Disneyland reopening with masks, reservations and more COVID protocols. What to expect after extended closure

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

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Disneyland opening highlights California’s COVID turnaround

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Four months ago, America’s most populous state was struggling to combat a surge in coronavirus hospitalizations that packed patients into outdoor tents and killed hundreds of people each day.

On Friday, Disneyland, California’s world-famous theme park, will reopen to visitors after an unprecedented 13-month closure in what tourism officials hope is a sign of the state’s rebound from the pandemic. For now, the park is allowing only in-state visitors and operating at limited capacity.

“It has such a symbolic nature to really quantifying that we’re finally rolling out of COVID,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of the state tourism agency Visit California.

The news comes as California boasts the country’s lowest rate of confirmed coronavirus infections and more than half of the population eligible for vaccination has received at least one dose of the shots. It’s a dramatic turnaround from December, when hospitals across the

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Watch the Magical Moment Disneyland Lights Up Sleeping Beauty Castle After a Year-Long Shutdown

Disneyland is gearing up for its grand reopening.

The California theme park lit up Sleeping Beauty Castle in the heart of Disneyland on Monday evening, as it prepares to welcome guests back to the resort on April 30.

After more than a year-long closure amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Disneyland Resort Ambassadors, Justin Rapp and Rafa Barron, took part in a livestream of the relighting.

“As cast members, we know the enormous effort it has taken to get back to this point and why returning to this happy place is so special for all of us,” Barron said, as Rapp called the feat “uplifting.”

“Tonight, taking in the majesty of Sleeping Beauty Castle, we recognize its significance of the symbols of the hopes and dreams of so many,” Rapp added.

RELATED: Disneyland Will Reopen on April 30 After Year-Long Shutdown — But Expect Big Changes

Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort

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Disney changed how it handles ‘Peter Pan.’ Will the Disneyland ride be next?

News broke this week that Disney Plus had changed the availability of “Peter Pan,” making it inaccessible on the profiles of children under seven years old. The actual change came months ago as part of a larger decision to keep movies that require a content warning off young children’s profiles, some who may not be able to read those warnings, or understand them without their parents’ help.

The movies, which also include “The Aristocats” and “Dumbo,” are still fully watchable on Disney Plus on adult profiles. They also feature messages from Disney as a preface, pointing out the “harmful impact” of those problematic depictions and encouraging viewers to “learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.” But the change, as these things tend to do in the era of internet outrage, has caused an uproar, with some calling it “censorship” or “cancel culture.”

Though this

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This is when Disneyland will likely reopen, according to Disney’s CEO

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park

Courtesy of Disneyland Resort

Since the announcement last week that California theme parks can reopen as early as April 1, speculation has been swirling about when Disneyland might reopen. On Tuesday, we got the closest answer we’ve heard so far: Disney CEO Bob Chapek said today in the Walt Disney Company annual shareholders meeting that the park is eyeing an opening of “late April.”

“We are encouraged that theme parks now have a path toward reopening this spring, getting thousands of people back to work and greatly helping neighboring businesses and our entire community,” Disneyland President Ken Potrock said March 5 when the guidance was announced by the state. “With responsible Disney safety protocols already implemented around the world, we can’t wait to welcome our guests back and look forward to sharing an opening date

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New California bill aims to accelerate reopening of Disneyland and other major theme parks

For nearly a year, Disneyland and California’s other large theme parks have mostly been quiet, shuttered to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Some, like Disneyland and Magic Mountain in Valencia, have seen a different kind of visitor in their new roles as mass vaccination sites. 
Now lawmakers in Southern California are proposing a bill that would speed up reopening, ahead of the state’s plans.

On Thursday, Assemblymembers Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton, and Suzette Martinez Valladares, R-Santa Clarita, introduced a bipartisan bill, AB420, that could potentially see large amusement parks reopen at the same time as medium-sized ones, in the orange tier. That tier indicates moderate spread of COVID-19, with daily cases ranging from 1 to 3.9 new daily cases per 100,000 people.

Both assemblymembers represent areas that have been impacted by theme park closures; Quirk-Silva’s district includes West Anaheim, where Disneyland is, as well as Buena Park, home to Knott’s

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