Thinking of visiting Disneyland? Be sure to use our reopening checklist to know what you can do and what to expect.
With rigid guidelines, the Disneyland Resort is slowly reopening.
The Mouseketeers are here to help you know what to expect and can/cannot do during your next visit.
Disneyland’s Downtown District reopened on July 9, 2020, and Buena Vista Street in Disneyland’s California Adventure will be reopening for dining and shopping beginning November 19, 2020.
Be sure to bookmark this post and check back often as we will provide updates as they are made.
What this article covers:
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COVID Safety Measures at the Disneyland Resort
- Before going through security, all guests must go through a temperature checkpoint. Your entire party must enter the checkpoint together. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or above will be redirected to another area for retesting. If anyone if your party has a temperature of 100.4 or above, they and the rest of your party will be denied entry. We recommend taking everyone’s temperature before leaving your home/hotel. As recommended by the CDC, do not plan a visit if you or anyone in your household is unwell.
- All guests ages 2 and up are required to wear a face mask. – Only two-layer cloth masks that tie behind the head or hang on ears are permitted. No gaiters, N95 masks, or any other type of face mask is allowed. Visit Disneyland’s official site if you are unsure if your face mask will be permitted.
- Physical Distancing: Signage and barriers have been placed throughout the resort to promote physical distancing between parties.
- Cashless transactions are encouraged.
- Virtual menus are available by scanning the QR code on the table at restaurants and mobile ordering is available for walk-up service within the parks.
- The Disneyland resort has amped up their cleaning procedures for high traffic areas and has placed extra hand washing and sanitizing stations throughout the Downtown District.
- July 9, 2020 – November 18, 2020: Guests can park for free in the Simba parking lot located next to the Paradise Pier Hotel off of Disneyland Drive.
- November 19, 2020 – TBD: Simba is the only lot still open and there is now a $10 parking fee.
The lot is shut down throughout the day without warning to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Dining reservations do not guarantee parking availability.
Disneyland Resort Dining
Most dining areas are outdoors. Disney has expanded outdoor eating areas to make it possible to seat guest tables six feet apart from each other. There are a few dining locations that offer a very limited amount of indoor tables. Reservations are highly recommended for those that offer them. Earl of Sandwich does not require reservations and we have yet to have an issue with purchasing our meal in a timely manner or finding a place to eat.
Earl of Sandwich is also the only one we have frequented that is offering their full menu. The rest of the Downtown District restaurants have a modified version of their regular menu. The Jazz Kitchen Express is NOT offering any of its normal foods, but is the place to go for warm beignets!
In addition to not having full menu items available, be prepared to spend more. Prices on the app do not reflect those on the menu on site. Simple ten or fifteen dollar meals are now twenty and twenty-five.
We recommend making a dining reservation if you are planning on visiting on weekends, weeknights, or holidays. Reservations do not guarantee entry, however, cast members have gone out of their way during our visits to get guests with dining reservations through the temperature and security checkpoints before their reservation time arrives. Also, note that a reservation does not guarantee parking in the Simba lot.
Where to Eat
- Q = Quick Service
- R = Reservations Recommended
Reservations can and should be made on the official Disneyland website or through their app prior to your visit.
- Asian Street Eats – Q
- Ballast Point Brewing Co. – R
- Black Tap Craft Burgers and Shakes – Q
- Crazy Shake Window – Q
- Earl of Sandwich – Q
- Jamba – Q
- La Brea Bakery Cafe – R
- Naples Ristorante e Bar – R
- Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express – Q
- Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen – R
- Salt and Straw – Q
- Sprinkles – Q
- Starbucks – Q
- Tortilla Joe’s – R
- Uva Bar and Cafe – R
- Wetzel’s Pretzels – Q
Disney’s California Adventure
Beginning November 19, 2020, the following will be open for outdoor dining. At the moment there are no options for viewing menus or making reservations. We will update as we learn more. Understand that to keep up with social distancing practices, virtual reservations to the area may need to be made upon entering Downtown Disney. Learn more about reservations to this area and shopping in the next section.
