After over a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, life is starting to go back to normal. While restaurants have been opening and closing throughout the year, certain industries are starting to reopen long-term, like schools, offices, stores, and more. Some of the things that are coming back in Southern California are theme parks, like Disneyland, Legoland, Six Flags’ Magic Mountain, and Knott’s Berry Farm.
Disneyland, Anaheim, CA
Disneyland is perhaps the most visited and the most popular theme park in California, and its reopening has been longed for by millions of people. On April 30, both of the California parks, the Disneyland Park and the Disney California Adventure Park, will open to the public and the year-long wait will be over. The Grand Californian Hotel and Spa plans to reopen on April 29 with limited capacity, Disney Vacation Clubs Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa plan to open on May 2, and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel will reopen at a later date that is not yet determined.
At first, the parks are set to run at 15% capacity with safety measures like masks. As they expand capacity, these distancing guidelines and mask-wearing will likely stay. Interestingly, as a part of these guidelines, screaming on rides is discouraged, as well as singing. On top of these measures, reservations will be required (as will the rest of the theme parks due to the California guidelines)–which will make getting into the park at first hard, as many people will be vying for limited spots–, there will be no Fastpass or MaxPass, Magic Mornings will be gone, and there will be no parades or night-time “spectaculars.
On the bright side, the reopening is set to bring back about 10,000 jobs.
Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park, CA
Known for its rides and Wild West themes (as well as its Peanuts themes) Knott’s Berry Farm is a very popular theme park in Southern California. While there is no official date to reopen yet, the park has announced it will open in May. Even though the park has been closed for the most part since March 14, 2020, it has been partially open for seasonal events for food and retail. The Taste of Boysenberry Festival is being held on select dates and will be open through May 2. The park has said that season passes purchased for this year will be valid for the rest of the year and next year will be valid for the amount of days the park has been closed this year.
As of yet, Knott’s Berry Farm will likely open at 15% capacity and have COVID safety measures like masks. The reopening will also bring new jobs to 1,700 people.
Legoland, Carlsbad, CA
The place for all things LEGO®, Legoland, is a dream come true for many kids. After a year-long closure, the park is set to reopen on April 1 (the first day theme parks are allowed to reopen). However, the reopening will be staggered, with the first days being only for “Park Preview Days,” which will only allow access to certain rides but will allow park guests to meet characters and watch live entertainment like shows. Starting on April 15, the park will fully and officially reopen, and visitors will be able to go to the Sea Life aquarium and the Lego Chima Water Park. Due to the guidelines, reservations will be required and according to the park hotel guests, pass holders, and ticket holders that were affected by the closure will be the first priority. If you do not fall into these categories, getting in at first will probably be a challenge.
As of yet, guests over the age of 2 will be required to wear masks and get their temperatures checked. The park will also most likely open at 15% capacity.
Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, CA
Arguably the park with the scariest rides in Southern California, Six Flags Magic Mountain is a park many older kids and adults may enjoy more than places like Disneyland and Legoland. For those who missed it, you are in luck! The park announced it’s reopening on April 1. The first two days, April 1 and April 2, are only going to be open for members and passholders. Starting on April 3, the park will open to the general public but will still require reservations. The park will also have limited capacity, most likely 15%.
The safety precautions the park has said it will take are health screenings, strictly enforced social distancing, extensive sanitization and disinfection protocols, sanitized food preparation and service, commercial-grade cleaning equipment and supplies, and protocols for the safe operation of rides.
As society slowly head backs to normal, places like theme parks will reopen and visitors can start planning their visits. Though it will be different, it will be better for many people than staying at home. Looking ahead, everyone is hoping that these reopenings keep moving in this direction.