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Disneyland Reopening Leads 2021 Year in Review

December 31, 2021, 12:00 PM · The reopening of Disneyland and California's theme parks led Theme Park Insider's coverage of the industry in 2021.

The year began with great hope for an improvement over 2020, but theme parks remained closed in California with uncertain returns for seasonal parks elsewhere, as the pandemic continued into the new year.

With theme parks looking at state-mandated capacity restrictions to return, many fans wondered how Disneyland would accommodate its hundreds of thousands of annual passholders. In January, we got the answer with Disneyland Cancels Its Annual Pass Program.

Eventually, Disneyland brought back annual passes with its new Magic Key program: Here's the Scoop on Disneyland's New Annual Pass Program

As Disneyland prepared for its theme parks' return, it began planning for their long-term future by announcing that it would ask the City of Anaheim to change its Anaheim Resort agreements to allow Disney to expand its theme parks and retail into Disney-owned spaces previously reserved for parking. The plan is called DisneylandForward and the process to approve will take at least a couple of years: Disneyland Announces Plans for Major Expansion

The next month, in April, Disneyland Tickets Went on Sale and Disneyland Reopened to the Public After 13 Months.

Disneyland President Ken Potrock talked with us that day about the process of reopening Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, as well as the resort's plans for expansion: Disneyland's President Previews Changes as Parks Return

Before the parks reopened, Walt Disney Imagineering announced plans to write out racist stereotypes from its Jungle Cruise rides in the United States: Disney's Jungle Cruise Ride to Get a Rewrite. The new version debuted in July at Disneyland. Ride Review: Disneyland's 'New,' Cringe-Free Jungle Cruise

Elsewhere, Six Flags kept us busy by providing more details for its audacious plans to build roller coaster to break all the records: Specs Revealed for World's Tallest, Fastest, Longest Coaster

Eventually, parks around the country reopened for the season, led by a postponed 150th anniversary on America's Roller Coast: Cedar Point Celebrates Its Anniversary With the Unexpected.

And dozens of other new attractions welcomed fans across the world this year. Here are some of our reviews:

Summer brought another big change at the Disney theme parks, this time off stage: Disney Moving Theme Park Division HQ to Florida.

We started our year in review round-up with Disney in California, and we shall end it with Disney in Florida, where the Walt Disney World Resort kicked off its 50th anniversary celebration in October: How October 1 Will Change Walt Disney World Visits Forever

Among the changes at Disney's theme parks by year's end were the debut of a new line-skipping program: Disney Replaces Fastpass with Paid 'Lightning Lane', which led us to provide a popular "how-to" guide, How to Use Disney Genie Plus.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through 2021. Please stick with us by subscribing to our free email newsletter as we continue to bring you news, analysis, ticket deals, and more from the world of theme parks in 2022.

Happy new year, everyone.

Replies (3)

December 31, 2021 at 3:00 PM

The top theme park story in 2021: The best theme park site on the Internet (Theme Park Insider) shut down its Discussion page.

January 1, 2022 at 9:09 AM

I'm with ya on this issue, TH. We need the Discussion Board back, and hopefully without too many restrictions that might damper a good debate. (not insultfest, but thoughtful disagreement)

January 2, 2022 at 7:26 PM

Great work all year, thank you Robert.

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