Disneyland fans rejoiced when California Governor Gavin Newsom announced his “Blueprint Refresh” — theme park reopening guidelines were changed and parks, regardless of size, could begin opening on April 1, provided that their counties were in the state’s tier 2 category.
In the Orange tier, theme parks will be required to be at at a limited 15% capacity. Once parks’ counties reach the Yellow tier, they will be able to increase that number to 25% capacity. Less than two weeks after Governor Newsom’s original announcement, Disney executives confirmed that Disneyland Resort would reopen on April 30, ending a lengthy temporary closure that began in March 2020.
Having to follow the new state guidelines means that crowds will be severely reduced when the parks finally open. This may actually mean great things for Guests able to purchase park tickets and obtain reservations using the new Disneyland reservation system. Let’s take a look at some great advantages smaller crowds will mean for guests at both Disneyland and California Adventure!
Lower Wait Times
Anyone who has been to Disneyland knows that sometimes the wait times can get absolutely insane. When HyperSpace Mountain first opened, waits were well over 3 hours and Millennium Falcon — Smugglers Run at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is consistently more than an hour wait time. However, with the capacity limitations that will be placed on the parks, those lines will no longer be an issue.
The smaller crowds will mean that Guests will likely be able to ride more attractions in a day than they have in a long time. Imagine walking up to Peter Pan’s Flight and seeing a 20-minute wait time. Think that that is only possible in your dreams? It may be a reality now.
Since it introduced mobile ordering several years ago, Disney has consistently been adding restaurants to the service offering and making this experience easier for Guests in its theme parks. Mobile ordering shows Guests the next available time for food pickup at their chosen location, then they can simply order and pay for their food on the app and pick it up at the designated time.
Sounds like a snap, and it should be. Unfortunately, on days when the park has been particularly crowded, mobile ordering is sometimes no easier than going to the restaurant you want to eat at and waiting in line. Prior to the closure, it was not unusual to find popular restaurants with pickup times hours later — or completely unavailable — because they had run out of time slots.
Not everyone uses mobile order, as they prefer to do their ordering in-person. This, combined with the smaller crowd size, will mean that mobile ordering could be easier than ever with more time slots available to choose from throughout the day.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
From the day it opened on May 31, 2019, Galaxy’s Edge has been a massive hit with Star Wars and Disney fans alike. Seeing a life-size Millennium Falcon and talking to stormtroopers are one-of-a-kind experiences. Just be careful, you don’t want to get on Kylo Ren’s bad side (although, he pretty much hates everyone). To top it off, one of Disney’s greatest attractions, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opened eight months later and really put the land on the map. Guests would crowd before the park even opened, hoping to grab a coveted spot in the Rise of the Resistance virtual queue.
As many Guests know, even securing a Boarding Group in the Rise virtual queue did not always mean that you would actually be able to get on to the ride, especially if there were any issues such as a ride breakdown. Now, Disneyland’s newest ride may be more accessible than ever, as there will be far fewer people vying for Boarding Passes.
The biggest problem theme parks have faced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is how they can keep their Guests and employees safe. Disney has instituted a strict face mask policy for Guests age 2 and up, installed social distancing markers and signs throughout all theme parks — including Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure — as well as added handwashing stations and hand sanitizing machines at nearly every turn.
With Disneyland’s capacity being noticeably reduced at first, social distancing and safety will be much easier to maintain. Gone will be the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds standing at the entrances of rides and restaurants. Streets will be more open and attraction lines will be adjusted to adhere to social distancing requirements.
There are so many positive things happening at Disneyland Resort and we will let you know about all of them!
Will you be visiting Disneyland Resort when it opens? Or will you wait and visit at a later date? Let us know!