- Award Wieners – Q
- Carthay Circle Lounge – R
- Churro Carts – Q
- Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe – Q
- Popcorn Carts – Q
- Smoke Jumpers Grill – Q
To comply with social distancing guidelines, Disney has implemented a virtual queue when the stores are at capacity. Do not visit Downtown with the mindset that you will just pop into a store and leave. Depending on crowd levels, virtual wait times could be as short as 30 minutes or as long as 3 or 4 hours! Yes, you read that right.
On one of our weekend visits our wait times for three stores were between 3 and 4 hours EACH. Our visit began with an hour and a half wait in the parking lot under the scorching sun. We made it through the temperature and security checkpoints with just enough time to make virtual reservations at three stores, World of Disney, Marceline’s Confectionery, and Wonderground Gallery (Star Wars Trading Post) before our 1:00PM lunch reservation at the Uva Bar and Cafe. With nothing else to do after we ate, temperatures over 100 degrees, high humidity, and not enough shaded area for the number of people there, we ended up giving up and going home.
At that time I was fine with throwing in the towel because parking was free and we only had a 45-minute drive, but I wouldn’t have been so easy going had we paid for parking and had to drive farther. We received our notifications as we neared our home. This was before their system began notifying guests of the number of parties ahead of them. That info or really not wanting to leave without a specific item could have been enough to make us hang around longer.
When stores reach capacity a virtual queue is used for all Disney stores. This will include stores on Buena Vista Street when it reopens, and may even include Buena Vista Street itself depending on crowds.
- Visit each Disney store you wish to shop in upon arrival to obtain your place in the virtual queue from the Cast Member located outside the entrance.
- You will give the reservation Cast Member your phone number.
- Once a reservation is made you will receive a text notifying which store you are in a queue for and how many parties are ahead of you.
- You will receive a text letting you know when you can enter the physical queue. Yes, there is a physical queue after the virtual queue.
- There is no limit to how many shopping reservations.
New product launches have a different reservation system. These reservations are made before your arrival via the Disneyland website. Learn more about this system here.
(R = Reservation system used – all other stores have socially distanced outdoor queues)
- California Sole
- Curl Surf
- The Disney Dress Shop (R)
- Disney Home (R)
- Disneyland Resort Backlot Premiere Shop (R)
- Disney Pin Traders
- The Lego Store
- Marceline’s Confectionery (R)
- Pandora Jewelry
- Pressed Coin Machines
- Rinse Bath and Body Co
- Sugarboo & Co
- Sunglass Icon
- Wonderground Gallery (R) Currently home to the Star Wars Trading Post
- World of Disney (R)
Buena Vista Street
- Elias & Co (R)
- Julius Katz & Sons (R)
- Trolley Treats (R)
Whether these stores will require a reservation when the virtual queue is put into play to enter the area is unknown at this time. We will update this information as it is made available.
What to do When Not Eating or Shopping
To be honest, there is little to do outside of eating and shopping. With that said, it is great opportunity to get some exercise in by walking the length of the district while listening to the park music that plays throughout.
There is a mural that is great for photos on the corner of the former ESPN building on the west end. The first mural was for Disneyland’s 65th birthday and the current one is in memory of Chadwick Boseman who played Black Panther. As seen in the picture below, guests cannot get close to the Disneyland park gates for a picture of the floral Mickey and the Disneyland Main Street Train Station.
With the exception of The Lego Store and Sephora, most other non-Disney stores rarely have lines to shop.
You could spend a few minutes and dollars pressing pennies.
Once Buena Vista Street opens next week there will be a few more photo opportunities, but they won’t be available if the area is full and using the reservation system.
What to Bring
- A snug-fitting cloth face mask that hooks around ears or ties behind the head.
- Reusable straws – paper straws are the only type available throughout the resort.
- Phone charger
- Mobility aid – Wheelchairs, EVCs, and stroller rentals are not available at this time.
*** If you are traveling with your pet, note that the Disneyland kennel is not open at this time. Be sure to have alternate accommodations for your pet while you spend your day shopping and eating at Disneyland.