Now that California has "reopened," what is changing at the state's top theme parks?
The biggest change is that out-of-state visitors are now welcome to visit all California theme parks, including Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. In addition, California has done away with its tier system for counties and the capacity restrictions that went along with it. That means that the state's theme parks are now allowed to operate rides at full capacity and to admit as many guests through the front gates as the fire marshal and park staffing permit.
But not every park is stepping on the gas and accelerating to 100% operation. Parks might lack enough employees to run every attraction and restaurant at full capacity right away. Parks are also going slow in bringing back parades, nighttime spectaculars, and other labor-intensive productions, so do not expect the full line-up of everything that was available before the pandemic.
As for masks, the new California rules allow fully vaccinated persons to go without masks both outdoors and indoors, though they must wear masks while on public transit, in schools and health care settings, as well as inside any business that continues to require masks. Non-vaccinated people - including children between the ages of three and 11 - should continue to wear masks in indoor public settings and businesses. Businesses have the right implement vaccine verification if they choose for non-masked visitors, but no business may prevent anyone from wearing a mask.
Businesses may choose to allow people to self-attest that they are in compliance with the state's new mask rules, which all of the local parks are doing, so you will not need to bring proof of vaccination with you to the parks. (I am curious to see if any parks will force parents who claim that their maskless kids are vaccinated to buy them adult tickets instead of letting them in on children's ones.)
Visitors will continue to need to make an advance reservation to visit most parks. Universal Studios Hollywood sells date-specific tickets, but does not require its annual passholders to make a reservation to visit. Six Flags Magic Mountain is no longer requiring reservations, either. Other parks, including Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, SeaWorld San Diego, and Legoland California, are continuing to require advance reservations, at least for the time being as they ramp up their operations.
If you need tickets to any of the state's theme parks, our travel partner is offering discounts to the following parks:
And here are some of the new attractions awaiting visitors to California's theme parks this summer:
The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash at Universal Studios Hollywood
Snow White's Enchanted Wish at Disneyland
Knott's Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair at Knott's Berry Farm
The Lego Movie World at Legoland California
Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure on Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure
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