It’s been over a year since Disneyland Resort closed down due to the global pandemic, but the end is in sight. Both theme parks are set to reopen, as actual theme parks, at the end of the month. But as we’ve expected all along, things are going to be quite different compared to the way Disneyland used to operate. The park will only be able to allow a fraction of the normal number of guests, but with what is sure to be pent-up demand, especially among locals, those comparatively few tickets are sure to be in high demand. Now Disneyland has released all the details on how to get those tickets, and what you’ll be able to do inside the parks once you have them.
While the theme parks will open on April 30, guests will be able to fight over the limited number of reservations a couple of weeks before that. Additionally, it turns out that not all Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure attractions will be open for guests to experience. Here’s a rundown on everything we know about how to experience Disneyland when it reopens.
Disneyland Tickets and Reservations
Ticket sales for Disneyland Resort have obviously been shut down for a year, but for those looking to return to the park, new tickets can be acquired beginning April 15. Of course, a ticket isn’t all you’ll need to get into a Disneyland theme park, you’ll also need a park reservation, and those will be limited due to capacity of the parks. You’ll need both a ticket and a reservation to get in. Park Hopper tickets will be available. Similar to the way park hopping currently works at Walt Disney World, Hoppers will need to make a reservation at whatever park they plan to start at, and will be able to move to the other park after 1 PM.
However, there will be many people who don’t need to buy Disneyland tickets because they already have them. The park extended the expiration dates on any existing tickets that were not used when the parks shut down. The people who have been sitting on those tickets will get a jump on everybody else, as they’ll be able to make their park reservations beginning April 12. Those guests can start checking park reservation availability beginning April 9.
For at least the first few months, only California residents will be able to visit Disneyland Resort. While that likely won’t be an issue for the parks considering how many locals will likely want to visit, there will still be a lot of other Californians looking to make the trip. Those people will need a place to stay, and while there will be plenty of Anaheim hotels available, those looking for the complete Disney experience will only have one choice.
The only Disneyland Resort hotel that will open for business along with the parks will be the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. The Disneyland Hotel and the Paradise Pier Hotel will remain closed until further notice. A Grand Californian reservation does not give one access to the park, so perspective guests should make park reservations first, and then book their hotel reservations around that.
Disney theme parks always have delicious and creative food options and while they might not all meet the needs of everybody some of them are so wild they should just be experienced. With indoor dining, like theme park capacity itself, being largely restricted, not all dining locations will be open with the park. Most places will be, though even in those cases, things will be different.
The ability to use your smartphone to order food at Disneyland has been available for some time, but like at Walt Disney World, when the parks reopen, anyplace that does offer mobile ordering, which is the vast majority of quick serve locations, will require it. For table service locations that offer reservations, those reservations will open on April 22, and will be able to made up to 60 days in advance. Here’s the complete list of dining locations open in the two theme parks:
Disneyland Park Dining
- Bengal Barbecue
- Café Orleans
- French Market Restaurant
- Galactic Grill
- Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor
- Ice Cream Carts
- Jolly Holiday Bakery Café
- Little Red Wagon
- Market House
- Milk Stand
- Mint Julep Bar
- Plaza Inn
- Red Rose Taverne
- River Belle Terrace
- Ronto Roasters
- Ship to Shore Marketplace
- Stage Door Café
- The Tropical Hideaway
Disney California Adventure Dining
- Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats
- Angry Dogs
- Award Wieners
- Carthay Circle Lounge – Alfresco Dining
- Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill
- Cozy Cone Motel – Cones 1-3 (Churros, Ice Cream, Cone-coctions)
- Cappuccino Cart
- Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe
- Flo’s V8 Cafe
- Ghirardelli® Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop
- Hollywood Lounge
- Ice Cream Carts
- Lamplight Lounge
- Pacific Wharf Distribution Co.
- Poultry Palace
- Rita’s Baja Blenders
- Señor Buzz Churros
- Smokejumpers Grill
- Sonoma Terrace
- Studio Catering Co.
Conspicuous by their absence on this list are Disneyland’s Blue Bayou, which, as was recently announced, will start serving alcohol for the first time ever when it does reopen, and one of my favorites, the Wine Country Trattoria at DCA. Docking Bay 7 and Oga’s Cantina at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will also be closed. In addition, it appears that the Carthay Circle Restaurant will only offer the outdoor dining lounge that is currently available as part of the Touch of Disney event.
Disneyland and California Adventure Attractions
If you’ve been frustrated by the closure of Disneyland, it’s likely because you’ve been dying to go on your favorite ride, but unable to do so. While Disney California Adventure was recently able to reopen for a special event, the attractions has to stay shut down, but they’ll be back when the two parks reopen. At least, most of them will. The full list of what will reopen on day one has been revealed, and while it covers the vast majority of the available options, there are some notable exceptions. Here’s the full list.
Disneyland Park Attractions
- Alice in Wonderland
- Astro Orbitor
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Casey Jr. Circus Train
- Disneyland Railroad
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Gadget’s Go Coaster
- Haunted Mansion
- Indiana Jones™ Adventure
- “It’s A Small World”
- King Arthur Carrousel
- Mad Tea Party
- Main Street Vehicles
- Mark Twain Riverboat
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
- Snow White’s Enchanted Wish
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – with virtual queue
- Surprise Character Sightings
- Tarzan’s Treehouse™
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
Disney California Adventure Attractions
- Games of Pixar Pier
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
- Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
- Jessie’s Critter Carousel
- Jumpin’ Jellyfish
- Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
- Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
- Pixar Pal-A-Round – Non-Swinging
- Pixar Pal-A-Round –?Swinging
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Silly Symphony Swings
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Surprise Character Sightings
- The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
- Turtle Talk with Crush
Notable closures include the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland, which may be shut down due to the announced redesign, even though Walt Disney World has already started that work on its version without closing the ride down. The Matterhorn is also apparently closed, and DCA will open without Grizzly River Run. Additionally, as expected, fireworks and other nighttime spectaculars, as well as parades, will be completely shut down at both parks.
Park Hours and Parking
And finally, both theme parks are currently scheduled to open at 9am and close at 7pm. Parking will also only be available at the Mickey & Friends and Pixar Pals parking structures, which means the large Toy Story lot, which may be on it’s way out before long anyway, will remain closed.
While things will certainly be different, for those that want to visit Disneyland soon after it reopens, none of it really matters. Just being there will be enough for so many. It’s unclear how long those outside of California may need to wait to visit the parks.