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Disneyland Tips……are you visiting in 2021 after Disneyland's Reopening? Here is everything you need to know!
We did it. Disneyland‘s reopening day was April 30th 2021, and after over 400 days of closure…….we were there when the gates opened. Our family is no stranger to Disneyland vacations, Disneyland outfits, or Disneyland days but this? Was a unique and all new type of Disneyland experience.
We had the BEST time, and I have to tell you…..the Magic is back and better than ever. We learned a ton of Disneyland tips after experiencing the new procedures, protocols, and seeing the new experiences the Disneyland teams have put into place.
So these? My biggest suggestions and Disneyland tips for visiting with kids after the reopening.
Disneyland Tips: Visiting After The Reopening
There are a ton of things to know about Disneyland right now…..including the hours. As of NOW, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are open from 9 am to 7 pm (so these are different hours than us West Coasters are used to). Word is that hours will be expanded soon, but that may fluctuate. Be sure to check the hours for your Disneyland day so that you can plan accordingly.
Arrival and Timing: We got a LOT of questions about when to arrive and how long it took us to get into the actual park. We arrived at the Harbor side entrance at about 7:35 and lined up to go through security. We were through security, and through the gates by 8:35. It was quick and easy and I was VERY impressed with the well oiled machine that was the entry process.
Mobile Ordering and Dining: As of now, there is not breakfast served inside the parks. As hours expand, this will most likely change….but for now? I'd suggest eating before you head to the Park. Remember, you can't eat in line and that includes the line to go though security and to enter the esplanade.
My biggest tip? MOBILE ORDERING is key! You can mobile order within the Disneyland app before you are even inside the park. We mobile ordered at 7 am and selected a time for our lunch (Plaza Inn's fried chicken) . You can do the same for snacks. A lot of the locations were mobile order only, and if you tried to order mid-day it was an hour or two until the next open window. Knowing that? I would set up snacks and meals in the morning for throughout the day. Especially with kids. There are also food carts, but less than I was accustomed to…..so plan for snacks in terms of your mobile orders. I promise it will help your day to run smoothly!
Rides To Prioritize: Now let's talk rides. When we visited, Disneyland was at 25% capacity and the wait times for rides were amazingly short. My suggestion? There are a few rides that are the most popular, if you'd like to ride those……make them your first priority in the morning. Anyone with a park hopper ticket who started in Disney California Adventure will be able to come over to Disneyland after 1 pm….so you'll want to do those rides FIRST. The rides with the longest wait? Snow White's Enchanted Wish (the refurbishment is AMAZING), Indiana Jones Adventure, and Rise of the Resistance in Galaxy's Edge (remember you'll need a boarding group for this one….as of now there are two times to grab a spot — 7 am and 12 pm….more info on that HERE).
Wait times for rides were low and they did utilize physical lines (they’re spaced out but moved quickly). Warning, the lines LOOK long because of social distancing but move quickly.
New Character Locations: Characters characters characters! In my opinion….this is where Disneyland shined the most with this reopening and my biggest of the Disneyland tips? Visit each of these locations. Yes, the character greetings are socially distanced but….they're highly interactive and a TON of fun.
We share characters at the following locations:
Royal Theatre: the space to see princesses. They rotated regularly and we saw Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Elena, Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder (visited twice). I also heard Elsa and Anna make appearances at this location! Towards the end of the day, we also spotted Mulan near the theatre. So be sure to check back more than once!
Near It's a Small World: on the raised area near It's a Small World we saw a TON of characters! We spotted: Pooh, Eeyore and Tigger, Alice in Wonderland, and Mary Poppins and Burt.
Toontown: looking for Mickey? He walked out of his house in Toontown at around 9:15 the day we were there. I'm GUESSING that Minnie will do the same!
Train Station on Main Street: Looking for the Fab 5? If you want to see Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck and Pluto (and potentially Chip and Dale) they made appearances throughout the day at the Main Street train station.
What to Bring:
Bring comfy masks, and an extra or two (we used THESE and they were GREAT) . Remember, you can remove masks while eating or drinking (which must be done while sitting). ?
Hand Sanitizer: there is plenty available, but I liked having my own for easy access
Water Bottle: there are refill stations throughout the park, so bring an empty water bottle for use throughout the day
Where to Stay: If you are planning to stay at a hotel close to Disneyland, there are some great options within walking distance. We have a complete guide to our favorite hotels (and even some discount codes). Click HERE for those!
I hope that these Disneyland tips will help you to navigate Disneyland in 2021, and that you love coming back to the magic!