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

<i>David Roark/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images</i><br/>Walt Disney World reopened in July 2020.
Walt Disney World Resort via Get
David Roark/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images
Walt Disney World reopened in July 2020.

CNN Staff

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

After being closed for over a year, Disneyland Resort in California reopened on April 30 with limited capacity at Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park. The latter opened its brand new “Avengers Campus,” a new land based on the Marvel franchise, on June 4.

On June 15. Disneyland reopened to out-of-state visitors for the first time since March 2020, six weeks after the resort reopened to California residents.

Those wanting to visit need to purchase tickets in advance via a new reservation system.

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa reopened on April 29. Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel reopened June 15, while the Disneyland Hotel will reopen on July 2 with reduced capacity.

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

Disney World also requires visitors to make reservations in advance.

As for the Florida park’s hotels, most have already reopened. Next month, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is due to open July 2, followed by Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort on July 19. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge will reopen on August 26.

Hong Kong Disneyland reopened in February 2021. Shanghai Disneyland Park is operating normally with enhanced health and safety measures in place, however guests need to reserve their tickets online before visiting.

Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are open.

Disneyland Paris fully reopened on June 17, while its new Disney’s Hotel New York: The Art of Marvel property opened on June 21.

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.

The Paris location is subject to France’s entry rules. The country reopened to all EU citizens and some low-risk countries on June 9.

Only locals and returning citizens can access the Tokyo and Hong Kong Disney parks, while the 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?

Disney parks in the US are are slowly easing their Covid-19 protocols. Face masks are now optional in most areas for guests of the California and Florida parks who are fully vaccinated.

Disneyland has eliminated on-site temperature checks and is allowing guests to “self-determine” social distancing since the state has removed distancing requirements.

Some parks have reduced capacity and require temperature checks on entry.

Guests of Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai parks do need to continue to wear masks.

What’s the Covid situation?

Exact numbers of cases linked to Disney Parks are unclear.

What can visitors expect?

Similar to other Disney parks around the world, Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida have reopened with some restrictions; however these are now easing.

Parades and fireworks had been put on hold in a bid to keep guests safely apart. Disney World announced it will resume its fireworks displays on July 1, while Disneyland in California will resume their nightly fireworks shows on July 4.
FASTPASS and Disney MaxPass services are suspended and not available for purchase or use.

Some interactive games 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.

Several Disney World restaurants are allowing character dining.

Useful links

Official Disney Parks site

Our latest coverage

Disney World in Florida is turning the big 5-0, but the resort isn’t letting its age slow it down. Walt Disney World Resort announced a slew of new events, scheduled to begin October 1, in honor of the park’s 50th anniversary.

“Avengers Campus,” a new land based on the Marvel franchise, opens at Disney’s California Adventure on June 4 and we’ve got a sneak preview here.

The flagship Disney resort in Anaheim, California has just revealed plans for a multiyear expansion called “DisneylandForward.” Read more about it here.

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, also in the US, 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.

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Joe Minihane, Julia Buckley, Karla Cripps, Frank Pallotta and Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report

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