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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

All Disney parks around the world are now open to visitors, though Covid-19 restrictions remain in place.

Disneyland Resort in California reopened on April 30 with limited capacity at Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park.

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

All three of the California Disney resort’s hotels are open.

In Florida, all of Disney World’s parks are open with the exception of Typhoon Lagoon. No reopening date has been set.

Disney World also requires visitors to make reservations in advance.

As for the Florida park’s hotels, many have already reopened. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge reopened on August 26.

Disney’s All-Star Music Resort will open on September 16. The following month, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort will open on October 14, followed by Disney’s Port Orleans Resort — French Quarter on October 28. Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort is due to reopen on December 9.

Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland Park — including all hotels — are operating with enhanced health and safety measures in place. Guests need to reserve their tickets online before visiting.

Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are open, along with their hotels. A new addition, the Toy Story Hotel, is due to open in the coming months.

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

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. On September 10, France removed the United States from its safe travel list, effectively prohibiting nonessential travel to the country for unvaccinated visitors. Read more about the restrictions here.

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?

All guests ages 2 and up at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort will be required to wear face coverings indoors, starting July 30, regardless of vaccination status. They are optional for outdoor common areas.

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

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

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

What’s the Covid situation?

Exact numbers of cases linked to Disney Parks are unclear.

What can visitors expect?

Disney World and Disneyland in California resumed their nightly fireworks shows in early July.

Some interactive games remain closed.

Capacity has also been cut in some parks, 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.

At Disneyland in California, Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast at Storytellers Café at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa recently reopened for character dining experiences, while Minnie and Friends Breakfast at Plaza Inn at Disneyland Resort opened on August 12.

Useful links

Official Disney Parks site

Our latest coverage

Disney is rolling out a new service that will help park goers streamline their visits and cut down on wait times.

“Genie” — which debuts this fall at California’s Disneyland and Florida’s Disney World — is a new digital service that will “maximize your park time, so you can have more fun,” according to the company. Read more about it here.

Meanwhile, Disney recently revealed pricing for its new, highly anticipated Star Wars hotel — and the cost to immerse yourself in a galaxy far, far away for a few days will not come cheap.
Disney has finally redone its Jungle Cruise ride after years of being criticized for the attraction’s controversial depictions of Indigenous people. On July 16, the ride will open once more in Disneyland in California, while the updated version at Disney World in Florida will be completed later this summer. Read more about it here.

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.

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

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