Disneyland reopens after COVID-19 forced year-long closure

ANAHEIM, Calif. — When Walt Disney opened the gates to Disneyland on July 17, 1955, he said to the throngs of people who wanted to see the park in person “To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Disneyland is your land.”

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The park has reopened its gates, for some feeling like the first time in forever, and is welcoming crowds after the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

Rides have sat unmoving and empty for 412 days, KABC reported. The Downtown Disney shopping and entertainment area opened a few months ago, as did Disney’s California Adventure for the special event “A Touch of Disney” which included food and some shopping but no rides, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Like Walt Disney World’s opening last year, there will be no fireworks shows and the normal parades have been canceled. Mickey and Minnie and the rest of the gang of popular characters will be taking photos from a distance, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Parkgoers also must have a reservation to visit. A ticket alone is not enough. They also must be a resident of California, despite the state originally issuing that rule, and then later lifting it, according to the newspaper.

Capacity is capped at 25% for Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, KABC reported.

A majority of the rides will be open, but fan favorites like the Jungle Cruise and the Matterhorn Bobsleds will remain closed for repairs and upgrades. Others will be closed for safety during the pandemic, the Times reported.

A virtual queue will be used on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and mobile ordering will be in place for food purchases.

Fans will also get their first full look at the new Avengers Campus that had been set to be opened last July, CNBC reported.