Skip to Content
Entertainment

Traveling to Disney Parks during COVID-19: What you need to know before you go

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Matt Stroshane, photographer
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

If you’re planning to travel to one of the Disney Parks & Resorts around the world, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The basics

At the moment, the Disney Parks in Paris and Los Angeles are closed because of the pandemic, though Disney recently announced that California Adventure Park will open on a limited basis in March. It will offer food, beverages, merchandise and “carefully crafted entertainment experiences.”

On Friday, California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly announced that Disneyland — along with all of California’s other amusement parks such as Magic Mountain and Universal Studios — will be allowed to reopen with limited capacity starting April 1.

“We feel like now is the appropriate time to begin to reintroduce these activities in some fashion, and in a guarded way, in a slow and steady way,” Ghaly said in a teleconference.

Ken Potrock, president of the Disneyland Resort, told CNN: “We are encouraged that theme parks now have a path toward reopening this spring, getting thousands of people back to work and greatly helping neighboring businesses and our entire community. With responsible Disney safety protocols already implemented around the world, we can’t wait to welcome our guests back and look forward to sharing an opening date soon.”

Theme parks, sports and concert venues have been shuttered in California for nearly a year to reduce spread of the coronavirus.

On February 23, Disney announced that the Disney Vacation Club Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa are scheduled to reopen beginning May 2.

However the rest of the resort, as well as The Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, have been closed for normal operations.

In Florida, most of Disney World’s parks are open, and Blizzard Beach water park is due reopen on March 7. No reopening date has been set for Typhoon Lagoon, however.

Hong Kong Disneyland reopened in February — the third reopening for the park since the start of the pandemic.

Disneyland Paris was originally scheduled to reopen on February 13. However, the park announced it is moving its reopening date to April 2 “due to the prevailing conditions in Europe.”

Though Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are open, a visitor cap is reportedly in place until at least March 7, with each park allowing 5,000 visitors per day, excluding those who have already bought advance tickets.

What’s on offer

The original and, some might say, best, theme parks, Disney’s resorts remain a magical experience for all the family. From vertiginous rides to firework displays, and of course the chance to meet classic characters, a trip to a Disney Park makes memories that last a lifetime.

Who can go

Entry to each Disney Park is dependent on local travel restrictions. That means locations in the United States are only open to foreign visitors from outside the European Schengen Area, UK, Ireland, China, Iran and Brazil, while its Paris location — when it reopens — will be subject to France’s entry rules, which prevent most non-EU nationals from coming into the country.

Only locals and returning citizens can access its Tokyo and Hong Kong parks, while its Shanghai resort can only be accessed by locals or those who meet China’s strict entry requirements, including two negative test results taken within 48 hours of departures.

What are the restrictions?

All Disney Parks require guests to wear masks, and some parks’ mask requirements are more stringent than others. For instance, Walt Disney World, Florida, mandates face coverings for everyone 2 or older, including people who have been vaccinated.

Every park has reduced capacity, and guests must take a temperature check on entry and observe social distancing at all times.

What’s the Covid situation?

Exact numbers of cases linked to Disney Parks are unclear.

What can visitors expect?

Disney World, Florida, canceled its parade and fireworks indefinitely in a bid to keep guests safely apart. Parades are also suspended.

Older interactive games, such as the hands-on scavenger hunt game Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, have been closed.

Capacity has also been cut, with numbers further limited in restaurants and in queues to prevent overcrowding.

Despite this, guests can still dine in at their favorite restaurants and enjoy the rides, though character meet-and-greets have been replaced by socially distanced character processions.

Useful links

Official Disney Parks site

Our latest coverage

On October 1, 1971, Florida’s Walt Disney World first opened its gates. To mark the milestone, Walt Disney World Resort says it’s launching “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” starting October 1, 2021. And the party will last for 18 months.

Repeat visits to Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure haven’t been possible since the theme parks closed at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. And now, the parks’ annual pass program is officially coming to an end. Disney Parks announced January 13 that it will cancel annual passes and replace them with a new program.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise is getting a 21st century makeover after years of criticism. And officials announced that Disneyland Resort in Anaheim will soon be the first “super” Covid-19 vaccination site in Orange County, California.

Walt Disney World reopened in July, but it hasn’t all been good news in the Disney world — the company has laid off 28,000 employees in the US because of the pandemic, and profits from its parks in China might drop by $280 million.

Author Profile Photo

CNN Newsource

Skip to content