Theme Park of the Day: Legoland California

Disneyland On Track to Open at 25% Capacity

March 23, 2021, 4:49 PM · Disneyland and other theme parks in California's Orange and Los Angeles counties remain on track to be eligible to operate at up to 25 percent capacity, starting in two weeks.

The Disneyland Resort has announced that it will reopen Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on April 30, while Knott's Berry Farm has announced a May return. Both those parks should be able to open at the 25 percent capacity level, assuming no significant increase in daily case rates in their home Orange County that would prevent it from moving into the Orange Tier 3 under the state's Covid rules.

Six Flags Magic Mountain, in Los Angeles County, will begin its reopening on April 1, when the county will still be in the Red Tier 2 - mandating no more than 15 percent capacity. However, it could jump up to 25 percent capacity as soon as Los Angeles County enters the Orange tier, which is expected two weeks from today, on April 6.

LA's Universal Studios Hollywood has not yet announced its reopening date. That park's Taste of Universal special event runs through Thursdays to Mondays through April 11, by which time LA should be in that Orange tier, allowing the park to reopen at 25 percent.

The situation is not quite so optimistic in San Diego County, which is home to SeaWorld San Diego and Legoland California. San Diego County's daily case rate has not dropped low enough to qualify it to move to the Orange tier. Legoland also has announced an April 15 reopening with previews starting April 1, while SeaWorld is operating now as a zoo, with no date yet announced for the return of its rides.

If San Diego County's case rate can drop enough by next Monday, it might also be able to move to the Orange tier by April 6. A county must spend three weeks in its current tier before it can move to a less restrictive one. And it must meet the less restrictive tier's average daily case rate threshold for two consecutive weeks to move.

LA and Orange counties met that threshold this week - their first in the Red tier, where theme parks may operate at 15 percent capacity starting April 1. Regardless of their county's tier status, admission to California theme parks will be restricted to California residents until further notice from the state.

You can check California counties' Covid tier status on the state's website.

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Replies (5)

March 23, 2021 at 10:18 PM

This is such great news about Disneyland. What I'm interested to see next is how the reservation system will work. I'd love to be planning a four night trip to Disneyland for the fall, but only if I can be assured that if I book a Disney hotel room I can get into the park each day I'm there.

Assuming they're parceling it out, I can see them limiting the number of consecutive days people are allowed in the parks.

March 24, 2021 at 9:06 AM

@thecolonel - It sounds like Disneyland's "reservation" system will be through ticketing. In other words, you will purchase a date-specific ticket, which will be limited for each day and once they're sold out, that's it (like a concert or sporting event). With no APs to worry about, Disney can manage capacity by simply selling a specific number of tickets for each day (and perhaps like WDW they will prohibit park hopping as well to manage crowds between DL and DCA). I would guess that Disney will hold back a specific number of tickets for resort guests, but I don't think guests will automatically be able to buy tickets a week or less in advance for any sold out day just because they have a resort reservation.

March 24, 2021 at 11:11 AM

Whenever I hear talk on reservations, etc, I just feel older clearly remembering the "just show up when you want" days.

March 24, 2021 at 11:32 AM

While on the topic of missing the good ole days, I miss the days before "queue management" and upsell line skip passes existed in the industry. Those were the days! Like anything else it starts out innocent enough, when it first started at SFGAm (my home park at the time) it was $5 for a punch card for 4 rides and they were very careful to only sell a limited amount to not ruin the experience for everyone else. Now its super complicated with several tiers and prices starting going over $100 and of course they sell as many of them as they can.

WDW is so much more enjoyable now without Fastpass. Getting rid of it honestly is my favorite thing WDW has done in the past 20 years!

March 25, 2021 at 3:42 PM

Thanks @russell_meyer everything you say makes good sense, and will work for us, because we have to book things a ways out in any event.

No park hopping--that would probably be a deal killer for me. We stay at the Grand California because we love to come and go to the parks, lunch at the pool; etc. California Adventure isn't a full day park, but it has some great rides we love to hit every day.

I guess the best news is that this is only temporary. As long as things keep getting better, the parks will be pushing back toward normal.

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