January 25, 2021
Disneyland, Disney World, Disneyland Paris to temporarily close amid coronavirus fears

Here’s when Disney is reopening its global theme parks following COVID-19 closures

Disneyland California

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, California, remains closed.

Corinne Reichert/CNET

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

With its theme parks closed indefinitely during the spread of COVID-19, many are wondering when Disneyland and Walt Disney World will reopen. The theme parks in Anaheim, California, and Orlando, Florida, have been closed since March 12 due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. Both Shanghai Disney and Hong Kong Disney closed in late January, followed by the Tokyo Disney Resort in late February. Disneyland Paris closed March 12.

Until they reopen, you can enjoy theme park content through the Disney Magic Moments website like virtual ride-throughs of attractions, Disney World’s Happily Ever After fireworks show, a viewing of Disneyland’s new Magic Happens parade and sing-alongs with the Dapper Dans from Main Street.

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Disneyland: Post-July 2020

Disneyland announced plans to reopen July 17, on the 65th anniversary of the resort. However, it was forced to backtrack in late June, due to California not planning to issue theme park guidance until at least July 4. With Newsom warning June 22 that the first coronavirus wave isn’t even finished yet, union leaders who represent Disneyland’s 17,000 employees were also pushing for the theme park to slow down its plans to reopen until it’s safer.

“We have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials,” Disney Parks tweeted. “Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date.”

Disney has yet to negotiate agreements with its union to have cast members return to work in the theme parks.

The Downtown Disney shopping and dining area is still planned to reopen on July 9 in line with California’s restaurant and retail opening guidelines. The reopening might be impacted by Gov. Newsom’s rules announced July 1, however, which involves closing down all bars as well as the indoor portions of restaurants.

Disney’s announcement to reopen came despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to reopen California saying the “highest risk” venues like concerts, convention centers and sports with live audiences shouldn’t reopen until “therapeutics have been developed.” A COVID-19 vaccine isn’t likely until 2021.

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Paradise Pier Hotel were also slated to open July 23.

Disney released its guidance on June 23 for reopening Downtown Disney. It will include operational hours of 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.; only the Simba parking lot will be open; guests with a temperature of 100.4 F or higher won’t be allowed in; hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations will be present throughout the area; all guests must bring and wear their own masks; and there will be ground markings for social distancing.

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Walt Disney World: July 11

Disney plans to reopen Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 11, followed by Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15. The Orlando parks will have social distancing and wellness measures, including temperature screenings, wearings masks, keeping guests six feet apart while lining up for attractions and a guest reservation system to limit capacity.

Fireworks, parades and character meet and greets have been suspended. Disney World also isn’t selling any new tickets for now — instead, it will focus on guests who have existing tickets and reservations, like those who made bookings prior to the pandemic and had to postpone, as well as annual passholders.

Disney World resorts and hotels will begin reopening next month, starting with Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground on June 22. 

Disney Springs shopping and dining area reopened May 20 with limited parking, fewer entrances, temperature screening before entry, masks required, physically distanced lines and barriers, reduced hours, no entertainment and more sanitization and disinfectant. Disney-owned stores and restaurants in Disney Springs began reopening May 27.

But with Florida on the fast track to possibly becoming the new epicenter of coronavirus infections in the US — there’s been a rise in hospitalizations as the state reopened — around 4,000 Disney World cast members have reportedly signed a petition to delay the reopening. Actors Equity, a union representing some of Disney World’s workers, is also speaking out about regular testing for its park employees. Dancers, singers and actors on stage in the theme parks cannot wear masks while doing their jobs, unlike other park employees, and yet they won’t be provided with regular coronavirus testing by Disney, according to Actors Equity.


Disney World’s fireworks show is on hold, though the Magic Kingdom has a planned reopening date of July 11


Disneyland Paris: July 15

Disneyland Paris has announced it’s reopening on July 15, starting with both Disneyland Paris parks, Disney’s Newport Bay Club hotel and the Disney Village shopping and dining area. Likewise, it will have limited attendance under a reservation system, physical distancing and more emphasis on cleaning.

Disney’s hotels will have “sneeze guards” installed, and only one family at a time may use the elevators. Character meet-and-greets are being replaced by “unexpected appearances to new Selfie Spots.” Parades and fireworks are cancelled, but the Lion King stage show will return some time during summer 2020.

The reopening of Disneyland Paris comes despite French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe saying in May that public events with more than 5,000 people would be against the law until September.

Tokyo Disney Resort: July 1

Disney Parks announced on June 23 that it will be opening Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea on July 1.

Japan began reopening in late May, with the Tokyo Disney Resort saying June 4 that the opening date for the Tokyo Disneyland major expansion area will be determined once the situation can be gauged after reopening both parks.” The extensive expansion — which includes a Beauty and the Beast-themed area and a Baymax ride — was originally slated to begin opening on April 15, 2020.

Disneyland Shanghai: May 11

Disney CEO Bob Iger announced May 5 that the Shanghai park would reopen Monday, May 11. It has limits on attendance, a reservation system to gain entry to the park, an entry control system, social distancing requirements, tape markings keeping guests distanced while in lines for rides, masks, temperature screenings, contact tracing and government-required health procedures.

Shanghai began opening restaurants and stores on March 9 in Disneytown, Wishing Star Park and at the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, requiring all guests to undergo temperature screening, present a green Shanghai QR health code at dining venues, constantly wear a mask and “maintain respectful social distances at all times.”

Hong Kong Disneyland: June 18

Hong Kong Disneyland announced June 15 that it would reopen on June 18 with reduced capacity, enhanced health measures and a new reservation system. 

An update posted on the website for Hong Kong Disneyland says all guests will undergo a temperature screening when entering the park and will be required to wear face masks. Social distancing measures will also be put in place in lines, restaurants, attraction vehicles and other areas throughout the park. Attractions that require close interaction, like character experiences, will be temporarily suspended. 

The resort will also gradually resume its hotel services.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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