a social distance by using only every other row (like in Pirates of the Caribbean and Star Tours) or putting only one group on a trek at a time (when we went at Radiator Springs Racers – we were only in the car that left The row behind us is empty.)
Some sights and restaurants have yet to be opened.
Some rides, attractions and restaurants have been closed due to the logistics of social distancing, and some are closed for regular maintenance. This changes often so check twice before you go!
You need the Disneyland app
Download the Disneyland app and make sure it has your information (login and credit card) before you go to Disneyland or DCA. This is the only way to order food in many restaurants, but it is very convenient and easy to use.
You also need the app to enter the virtue queue, the new “Fast Pass” system. And you should do this if you want to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. You cannot prepare for that trip and must join a “boarding group” using the app.
Disneyland has a lot of other useful features as well. You can double check what’s open, wait hours, look at photo passes, shop with the app and more.
Disneyland and Hours of California Adventure at Disney
Parks currently have limited hours, but that changes a lot so check back before you go. Next, plan your day around the park’s opening hours, and what you want to see the most.
Disneyland will open its doors to guests from outside the country from June 15.
Grab a Disney face mask or other fun face mask before you go
Consider purchasing a Disney-inspired face mask before you go. You’ll be wearing a face mask in most of your photos, so you’ll want it to be a fun mask! They sell quite a few Disney character masks but not a great variety and you may have to wait in line to get to some of the stores. Don’t let that cut you out of your time enjoying the park! And children aged 3 and over should wear masks as well. So if you are a little unfamiliar with it or don’t have a face that fits little faces – make sure you get one before you go.
Disneyland and California Adventure 2021 reopens safety tips
There are hand sanitizing stations and signs that remind you to keep a social distance throughout the park. But the staff members do not wipe the napkins between the guests. So, keep this in mind if you or someone in your group has compromised immunity.
Open attractions, park expansions, and guidelines change frequently as we advance from the pandemic – so double-check the website and app often before you go!
The most important reminder is that you enjoy !!! Interestingly, Disneyland is back open and life in Southern California is returning to normal after more than a year. enjoy it! Focus on all the things that you can do.
I posted all these Disneyland tips on Instagram Reels, too. Follow RunEatRepeat for that! *
Cute Disney-inspired T-shirt or tank – Love these …
Disney Themed Face Mask – Get More Than One. Here are my favorites:
Reusable water bottle (yes, you can bring it and there are stations to refill your water). Here are some Disney-inspired water bottles if you want to get into it all:
Follow me on InstagramRunEatRepeat – Check out my Insta Reels for short video releases for all of these tips! Send me a message directly or leave a comment below with any questions.