Disney has announced the rides, shows, and entertainment that will return when Disneyland and California Adventure reopen, and what will return at a later date. In this post, we’ll run down what’ll be operational and closed, and the reasons for some of the more conspicuous closures.
First, a few added details as there’s been a barrage of news about Disneyland operations. It’s also worth noting that none of these attractions will offer FastPass or MaxPass, both of which are temporarily suspended. Ditto Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour, which will not be available upon the reopening of the hotels and parks. Instead, both parks will have a consistent 9 am until 7 pm schedule at first.
Additionally, all entertainment that draws large groups—such as parades and nighttime spectaculars—will return at a later date. Character meet & greets will also be temporarily unavailable, replaced with surprise greetings and other physically distanced offerings.
That’s the bad news–the good news is that most attractions will be available at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. For example, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will reopen at Disneyland, despite some question that its duration might be too long. (You might recall that the attraction was only open for a couple of months at Disneyland pre-closure, and required an infamously hard to score boarding passes.)
Here are the other Disneyland rides and shows that will be available upon the park’s reopening:
- Alice in Wonderland
- Astro Orbitor
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Casey Jr. Circus Train
- Disneyland Railroad
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Gadget’s Go Coaster
- Haunted Mansion
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- “it’s a small world”
- King Arthur Carrousel
- Mad Tea Party
- Main Street Vehicles
- Mark Twain Riverboat
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
- Snow White’s Enchanted Wish
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- Surprise Character Sightings
- Tarzan’s Treehouse
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
Over at Disney California Adventure, here are the rides and shows that will be available upon the park’s reopening:
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
- Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
- Jessie’s Critter Carousel
- Jumpin’ Jellyfish
- Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
- Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
- Pixar Pal-A-Round – Non-Swinging
- Pixar Pal-A-Round – Swinging
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Silly Symphony Swings
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Surprise Character Sightings
- The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
- Turtle Talk with Crush
Here are the attractions that are NOT opening at Disneyland:
- Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters
- Chip ’n’ Dale Treehouse
- Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
- Disneyland Monorail
- Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
- Goofy’s Playhouse
- Jungle Cruise
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Mickey and the Magical Map (permanently ended)
- Mickey’s House
- Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
- Sailing Ship Columbia
- Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-through
- Storybook Land Canal Boats
Here are the attractions that are NOT opening at Disney California Adventure:
- Animation Academy
- Disney Junior Dance Party
- Frozen – Live at the Hyperion (permanently ended)
- Golden Zephyr
- Grizzly River Run
- Red Car Trolley
- Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
- Turtle Talk with Crush
The rationale for many of these remaining closed is relatively straightforward: indoor attractions are limited to 15 minutes under California’s theme park reopening rules. That eliminates things longer shows like Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and is probably the basis for Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage not returning immediately. If not that, the total lack of ventilation would be another.
Then there are other attractions where physical distancing would be difficult, if not impossible. Pretty much any vehicular transportation falls into this category. Storybook Land Canal Boats is particularly noteworthy there, as it would likely end up being one party per boat. That would cause longer lines…and there’s already nowhere for that queue to go.
Then there are the more interesting ones, like Grizzly River Run, which is likely closed because there’s no way to adjust the soakage on that (no one wants a wet mask). Jungle Cruise is almost certainly due to the current reimagining of the attraction–it’s simply more convenient to do that all at once rather than making it a gradual, overnight process. Judging by recent aerial photos showing walls around it, Matterhorn is also down for unannounced refurbishment. Although it never opened previously, Avengers Campus and its Spider-Man ride are both completed–but won’t open until later in 2021 when more normalcy and higher capacity/attendance returns.
Finally, there are the ones that have, in my view, a bad or antiquated explanation for not reopening. Basically, anything that involves touching something–from Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters to all the play areas. Epidemiologists have been saying since spring of last year that touching things is not a significant source of spread. Now even the CDC is finally saying that the risk of infection via fomite transmission route is low, and generally less than 1 in 10,000. That should be the overdue all-clear to stop with so much of this hygiene theater.
All things considered–and how Disneyland also had to work within the parameters of California’s rules–it’s not too shabby of a list. Both parks have some high profile attractions missing, but nothing that will make or break the experience. (Certainly nothing like Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which is missing several shows that constitute several hours of the average guest’s visit.) The lack of atmospheric entertainment, parades, and nighttime spectaculars will be the bigger blows that negatively impact the guest experience. Hopefully some of those can start returning on or around June 15, 2021!
If you’re preparing for a Disneyland trip, check out our other planning posts, including how to save money on Disneyland tickets, our Disney packing tips, tips for booking a hotel (off-site or on-site), where to dine, and a number of other things, check out our comprehensive Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide!
What do you think about the reopening ride and show lineup at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure? Are you eager to get back in the parks no matter what’s available, or will you wait until more returns? Any thoughts on how they can compensate for the lack of parades, fireworks, nighttime spectaculars, meet & greets, and more? Will you be attempting to visit Disneyland Resort this summer or fall, or are you waiting until 2022 when things (presumably) are totally normal? Do you agree or disagree with our advice? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!