How many Guests will be allowed into the southern California Disney Parks when they reopen? According to a new report, between 25,000 and 30,000 Guests may be able to get into Disneyland daily.
Note: Disney has not officially shared when Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will reopen, nor has the company stated at what capacity the parks will reopen. Disney also continues to wait for more guidelines to be released by the state of California before announcing a reopening date. This means that at the time of this article’s publication, we do not know exactly how many Guests will be allowed into Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks each day. However, these suggestions definitely have us thinking.
But if we were to speculate regarding capacity limitations, a new article by OC Register provides some interesting suggestions.
Disneyland could comfortably accommodate 50% of the 110-acre theme park’s theoretical pre-COVID-19 attendance capacity, according to estimates by the Thinkwell Group.
Thinkwell Group’s Brad Kissling calculated the COVID-19 physical-distancing needs of a theoretical future theme park in a new white paper published by the Los Angeles-based themed entertainment design firm.
But how could this be possible? The Thinkwell Group says that with social distancing measures in place, Disneyland and DCA could still allow for thousands of people to attend the parks each day.
The group says that theme park planners typically allow for 10-15 square feep per Guest for crowded areas, with personal space density dropping to 5 feet per Guest during gatherings such as parades. But with new social distancing measures in place, Thinkwell estimates that theme parks like Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will be required to allow for 140 square feet per Guest.
Using Thinkwell’s estimates, Disneyland accommodated approximately 545 people per acre in the pre-COVID-19 era and would need to cut those numbers in half to allow for appropriate social distancing in the “new normal.” On the low end that would be about 25,000 visitors per day and on the high end approximately 30,000.
“There is a lot that goes into calculating the daily attendance and densities,” Thinkwell’s Kissling said via email. “So it’s better to make estimates using big windows — such as 50,000 to 60,000 daily pre-COVID or with COVID 25,000 to 30,000 daily.”
The idea of 25,000 people being let into Disneyland on any given day after reopening may sound like a small number to some, but to others it could seem a little high. Some Disney fans have speculated that only around 10,000 Guests could be allowed into Disneyland after the park reopens. And if Governor Gavin Newsom and the state suggest that Disneyland and Disney California Adventure should operate at a much lower capacity — compared to that of the other Disney Parks worldwide when they reopened — then we may see only 25% — half of what this Thinkwell Group report suggests — of the “normal,” pre-pandemic crowds actually being allowed in the parks.
OC Register also notes that it is rare for Disney to discuss attendance or capacity figures for the southern California theme parks. So even amid these reports and speculation from analysis, Annual Passholders, and hopeful Guests, the public may not ever know exactly how many people will be allowed into the gates. But we continue to remain hopeful and will report back if more official numbers are ever released, specifically pertaining to the state’s guidelines for reopening Disneyland Resort.
Here’s what the Disneyland Resort official website says when it comes to the limited capacity:
Physical Distancing: We will reduce theme park capacity to enable physical distancing and add appropriate signs to help Guests move responsibly throughout the property.
We will update Inside the Magic as more information is officially released.