Disneyland during the pandemic: Is it still the ‘Happiest place on Earth’?


Landon Logue, Features Writer

Of course, it is! As the Disneyland Resort reopened its gates on April 30th after its 13-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the magic is back with both major and minor changes to daily operations. The big question everyone is asking, is it worth it?


Here are some tips and guides to what your upcoming potential trip to the Disneyland Resort will look like.

First, let’s talk capacity. At the time of this review, the Disneyland Resort is operating at 25% capacity. This includes workers and cast members, so the parks are quite empty! The parks are only open for CA residents, so if you do not have a valid CA-issued identification or other documentation to prove you are a resident, you cannot get in!

When you go to purchase tickets online, you will be required to make reservations for the dates you wish to visit the parks. This is new for the Disneyland Resort and reservations are available on a rolling basis. They are subject to capacity, so act fast to reserve your dates!

Ok, so you made it to the parks and you’re in, what now? Well, Disney has taken extreme precautions for COVID-19. Hand washing stations are everywhere and every queue, whether for rides, restaurants, or even shopping locations has 6 feet markers. Cast members are around and will enforce the distance markings and proper use of masks for those 2 and older.

This is where appearances do not necessarily show the truth. The Disneyland Resort uses estimated wait times for attractions from a distance perspective. That means wait times are estimated from certain points in the queues themselves. As there are 6-foot guidelines in place, lines look and are estimated to be WAY longer than they are. In my experience this past weekend, 60 mins can be as low as 15-20 mins in reality. So, do not let wait times scare you!

Lastly, the experiences at the Disneyland Resort have changed. There are no character meet and greets due to COVID, but Disney does a great job of having characters always around in designated areas where you and your little ones can interact and take distanced photos. Live shows, parades, and fireworks are temporarily closed for the time being.

With all of the changes at the Disneyland Resort, it truly is as magical as ever. After 13 months of closure, it felt great to be walking inside the parks once again, despite the restrictions. And for you Marvel fans out there the new themed land at Disney’s California Adventure, the Avenger’s Campus, opens on June 4th! So, get your tickets and return to the Happiest Place on Earth.