Home » Will Disneyland Open at all in 2020? There Still May be a Chance

Will Disneyland Open at all in 2020? There Still May be a Chance

Though Walt Disney World theme parks have been open for over a month now, Disneyland Resort’s theme parks, despite announcing a reopening plan earlier this summer, have unfortunately had to remain shuttered due to local restrictions, with only Downtown Disney able to operate currently. However, all hope may not be lost, as there have been some positive signs in recent weeks that could indicate that Disneyland could potentially reopen sometime in 2020.  

A new reservation system is being developed

Though no concrete opening plans have been announced yet, it looks like Disneyland is working on creating its own reservation system similar to the Disney Parks Pass system at Walt Disney World, according to the OC Register. This new system will manage attendance caps between regular theme park guests with tickets, theme park guests with hotel reservations and those with annual passes, almost exactly like Walt Disney World’s system. 

However, there is some concern that, again, similarly to the system in place in Florida, annual passholders could find themselves unable to visit the theme parks for weeks or months on end. And though this is a big problem at Walt Disney World, it is an even bigger issue for Disneyland, as they have a much higher percentage of annual passholders visiting their parks on a regular basis. And with the California resort reportedly having nearly a million annual passholders (way more than Walt Disney World), managing how reservations are handed out (and who gets to make them first) will be a task that should be handled delicately. 

In a statement Disneyland officials said “Our Annual Passholders are some of our most loyal and valued guests, and as we navigate this unprecedented time together, our goal is to provide them with choices and flexibility.” Unfortunately, no specifics about how this reservation system would roll out have been announced, but it looks like Disney is preparing to get things ready to go as quickly as possible so that they can get guests back in the theme parks as soon as they get the green light from local officials. 

COVID-19 testing for Cast Members is being discussed as part of a theme park reopening plan

Last week, Walt Disney World began offering free COVID-19 testing for Cast Members as part of a union agreement, and in a statement Disneyland confirmed that they too are looking at COVID-19 testing options for its 31,000 Cast Members as part of a new reopening plan. Though Disneyland actors are not a part of the same union as those who represent actors in Florida (Disneyland stage performers are represented by the American Guild of Variety Artists) Disneyland could avoid issues with other unions by providing the space for free testing when and if a reopening date is announced. 

Neighbor Knott’s Berry Farm has provided a template for a very limited reopening

Just a few miles away from Disneyland Resort is Knott’s Berry Farm, which has found an interesting way to continue operating even though theme parks are currently not able to operate. Instead of running rides and shows, this park has turned itself into a food festival: the Taste of Knott’s. This limited time event will celebrate classic flavors from around the park including new and one-of-a-kind food, drink and merchandise offerings throughout the Ghost Town, Fiesta Village and Boardwalk areas of the park. 

Of course, admission is very limited for this event, and the only way to experience it is to purchase tasting cards for $30 (which include 5 tastings) and are required for event entry and can sell out. 

This new event could provide a template for Disneyland Resort to reopen under limited conditions, especially since Disney California Adventure normally hosts an annual Food and Wine festival, which could be easily modified to run while attractions and shows are closed, similar to the way the Knott’s Berry Farm is modifying its food festival to keep its theme park gates open if plans to open the theme parks continue to face challenges from the local government. 

Unfortunately, even though Disneyland’s Downtown Disney has been able to operate for some time, it looks like the theme parks are closed for the foreseeable future. However, it is encouraging to see plans being put together still in anticipation for a reopening at some point, and even if talks with the local government do not produce a full reopening for the theme parks, Disneyland could always take a page from their neighbor and open their theme park gates in a very limited way for a food festival or other permitted activity. 

As always, while this situation is evolving, all travelers should check out the CDC’s official site here, which has information on the virus and how to prevent its spread. 

Theme Park Tourist COVID-19 Complete Coverage: 2 Universal Hotels Closing Indefinitely Starting Next Week I Walt Disney World Adds On-Site COVID Testing, Live Shows to Return Soon I The 23 Major Theme Park Projects Now Officially Cancelled, Delayed or Slimmed Down (August 12, 2020) I Walt Disney World Annual Passholders Face Low Availability as Parks Remain Empty I SeaWorld San Antonio and Aquatica Park are Extending Days Due To Demand I Survey Reveals Guests Don’t Really Want to Go to Theme Parks in 2020, Masks Continue to Be Divisive I Disney Slashes Park Hours for Fall