Downtown Disney Reopens: First Phase of Magic at Disneyland

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Downtown Disney Reopening

Today is an exciting first step for Disneyland Resort as Downtown Disney is the first phase of Disneyland’s reopening, with Cast Members getting a preview yesterday. 

Disneyland theme parks and hotels were proposed to reopen shortly after Downtown Disney on July 17, but with ever-changing state ordinances and guidelines in an unprecedented new normal, Disney decided to delay their reopening until further notice.  While we wait for an announcement on when the parks’ and hotels’ reopening dates will be, we’ll take look at what the reopening of Downtown Disney looks like, including the health and safety measures that have been put in place as they confirmed that they would reopen with extra precautions.  Many of these measures will flow into the rest of the resort among other more elaborate for attractions and such.

Walking into DTD
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell

To better prepare yourself to enjoy Downtown Disney, check out the things you should know before you go.  With a reporter on the ground at Downtown Disney today, we’re able to give you a first-hand look at what your experience will be like on your next visit to Downtown Disney.  This will be a start to finish Walk-through from Parking to the Downtown Disney experience.

Parking

Guests are self-parking at the Simba Parking Lot which is located off Disneyland Drive.  This is the only parking lot that will be open with Downtown Disney’s reopening for the time being.  Guests are to park in every other parking space in order to remain physically distance from other Guests as they’re entering and exiting their vehicles.

DTD Parking Signs
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell

Reopening Day Experience

Keep in mind that there are many new procedures and even Disney needs to be adaptable with new health and safety measures.  Even though Guests were told that no one would be allowed into the Simba Parking Lot until 9:45am PST, it seemed like they started letting Guests in 20 minutes early.  Some Guests were completely redirected for parking to go all the way down to Katella Ave and then go all the way around again to park near the Disneyland Hotel.

Parking Redirection
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell

They temporarily paused letting people into Downtown Disney District parking before 10 am. Cast Members are telling Guests that they should wait offsite for a little while, and then drive back around to see if the lot reopens.  No information was given as to why the lot was closed or when it would be reopening again.

Security Checkpoint

The entrance from the parking lot into Downtown Disney is located somewhat between Earl of Sandwich and the Disneyland Hotel.  Before you reach the entrance and as you walk from the Simba lot to Downtown Disney, you will first have to go a temperature check and security check.  If your temperature clear is below100.4 degrees, you and your party will be granted access to Downtown Disney.

Temp Screening Signage
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell
Entrance Queues
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell
Security Checkpoint
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell
Temperature Check
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell

Face Coverings

Face coverings are required to enter the Downtown Disney area.  Your mandatory face covering is to snuggly cover your nose and mouth.  If you are dining at Downtown Disney, you are able to remove your mask as you sit down at your table.  Please check here for detailed official Disneyland face mask guidelines.

Health and Safety Requirements
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell

Social Distancing

Health and safety signage is posted leading up to entering Downtown Disney.  Ground markings will help with the flow of traffic so there isn’t a crowded mass trying to navigate a path to their destination.  Pre-marked spots are also visible at storefronts to manage capacity within the retail store, as well as, keeping a safe 6-ft distance between Guests outside the stores.

Health and Safety Signage
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell
Social Distancing Queues
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell

Virtual Queues are being used for storefronts to be able to limit capacity, as well as, help with social distancing within Downtown Disney.  Guests weren’t too pleased about the virtual queue system because there is no way to know how many people are ahead of you in the queue.

Marceline's Confectionary Queue
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell
Virtual Queues
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell
Virtual Queues
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell

Cleaning

Sanitization Stations can be found around Downtown Disney so you can take an extra measure of cleanliness if you find more comfort in that.  You’ll see extra Cast Members floating around the next time you’re visiting Downtown Disney.  These Cast Members are tasked with keeping the areas clean especially those with frequent touchpoints.

Hand Washing Station
Credit: ITM Report Bailee Abell
Hand Sanitizer
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell
CMs Cleaning
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell
Cleaning DTD
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell

Dining

Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new ordinance for indoor dining and bars that will slightly affect some of the restaurants on Downtown Disney’s reopening day.  For the time being, only restaurants with outdoor dining patios — as well as quick service locations — will be able to be in operation.  Tables will be socially distanced so that Guests feel comfortable having a dining experience without their masks.

Black Tap and Ballast Point
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell
Black Tap Outdoor Window
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell
Black Tap Outdoor Dining
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell
UVA Bar
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell

World of Disney Reopening

Most Guests heading to Downtown Disney are excited to check out what new merchandise is hitting the shelves at World of Disney. Like the other storefronts, there are virtual queues in order to manage the crowds for physical distancing, as well as, cleanliness.  Check out more information about the World of Disney reopening here!

World of Disney
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell
World of Disney Line
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell

Reopening Day Crowd

Reopening day crowd levels were busy so Virtual Queues as mentioned above were definitely necessary for crowd control.  Social distancing and other health and safety signage are constant reminders for Guests to take necessary precautions for everyone to have a comfortable and safe visit.

Downtown Disney Crowd Levels
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell
DTD Crowds
Credit: ITM Reporter Bailee Abell

What is Now Open at Downtown Disney

For a list of all the other stores and restaurants that are reopening July 9, check here.  With the dining ordinances listed above, please check this article to see if the restaurant you wanted to dine at is affected.

Many of the health and safety measures you see here are ones that were seen at Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs and Universal Studios Hollywood CityWalk.  Hopefully, these precautions taken are ones that will ease your mind as you plan for your next visit to Downtown Disney.

Need an expert to guide you through these changes as you navigate Disneyland Resort on your next trip? Academy Travel agents understand these changes and will make sure your trip is magical. Reach out to them here!

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