UPDATE (10/1/2021): It’s officially October and Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort is in full swing, but are the crowds back to normal?

It’s one of the questions we’ve been getting asked a lot, and for the most part, the answer is yes! Disneyland saw its typical drop in attendance following the summer season in September, as schools went back into session after Labor Day. Crowds remained strong on weekends though and picked up at the end of the month, as the discounted ticket offer for California residents expired on September 30.

We’re expecting the parks to see an uptick in attendance into October (especially on weekends) for Halloween Time before dropping again by November. It will be a short “off-season” though, as the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort (traditionally the busiest time of the year) kicks off on November 12. More updates to follow…

Update (7/6/2021): Disneyland appears to have substantially increased capacity starting on July 6, as more reservations are now available and the parks are way more crowded. Disney also announced discounted tickets for California residents through September 30. More updates to follow…

Here’s the latest Disneyland update posts:

Previous updates…

Update (6/22/2021): Many restrictions have been lifted at Disneyland, and it’s actually getting less crowded! Reservations are still required and park capacity remains limited (estimated at only ~50% most days).

Update (6/14/2021): Starting June 15, Disneyland is removing physical distancing requirements. Face coverings are also no longer required for fully vaccinated guests, and temperature checks will be discontinued. The parks will be allowed to open back up at full capacity as well beginning June 15, but Disney has yet to officially announce capacity changes. At the moment, Disneyland is operating at 35% capacity. Reservations are still required for all guests.

Update (5/26/2021): Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will welcome back all guests beginning on June 15. Until then, only California residents are allowed to visit. Park capacity is also expected to increase from 35%, possibly back to full capacity. Stay tuned for more updates!

Update (5/19/2021): Disneyland was been given the greenlight to increase capacity from 25% to 35%. Crowds are noticeably larger since this change, but still manageable.

Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are finally open again, and it’s been pretty empty. Wait times were some of the shortest we’ve seen in years, but crowds have been slowly starting to pick up again. It’s expected to get more crowded in the coming weeks as schools start to get out for the summer and more restrictions are lifted.

Update: Disneyland and Disney California Adventure officially reopen on April 30 at 25% capacity. Here’s how empty and short the lines will be!

Update (3/5/2021): Disneyland may finally be able to reopen as soon as April 1!

The state of California has released new guidance on when amusement parks can reopen. The updated guidelines take effect starting on April 1, 2021, which means that theme parks like Disneyland may be able to reopen as soon as next month. Orange County is still just barely in the strictest “purple” tier, but once the county enters the lower “red” tier (which could be as soon as next week), theme parks will be given the green light reopen at 15% capacity starting on April 1.

Here’s the state’s new guidelines:

Purple (widespread):

  • Closed

Red (substantial):

  • Can reopen at 15% capacity
  • Small Groups – Max 10 people or 3 household groups with no intergroup mixing
  • Indoor capacity max 15% with time restrictions
  • No indoor dining
  • Weekly worker testing program
  • In-state visitors only
  • Online ticket purchases only

Orange (moderate):

  • Max 25% capacity
  • Indoor capacity max 25% with time restrictions
  • Weekly worker testing program
  • In-state visitors only

Yellow (minimal) [DISNEYLAND’S CURRENT TIER]:

  • Max 35% capacity
  • Indoor capacity max 25% with time restrictions
  • Weekly worker testing program
  • In-state visitors only

Original post below…


Disney has delayed the proposed July 17 reopening of its Disneyland Resort theme parks and hotels. Downtown Disney reopened on July 9, with a dining expansion onto Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure opening on November 19.

Disney statement:

The State of California has now indicated that it will not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4. Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials. Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date.


Disney has announced the phased reopening plans for the Disneyland Resort — but the reopening of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure has been postponed. Here are the planned reopening dates:

  • July 9 — Downtown Disney
  • July 17 — Disneyland and Disney California Adventure
  • July 23 — Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel
  • November 19 — Downtown Disney expansion onto Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure

The theme park and hotel reopening dates are currently pending state and local government approvals. The Disneyland Hotel will reopen at a later date.

Reopening FAQs

Here’s what you should know before going to Disneyland:

  • Reservation required: All guests, including annual passholders, must obtain a reservation to enter parks
  • Face mask required: All guests and cast members must wear a face covering
  • Temperature checks: All guests must undergo temperature screenings prior to entering

Read on for more details on what to expect on your next visit to Disneyland. Click here for our analysis on the reopening’s crowds and lines.

Limited capacity, social distancing

As expected, Disneyland will look a lot different after the reopening. To promote physical distancing and comply with governmental requirements, park capacity will be significantly limited. Disney has yet to announce exactly how much it will limit park attendance, but we’re expecting that capacity will be limited to at least under 50 percent.

Social distancing guidelines also mean that attractions that draw large crowds—such as parades, shows, and nighttime spectaculars (Fantasmic!, World of Color, fireworks)—will not be coming back right away. According to Disney, these attractions “will return at a later date.” Character meet-and-greets will also be temporarily unavailable.

Disney aims to limit crowded scenes like this summer at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. NickMeteorain

Along with the capacity measures, Disney says that there will also be limitations on parking and possibly reduced operating hours. Face masks or coverings will be required for all guests and cast members. All guests will also undergo temperature screenings before entering any Disneyland Resort properties.

Reservations required

The biggest change to Disneyland following the reopening will be how park welcomes back guests. The Disneyland Resort will be launching a new park reservation system to manage attendance. All guests and annual passholders will be required to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance.

Exact details on how the reservation system works are scarce at the moment, but we expect that it will be similar to the reservation system currently in place for the Flex annual pass. Flex passholders simply book a reservation on the Disneyland website or app if they want to visit on certain dates.

No new ticket sales

Disneyland is also temporarily pausing new ticket sales, as well as annual pass sales and renewals. Disney says that more details on tickets and APs will be coming soon, so stay tuned.

Will it be crowded?

So what about the crowds? Will there still be long lines at Disneyland this summer? You can read our analysis of projected crowds here.

Expect lighter crowds at Disneyland this summer due to tight restrictions on park attendance. Ademir818

Right now, we don’t think Disneyland will be crowded following the reopening simply because of the new park reservation system. We already got a taste of how well Disneyland can limit attendance last summer — when the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge made the park virtually empty thanks to a reservation-only system for the new land and a surge of annual pass blockout dates. A park reservation requirement for all guests, on top of limited capacity and paused ticket sales, will almost certainly help keep crowds and lines to a minimum this summer.

More details on Disneyland’s phased reopening will be announced closer to July 17, so we’ll this page updated with the latest information.

What do you think of Disneyland’s reopening plans? Are you going to visit anytime soon? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

  1. I have a Signature Plus annual pass that I paid $1399.00 for. If/when Disneyland opens up, I will have the same “reservation required” status of the Disney Flex annual pass, which is $800 less. If Disney is going to limit the passes, they should also give a refund because of the pass type.

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