The other major theme parks in Disneyland and California reopen this spring, thanks to a drop in new coronavirus cases and the rollout of vaccines in the state.
The theme park experience at Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Knott’s Berry Farm will not be exactly the same as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hugging costumed characters? Banned. Standing in a crowd watching a parade or fireworks? Nope. Eating high calorie snacks while waiting to jump into a stomach ride? Forget it.
But many of those costumed characters, gourmet foods, and beloved rides will always be around to enjoy it, along with new safety protocols.
Here’s what you need to know about visiting your favorite theme park:
When do the parks reopen?
Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia reopened on April 1, the first day allowed under state guidelines. Here’s a look at how things turned out in the early days: Six Flags Magic Mountain reopens: COVID security measures even change bathrooms
Universal Studios Hollywood is set to reopen Thursday to annual and seasonal pass holders and Friday to the general public.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim are scheduled to reopen on April 30.
Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park has announced that it will reopen on May 6 to season pass holders and on May 21 to the general public.
When and how can I get tickets?
Six Flags Magic Mountain has started selling season tickets and passes on its website. Universal Studios Hollywood has it too.
Knott’s Berry Farm will begin selling tickets and taking reservations on April 26.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure say those holding unused tickets from last year will be able to reserve entry to the parks starting Monday, and ticket sales for all other California residents will begin Thursday. Visitors must purchase an entrance ticket before making a reservation. Disney Parks have a five tier pricing system that charges more on days of highest demand. A calendar with price level designations will go live on Friday.
Who can buy tickets?
State guidelines only allow residents of California to visit theme parks. When booking, park visitors must certify that they are from California.
Groups that buy tickets together can include members of up to three households.
Will the prices be the same as last year?
Six Flags Magic Mountain, Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Universal Studios Hollywood have said ticket prices will stay about the same as last year.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure halted their annual pass program in January and continue to offer refunds to former pass holders.
Will it be difficult to score tickets?
Attendance will be limited as the state requires theme parks to operate below maximum capacity. How far below? It depends on restrictions based on the prevalence of the coronavirus in each park’s home county.
Los Angeles County (home to Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain) and Orange County (home to Disney Parks and Knott’s Berry Farm) are now in the Orange Tier – the second least restrictive – of the Leaf. reopening road in four state colors. . This caps attendance at 25% of maximum capacity.
If counties hit the least restrictive level, yellow, theme park attendance caps rise to 50% of maximum capacity.
This system is subject to change. Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced his goal to end many restrictions and reopen the California economy on June 15, assuming a sufficient supply of COVID-19 vaccines and a stable, low number of hospitalizations.
Will all rides and attractions be open?
Many will be open, but several will be closed – some for pandemic safety reasons and others for maintenance and upgrading reasons.
At Disneyland, the Disneyland monorail, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and Sailing Ship Columbia are among those that will be closed. At Disney California Adventure, the Red Car Trolley and the Golden Zephyr will be closed. Here’s a full list: which attractions will be open on Disneyland’s opening day and which will still be closed?
Fireworks and parades, such as the Magic Happens parade at Disneyland, will also be temporarily canceled to avoid attracting crowds that violate physical distancing requirements.
At Universal Studios Hollywood, The Simpsons Ride, WaterWorld, DreamWorks Theater, and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem will be closed.
At Six Flags Magic Mountain, an indoor steampunk-themed acrobatic show and bumper car attraction are closed.
In all major parks, the opportunities to interact with costumed characters will be radically different. Characters will still be at Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, and Universal Studios Hollywood, but must stay at least six feet from visitors. It means no handshake or a hug with Mickey or Goofy.
Six Flags Magic Mountain has temporarily suspended having costumed characters in the park.
Will there be new or updated rides?
Will FastPass and MaxPass be available at Disneyland?
No, but one race – Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – will require a virtual queue system that uses the Disneyland app.
What kinds of health precautions will I see in parks?
Visitors to all theme parks will be required to wear a mask or other face mask at all times, except when eating and drinking. No meals are allowed in the queues. Capacity will be limited in indoor dining areas.
In some parks, such as Six Flags Magic Mountain, Universal Studios Hollywood and Disneyland, your temperature will be taken at your entrance.
All queues will be outside and state guidelines require members of different households to stand at least six feet from each other in queues and when they are sitting in rides, even if they are part of a group of several households who bought tickets together.
Transport operators will separate members of different households, leaving at least one seat or row empty in between. In addition, some rides will be interrupted occasionally to allow employees to wipe and disinfect the seats and abdominal bars.
If you lose your mask during a ride, park staff are required to replace you, in accordance with state protocols.
Pandemic protocols will be enforced by theme park workers, either by those who serve food, or by rides, or by specially trained workers who patrol the parks looking for violators.