Known as the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland is now officially reopened, having been closed down since March of last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The amusement park have only been closed down twice before the pandemic, one during the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and the other being the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Located in Anaheim California, the official reopening of Disneyland took place on April 30th, 2021. According to USA Today, the Disneyland color guard raised the American and California flags at 6:50 a.m. on Main street by the Town Square. After the small ceremony, the staff began the process of letting visitors into the theme park. Despite the fact that the reopening of Disneyland is taking place at 9 a.m., guests and visitors have been lining up since early hours of the morning, People.com observed.
Upon entering the gates, visitors noticed new changes in the theme park: in some ways or another, Disneyland looked a bit different. State guidelines require guests to make reservations for park entries before their visit, along with a limit to California residents only and groups no larger than three households. With mask and social distancing requirements put in place, some of the Disney characters will still be out surprising guests, but unfortunately the parades and “nighttime spectaculars” have to be canceled for the time being in order to ensure social distancing, The New York Times stated.
There were tears of joy and happiness among the staff and visitors upon their entrance, with the first guests cheering, clapping, and waving as they came through the gates. As claimed by USA Today, “Kate Fail of Los Angeles couldn’t hold back the tears, she was so happy to be back in Disneyland. Spending time with friends and just riding rides again is what she was looking forward to most as she entered the park.”
As specified in The New York Times, tickets for certain days, Saturdays in particular, quickly ran out. While the Disneyland tickets have not been discounted ($114 to $154 for adults, depending on the day of the week), many signature offerings have been removed in the name of coronavirus safety — no parades, fireworks, or hugs with walkaround characters.
Despite this, the staff and visitors are happy and excited overall. “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,” Disneyland Resort ambassador Rafa Barron commented on the magical moment in USA Today.
In honor of the special reopening of Disneyland, ambassador Justin Rapp concluded, “Tonight, taking in the majesty of Sleeping Beauty Castle, we recognize its significance of the symbols of the hopes and dreams of so many.”