A viral video of massive, maskless crowds at Disneyland is scaring some fans from visiting, but the park is still mostly empty — with even shorter lines than before.
Things are slowly returning back to normal at the “Happiest Place on Earth,” as the park has eased a number of restrictions, including the removal of social distancing and face covering requirements. Out of state visitors are now welcome at the parks as well, but the floodgates haven’t completely opened, at least not yet anyway. Reservations are still required and capacity is limited (although it’s expected to be increased soon). The result? A park that remains mostly manageable with average crowds and wait times, according to the Disneyland Crowd Calendar.
Still, videos and images of the mostly maskless crowds lining up at Disneyland on June 15 went viral on social media, fueling concerns that the park is already being swarmed with people. This eyepopping video circulating on TikTok in particular has gotten a lot of people’s attention…
I saw this on @kellerzzzz stories this morning and HAD to share 🤯
With flashbacks of insanely long lines in their minds, some Disney fans are even cancelling their trips after seeing the viral posts.
After seeing so many videos of the lines at Disneyland I want to cancel my reservations. 😞 I don’t remember the lines to just get inside the park ever being that full. Someone tweeted about them making line since 3am 🤯 That’s just crazy.
— Annynnnn (@Annynnnn1) June 17, 2021
Can anyone assist me with canceling my tickets to #Disneyland. Not feeling the line of maskless persons. Especially bringing kids doesn’t seem logical.
— Justin (@FenjaminBanklin) June 16, 2021
While the images online look bonkers, the reality on the the ground tells a different story. Disneyland is still largely empty, and guests are enjoying short lines and light crowds during what normally is the busy summer season. In fact, the average wait time for attractions on June 15 was a modest 30 minutes, down from 34 minutes a week before, according to the Disneyland Crowd Tracker.
I love today pic.twitter.com/QakG55cac1
— Jenny Rae (@LilRaeCakes) June 16, 2021
So, what’s going on? Are people already really packed like sardines at Disneyland? Not really. For one, Disneyland is still requiring a reservation to visit the park, which has become difficult to obtain on short notice, as availability is known to fluctuate wildly throughout the week. Many of the people seen lining up outside Disneyland in the viral TikTok video were reportedly turned away upon learning that the reservation requirement was still in effect. It’s unclear how long Disney is planning on requiring reservations, but expect them to remain in place through at least the summer. Despite many theme parks back to full capacity, Disneyland is also still operating at just 35% capacity, and it feels even lower than that on some days. However, we do expect park capacity to be increased very soon (likely to 100%), and thus reservations to become more widely available.
The Lines Are… Shorter?
While the lines outside the parks can get long before opening, the lines inside are a completely different story right now. Wait times for rides and attractions are actually trending lower thanks to the removal of physical distancing protocols. With rides now operating at full capacity, parkgoers are spending less time waiting in line. At Universal Studios Hollywood, for example, this change has been very noticeable. With social distancing requirements in place, rides at Universal were pushing a staggering 3-4 hours long. When the restrictions were lifted, wait times dropped back down the earth (40-60 minutes).
Back at Disneyland, wait times haven’t fell as dramatically (they were never that long to be begin with since reopening), but have still declined or remained at manageable levels. The average wait time is less than 30 minutes right now, so guests lucky enough to score a reservation are savoring an off-season experience in the middle of the summer.
How Long Will It Last?
Don’t expect the short lines to last forever, though. It’s still the summer season after all, so crowds do tend to pick up before schools start to go back in session in August. With capacity expected to increase in the coming weeks, if not days, we recommend going sooner rather than later to take advantage of the lower attendance.
Even after all the restrictions are lifted, it’s still too early to tell exactly when things will be fully back to normal. Disneyland currently has no annual pass program, which was extremely popular with locals before its cancellation last year. Annual passholders had previously made up a significant portion of the park’s attendance, so the absence of the program is expected to have a big impact on crowds moving forward. Disney says a replacement membership offering will be available “soon,” but there’s still no word on what exactly that will look like. Until then, enjoy the light crowds and short lines while they last!
Are you planning on going to Disneyland soon? Have you already visiting since the reopening? What were the crowds like? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!