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Disneyland is open: How to get tickets, and when annual passes could return

The new Avengers Campus will open next month featuring a Spider-Man ride.

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Disneyland California

Disneyland in California was closed from March 12, 2020, until April 30, 2021.

Corinne Reichert/CNET
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Disneyland reopened last week, more than a year after closing its gates due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the United States. For the first time in its 65-year history, the iconic California theme park initially shut down for a month on March 12, 2020 -- and remained closed until April 30, 2021.

Here's everything you need to know about the reopening of California Adventure and Disneyland, how to get a theme park reservation and ticket -- and when annual passes might be making a comeback.

Disneyland and California Adventure are open: What you need to know

Disney's two California theme parks reopened April 30, following the soft opening of the parks taking from Tuesday, April 27 for cast members and their guests.

What to know now:

Read more: Disneyland expansion plans unveiled for the future

How to get a Disneyland ticket, and how much they cost

Sales resumed on Thursday, April 15 for Disneyland tickets in May and June. Despite an hours-long virtual waiting room on launch day, tickets are still available now for most days in May and June, with the first week of July now on sale too.

As for pricing, Disneyland now has a tiered ticketing system for all one-day tickets: 

  • Tier 1, one park/park hopper: $104/$159
    Dates: None
  • Tier 2, one park/park hopper: $114/$169
    Dates: May 18, 19, 25 and 26; June 1 and 2
  • Tier 3, one park/park hopper: $124/$179
    Dates: Mondays through Thursdays in the last two weeks of May; Tuesdays and Wednesdays in June
  • Tier 4, one park/park hopper: $139/$194
    Dates: All weekdays in the last two weeks of May; Mondays through Thursdays in June
  • Tier 5, one park/park hopper: $154/$209
    Dates: All weekdays and weekends

There's no tiered system for multi-day tickets. Disneyland has yet to release tickets for any dates past June 30.

The return of Disneyland annual passes

Ken Potrock, Disneyland president, recently said on the D23 podcast that annual passes would be returning by the end of 2021.

Potrock said Disneyland sunsetted annual passes due to capacity constraints and to "reimagine an annual pass program that wasn't just built on the last couple of decades, but was built on how our guests and our fans wanted to use the parks going forward."

"We're working on that right now and we'll clearly be launching something before the end of the year," Potrock said. "It's going to be an exciting new program that I think people and our biggest fans -- and quite honestly our most loyal fans -- I think are going to be very responsive to."

Disneyland cancelled the passholder program on Jan. 14, at the time saying it was "developing new membership offerings" for when it reopened. Those who held an annual pass as of March 14, 2020, are now called "Legacy Passholders" and will continue getting discounts for now when shopping or dining at Downtown Disney.

How to get a Disneyland reservation

Once you've secured a ticket, you'll need a reservation for the days you plan to go. The online reservation system launched April 12 and is now live to everyone who holds a ticket.

How to get a theme park reservation:

  1. Log into your Disney Parks app to link up tickets from your family or friends so you're all in one group.
  2. Access the reservation system online -- but only once you have a valid ticket.
  3. Select the day and theme park you want to visit.
  4. If you intend to hop between both parks, you can choose which park to start your day at -- you'll then be able to visit the other park starting at 1 p.m. that day.
  5. Review and confirm.

Avengers Campus opening June 4

Avengers Campus

California Adventure's latest area Avengers Campus opens in June.

Disney

Disneyland's new Marvel-themed area will finally open to the public on Friday, June 4Avengers Campus, located in California Adventure, will include the Guardians of the Galaxy ride opened in 2017, as well as the new ride called WEB slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure.

For food, the Pym Test Kitchen will serve up sandwiches and pasta, the Pym Tasting Lab will offer craft beers and experimental cocktails, and there's also two new food carts: Shawarma Palace and Terran Treats.

Meet and greets with Marvel superheroes will take place throughout Avengers Campus, including a decked-out Dr Strange getting area. For merch, the WEB Suppliers store will sell customizable Spider-Bots, Funko Pops, Spider-Man light goggles, backpacks and more.

Downtown Disney is open

The Downtown Disney shopping and dining area reopened almost 10 months ago on July 9, in line with California's restaurant and retail guidelines. (Between December 2020 and January 2021, Orange County was subject to strict stay-at-home orders due to ICU capacity falling below 15%. Restaurants were forced to close in Downtown Disney and California Adventure, but Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted the lockdown orders Jan. 25.)

Currently, all dining and shopping locations in Downtown Disney are open, apart from locations in the Disneyland HotelDisney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa and Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel. The Grand Californian reopened April 29 and Paradise Pier will open on June 15, but the Disneyland Hotel remain closed for now.

Disneyland Resort also became a coronavirus vaccine site in early 2021 as the Toy Story parking lot began serving as Orange County's first vaccine super site on Jan. 14. 

Why was Disney World allowed to reopen in 2020?

Disneyland had initially announced an optimistic reopening date of July 17, 2020, its 65th anniversary. It was forced to backtrack on those plans when California declined to issue theme park guidance. The state revealed its initial theme park reopening guidelines on Oct. 20, which wouldn't have allowed the park to open until it was in the yellow tier, with fewer than 1 daily case per 100,000 people and a 2% positive test rate.

On the other side of the country, however, Disney was permitted to reopen the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios in July last year due to Florida's less-strict state and local guidelines.

The Orlando Disney parks have social distancing and wellness measures, including temperature screenings, wearing masks, keeping guests six feet apart while lining up for attractions and a guest reservation system to limit capacity. Fireworks have also been suspended.

Disney Springs shopping and dining area reopened on 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.

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