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Disney California parks reopen amid COVID

The wait is almost over for Disneyland fans.

The gates to the “Happiest Place on Earth” and California Adventure will open again on Friday morning for the first time in 412 days – the longest closure for Disneyland in its 65-year history. 

But things won’t be quite as they were pre-pandemic, as safety measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus will be in place, including face mask requirements, temperature checks and distancing – and no character hugs.

Thousands of fans tuned in on Monday night when the relighting of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle was broadcast live on Facebook as part of a soft reopening event for cast members and crew.

As castle lights came on for the first time in more than a year, “When You Wish Upon a Star” and the sound of Walt Disney welcoming all “to this happy place” on opening day, July 17, 1955, were heard in the background.

Many who were watching commented.

“That just sent chills – funny how something so simple can be so significant,” wrote Suzy Gerry.

Disneyland rides await

Most of the popular rides and attractions are expected to be open when guests return, including Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Disneyland.

In Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, reservations will be needed to board the popular Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and can be made through the attraction’s virtual queue on the Disneyland app.

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