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Reopening Disneyland

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SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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.

Operations
  • 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.
Entertainment/Characters
  • 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.
Attractions/Rides
  • 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.
Food and Beverage
  • 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.

 

jerryp49

Active Member
Great America in Santa Clara is reopening May 22...you can click on their link " what to expect when we reopen " and compare.

 

el_super

Well-Known Member
[*]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.

Que?

[*]Frozen Live at the Hyperion is gone for good. The space is expected to sit empty for the foreseeable future.

Frozen was a technically challenging show, that will probably end up being retooled, but the desire to have a show in the theater will remain. They will spin up something in Hyperion as soon as they are able, because it's a relatively cheap way to add capacity and demand to a theme park. Same goes for Fantasyland Theater too.


[*]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.

They've only laid off about 30% of their workforce, and that 30% predominantly were operations folks and the newest cast members. The technical/documentation people are still around and available.

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.

Probably.

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.

The false start in July was probably a blessing in disguise, as they were able to bring people back to property setup equipment and ride vehicles for long term storage. Something that wasn't entirely possible in March.


  • 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.

There will be enough tables to meet capacity needs, they will just be spread out further apart and areas where tables were available in an outdoor patio will be expanded out into the walkways and streets. Not sure at all what will happen to areas with indoor dining like Village Haus and Pizza Port, but I would imagine that the indoor dining will be severely limited.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
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.

Operations
  • 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.
Entertainment/Characters
  • 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.
Attractions/Rides
  • 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.
Food and Beverage
  • 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.



Nice post. To try and add something positive that came from COVID... the possible halting or ending of project Stardust-esque changes. If they are really are going to try and control crowds than maybe they will stop de-beautifying in the name of making more room for the hordes. If that can spare our hub from becoming a deserted waste land then that’s a pretty big positive.

But yeah, it should be interesting to see how everything unfolds. I’m sure the road will be bumpy... but is a road I’m willing to travel. Haha. I just hope the plexiglass, mask requirements etc are gone by mid 2022.
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Nice post. To try and add something positive that came from COVID... the possible halting or ending of project Stardust-esque changes. If they are really are going to try and control crowds than maybe they will stop de-beautifying in the name of making more room for the hordes. If that can spare our hub from becoming a deserted waste land then that’s a pretty big positive.

But yeah, it should be interesting to see how everything unfolds. I’m sure the road will be bumpy... but is a road I’m willing to travel. Haha. I just hope the plexiglass, mask requirements etc are gone by mid 2022.

I completely agree. I do wonder how Covid impacted the timeline for the enhanced Tomorrowland entrance. I vaguely remember them showing hastily put together concept art that was a bizarre mishmash of '98 concept art with new planters photoshopped in. But, it looked to be inspired by the '67 entrance- so it would have been a delightful return to form. If you can't top the Disneyland of old, you may as well bring it back.

Perhaps the most interesting thing to watch will be the massive rehire and training campaign. How many hourly CM's will come back? How many salaried CM's? How long will it take Disney to staff and open the park?

First they're gonna have to see who actually comes back. About 35% of the cast members Disney contacted to come back when Downtown Disney open simply said 'no', citing concerns over covid. Many of my CM friends are in the camp of 'working is dangerous'. Then, every single cast member has to be retrained- both for safety reasons (attraction CM's have to be retrained on safety protocol), or to learn the new Covid guidelines.

I anticipate Disney to become a bit stricter about who they hire as well, with a leaner workforce more is going to be expected from each cast member.
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Pardon my ignorance, but is it of current belief that masks will still be needed later this year, even when the vaccine is widely available and everyone who wants it has been able to get it?

I just want my old life back. :(

I completely agree. I watched part of this video yesterday, and I had almost forgotten what normal life is like. Even stuff like eating in a restaurant feels different now with masks (I'm not in CA). It's like there's a cloud over everything.


It also made me realize that I have little interest in a reduced capacity, masked theme park experience. It would be fun, but not the same. But I want Disneyland open asap- if only to get the ball rolling and start to shift things back to normal.
 

MansionButler84

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Pardon my ignorance, but is it of current belief that masks will still be needed later this year, even when the vaccine is widely available and everyone who wants it has been able to get it?

I just want my old life back. :(
Masks will be compulsory when DL reopens later this year. As will park reservations.
 

Captn EO

Well-Known Member
Pardon my ignorance, but is it of current belief that masks will still be needed later this year, even when the vaccine is widely available and everyone who wants it has been able to get it?

I just want my old life back. :(
I'd have to say masks will be a thing for a very long time, if not forever. Since covid has so many strains, if the government is operating with the same concern for the new strains as it has with the current strain, I don't see masks going away as new strains will always pop up.
 

BuzzedPotatoHead89

Well-Known Member
Pardon my ignorance, but is it of current belief that masks will still be needed later this year, even when the vaccine is widely available and everyone who wants it has been able to get it?

I just want my old life back. :(
I’m with you on longing for the “old days” but I honestly don’t see a situation in which masks actually go away. Possibly phasing out in late Fall (of 2022), best case scenario. But this is a multi-year effort.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
Not ever seems like a pretty terrifying outlook.

I mean, I know life won't be "normal" for a while again, but to suggest that there's a possibility that we'll never get rid of mask-wearing in public places... yikes. I'm not sure I want to live in that world.

Exactly and I think the more of us that just succumb to this kind of thinking, the more it may actually make it a reality. We can’t let the powers that be think we are Ok with that.
 

MansionButler84

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
I’m with you on longing for the “old days” but I honestly don’t see a situation in which masks actually go away. Possibly phasing out in late Fall (of 2022), best case scenario. But this is a multi-year effort.

If not ever? That’s some scary $hit.

Not ever seems like a pretty terrifying outlook.

I mean, I know life won't be "normal" for a while again, but to suggest that there's a possibility that we'll never get rid of mask-wearing in public places... yikes. I'm not sure I want to live in that world.

Exactly and I think the more of us that just succumb to this kind of thinking, the more it may actually make it a reality. We can’t let the powers that be think we are Ok with that.

B7B61EA5-1AA3-49C7-8DB7-6DB2D71D9F5B.jpeg

“Hi! Have you heard the good news about vaccination?!”
 
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