Reopening Disneyland after a year+ of closure, thousands of layoffs, and a myriad of new safety policies that would have to be enforced the park we all know and love will likely be a very different experience for the foreseeable future. There's the obvious major changes- the mask requirements, but I suspect there to be more subtle operational and strategy changes over the next decade as newcomers enter the park's workforce and don't have the benefit of decades of generational knowledge that the park was benefiting from until March 2020. Here are some guesses/speculation on what might be coming when the park initially reopens and beyond. I might add/change stuff as we learn more about what to actually expect, since I think tracking Disneyland's return will be incredibly fascinating and well worth the time.
- Reduced park capacity and operating hours- with reservations required to attend. This would significantly alter the operating schedule for everything in the park, especially without the influx of pass holders the park would get in the late afternoon.
- Distanced queues and reduced vehicle capacity.
- Masks required, hand sanitizing stations everywhere.
- A much leaner workforce both onstage and backstage. The park has experimented with staff/management reductions often over the last few decades, and in the last few years had been shifting once again.
- Disneyland had a lot of procedures/elements that would never be allowed now, but were grandfathered in. I wouldn't be surprised if some of these are forced to change due to the extended closures.
- Frozen Live at the Hyperion is gone for good. The space is expected to sit empty for the foreseeable future.
- Meet and Greets will be present, but socially distanced. With the character standing on a pedestal, and guests able to take a selfie with the character but no physical contact. I expect Avengers Campus and Fantasy Faire to rely on this.
- All of entertainment has benefited from people who've worked there for decades. Restarting a show like Fantasmic! will be a monumental task if a significant portion of the crew chooses not to return. I expect subtle changes in each major show that comes back because of this.
- Props/stage equipment often require preventative maintenance and periodic use to prevent damage. But if there's no one around to actually do this, many show elements might just break or not work properly, especially for Fantasmic! which has to deal with water.
- I anticipate area entertainment to be non existent, and will likely never return in the same way.
- I fully expect Tiki Room, Splash Mountain, Jungle Cruise, Lincoln, and Peter Pan to all have undergone significant changes or outright removal in the next 3 to 5 years.
- Haunted Mansion and Snow White have both undergone refurbishments, so they should look amazing at reopen.
- Many little elements won't work, especially in the older attractions. With only the bare minimum in maintenance being done- there's stuff that won't have been turned on since March. And might just not work when people get called back to work and try to turn things on.
- Reduced menu offerings across the resort to accommodate a reduced cook staff.
- Fewer tables at each location.
- An increased emphasis on mobile ordering, so far less cashier windows being used.