Recently, the State of California announced its reopening guidelines for Disneyland and other theme parks in the state.
While some reopening guidelines were expected like required face masks and extra sanitizing procedures, other guidelines were slightly surprising! These details we’re talking about are little things you might have missed, but will have a BIG impact on your future Disneyland vacation.
One of the biggest changes we noticed in the theme park reopening guidelines was the requirement of a reservation system. We know, Disney World currently has a reservation system in place. However, California’s idea of a reservation system has a new key detail…contacting guests 24 hours before their reservation time.
The guidelines specify that the reservation system put in place should contact guests 24 hours before their scheduled arrival time to confirm the reservation. When guests are contacted, the system will ask if they or anyone in their home are experiencing any symptoms of the coronavirus.
If guests indicate they or someone they live with has symptoms, the guidelines instruct theme park operators to tell the guest to stay home as they will not be allowed to enter the park. The guidelines also mention that theme park operators must cancel the reservation for the symptomatic guest’s party AND refuse entry if they show up for their reservation.
A major part of the guidelines included a section about queues for attractions. According to these rules, all of the queues for any attraction must be outdoors. Indoor queues are not allowed for any ride or attraction.
It also states that lines are required to have physical distancing markers to keep parties spaced out, which is what Disney World is currently using. They strongly recommend using an online reservation system, similar to Rise of the Resistance, that allows guests to get in line virtually and control crowds. We have seen a virtual queue system used at select shopping locations in Downtown Disney and Disney World as well.
For theme parks like Disneyland with SO many attractions, the required outdoor queue requirement will most likely present a challenge. Not only will lines not be allowed inside, but the lines will also be distanced, which could get quite confusing in places like Fantasyland with several rides in a small area.
Although Disney World barely has any live entertainment right now (and many performers have been laid off), the California State guidelines do NOT require performances to remain closed. However, the guidelines do state that a reservation system should be put in place for any events happening in a performance venue.
This rule says that, if possible, staggered arrival times should be designated to avoid crowding and maintain required capacity limits.
Even though Disney has announced Disneyland will not reopen with Frozen or Mickey and the Magical Map, this will have a big impact on guests when live performances are brought back. This requirement would mean that parties would need to plan for shows ahead of time.
According to guidelines, workplaces must be regularly evaluated for compliance with health and safety protocols. If inspectors find any health and safety guidelines broken, it must be corrected. Disney World has experienced a few inspections as well.
Although inspections should not alter guest experiences at Disneyland, a violation could definitely affect park-goers. If local health teams deem something is not safe in the park, it could partially or fully close depending on the situation. Also, if the county sees a spike in case numbers, the theme park might have to shut down. This is what just happened to Disneyland Paris.
Cast Member Requirements
As far as Cast Member requirements, there is not too much news, however, one thing definitely stuck out to us. California’s guidelines state that workers who are within six-feet of guests or co-workers consistently must wear a secondary barrier over their face mask.
This second layer could consist of a face shield or eye goggles. In Disney World currently, we’ve seen some Cast Members with face shields over their masks and some without. The secondary barrier seems to be a personal preference over in Orlando, but in California, it will be required for specific employees.
It is still unsure when Disneyland will reopen its gates, however, these guidelines will definitely have a MAJOR effect on your next trip to the west coast parks. As Disneyland decides how to cope with these state guidelines, we will continue to keep you updated on any news regarding Disneyland’s reopening so stay tuned!
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Which of these details do you think will have the biggest impact on guests at Disneyland? Let us know in the comments.