California Releases Updated Theme Park Reopening Guidelines

in Disneyland Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood

disney california adventure pixar pier

Credit: Disney

As part of the new “refresh” of the Blueprint For a Safer Economy, the State of California released new theme park reopening guidelines.

These guidelines will help determine how theme parks like Disneyland and Disney California Adventure at Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood will navigate reopening amid the current pandemic.

At the time of this article’s publication, the theme parks of the Disneyland Resort will reopen on April 30, while Universal Studios Hollywood has yet to announce a reopening date.

disneyland
Credit: Disney

Keep in mind that although these guidelines were recently adjusted and now have been released, Disney and Universal will still share additional information regarding how they will handle operations and the reopening of their theme parks.

Below is how each theme park is allowed to operate depending on the tier of the county in which that theme park is located (Disneyland Resort is in Orange County, while Universal Studios Hollywood is located in Los Angeles County).

Purple – Widespread – Tier 1
Closed

Red – Substantial – Tier 2

  • Parks must limit visitors to a maximum of 15% capacity.
  • Small Groups only – Limited to a maximum of 10 people or 3 household groups
    with no intergroup mixing
  • Indoor capacity limited to a maximum of 15%
  • No indoor dining
  • Walk up ticket sales allowed. Park operators must collect complete name and
    contact information (including a phone number) of the ticket purchaser for
    necessary contact tracing.

Orange – Moderate – Tier 3

  • Parks must limit visitors to a maximum of 25% capacity.
  • Indoor capacity limited to a maximum of 25%
  • Indoor dining limited to a maximum of 25% capacity
  • Walk up ticket sales allowed. Park operators must collect complete name and
    contact information (including a phone number) of the ticket purchaser for
    necessary contact tracing.

Yellow – Minimal – Tier 4

  • Parks must limit visitors to a maximum of 35% capacity.
  • Indoor capacity limited to a maximum of 25%
  • Indoor dining limited to a maximum of 50% capacity
  • Walk up ticket sales allowed. Park operators must collect complete name and
    contact information (including phone number) of the ticket purchaser for
    necessary contact tracing.
Universal Studios Hollywood Virtual Tour
Credit: Universal

Although not mentioned in the list above, the guidelines also clearly state the following:

  • The theme parks are limited to in-state visitors only.
  • Face masks are required for all Guests and employees.
  • Indoor rides must be limited to no more than 15 minutes.
  • All queuing must be performed in outdoor settings only and Guests from different households or parties must be at least six feet apart during queuing.
  • Passengers from different parties must be separated on attractions.
  • Theme park Guests can only eat or drink in designated areas. Eating or drinking is not allowed in attraction queues.
  • Theme parks must develop a weekly optional COVID-19 testing program for employees.
disneyland cast member
Credit: Disney

As the guidelines indicate that the theme park admission will be limited to Guests who reside in California, the following information was also provided:

In-state visitors only. Information will be prominently placed on all communications, including the Reservation and Ticketing systems, to ensure guests are aware of Reservation and Ticketing Requirements. At the time a guest makes a park reservation and purchases park tickets, the park operators must obtain an attestation that when visiting the park, the guest’s party size will not contain more than 3 households and the guest, and all members of the guest’s party will be instate visitors.

disneyland cast member
Credit: Disney

The guidelines also note that theme parks have other operational aspects that fall under other industry guidelines released by the State of California. Those guidelines indicate operations for hotels, restaurants, live events and performances, transportation, and more. You can view the full pandemic-era guidance for California theme park operations here.

As mentioned, we continue to wait for more specific information to be released from Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood. Disneyland Resort, for example, has already stated that they plan to implement a reservation system that will require all Guests to make a reservation in advance of visiting the theme park.

You can visit the official Disneyland website here and the official Universal Studios website here.

Wizarding World
Credit: Universal Studios

Stay tuned to Inside the Magic for the latest information on the reopening of California theme parks.

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