Disneyland says it will reopen on April 30

Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park will reopen with limited capacity starting April 30 after being closed for more than a year because of the coronavirus, the entertainment giant said Wednesday. 

The theme parks initially will admit only California residents while Disney continues to follow state health and safety protocols. Californians interested in visiting the parks will have to use a new reservation system, with Disney yet to release booking details. Attractions that draw large crowds, such as parades and nighttime fireworks, will remain on hiatus when the parks reopen. 

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Some Disneyland hotels will also reopen at limited capacity on April 29. Disney plans to reopen the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa on May 2 and the Paradise Pier Hotel later this year. 

Disneyland hoped to welcome customers back to its parks last July but had to reverse course after state officials tightened reopening guidelines. Now “the day all of us have long been waiting for is almost here,” Ken Potrock, president of the Disneyland Resort, said Wednesday in a statement. 

“We’re excited to have more than 10,000 cast members returning to work as we get ready to welcome our guests back to this happy place,” Potrock added

Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando has been open since July. Those parks have been operating for months because Florida relaxed its reopening restrictions last summer and completely lifted them in September. California officials released guidelines earlier this month on how theme parks like Disneyland and outdoor sports stadiums may reopen. 

Disneyland expects to attract enough guests that it will turn a profit despite capacity restraints, CEO Bob Chapek told CNBC. 

“It’s been a long, long time since we’ve been able to create magic for our guests and put our cast members back to work and help the associated businesses around the Anaheim area that greatly depend on Disneyland for their livelihood,” Chapek said. “It’s going to be a great opportunity for us to bring that magic back to everybody involved.”

Theme parks in California have been closed since last March, with the exception of limited capacity food events such as the Taste of Boysenberry at Knott’s Berry Farm and a “Touch of Disney” scheduled for later this month.

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