First impressions at Disneyland

Last Updated on May 21, 2021 by Happily Ever Park Hoppers

One of my family members recently went to Disneyland and agreed to be a honorary Disney Park Snob to give us the skinny on what it’s currently like at the Happiest Place on Earth.

The Magic is Back!

I could not agree more! From the excitement of packing, to the flight there, to walking in the gates down the beloved Main Street U.S.A. What a magical and emotional walk it was!

I was not sure what to fully expect when headed back to the parks during these Covid times.

Upon arrival from our hotel, we entered on the Harbor Blvd. side around 7:15 a.m. and the line wraped a little bit before getting to the end. The line was not awful because they have you spaced out to comply with social distancing and it moved fairly quickly. They opened the temperature check lines around 7:50/8:00 am; where they do just that, then move you forward to the security and bag check. Then off to the gates we went. The lines to get into the parks; even though the posted opening time was 9:00am, were open by 8:15 am for Disneyland and 8:30 am for California Adventure and yes most of the rides are up and running that early.

When going through the gates, you can use your phone as your ticket, but they also print out an actual ticket for you as well as take your picture.

When we got into the parks, it was so nice to have walking space! Tomorrowland you could see around and the ground! There was very few people around. The parks felt like when I was a child, yes there were people, but you weren’t slammed by strollers or stuck with a ton of people around. I honestly felt like I could twirl around without ever hitting someone.

Make sure you hit up those popular rides first as the lines do build up. Indiana Jones and Radiator Racers are the two most popular and what everyone wants to ride first. The morning we went into CA Adventure we went on Racers first and it broke down while we were on it and we got to ride it twice but when we got off the ride, the line was over an 80 minute wait time. For Indiana Jones, the line got long, but you actually wrapped through the line of The Jungle Cruise since it is currently closed for refurbishment and I did see that they are now doing a virtual line queue for when the wait time gets too long. If you are looking to get a boarding group to ROTR, the queue opens at 7:00 am and your location does not matter. They have a second chance at 12:00 pm for those hoping to park hop, but it is rare that they have any openings by then.

Things I recommend to take extra masks in case one gets wet or dirty, it is always good to have a spare, water, sunscreen, battery pack, because you’re going to want to take lots of pictures, they do have some photographers available at the Walt & Mickey Statue as well as the Castle and front of the park iin front of the Mickey flowers but that is it as far as Disneyland. They can not use your phones or cameras, so if you want those pictures, you will need to purchase a one day photo pass inside the Disneyland app if you want your pictures.

When it comes to Mobile Ordering, check the menus ahead of time and look where you would want to order and place them in the morning so a time frame you want to pick them up, it will make your life and day easier. Yes you can wait, but the wait times or openings may be limited. We used it for all of our meals, except for one dinner where we actually dined in. We did have to wait about 10-15 minutes once we said we were there to be provided the pick up window number, but that gave us a chance to actually find a place to sit down.

Shopping: shop early! The stores get crowded and lines build up outside to get it, but if you go earlier in the day, there are very few people around. Eating/drinking must be done in designated areas and there were not many treat carts like in the past.

And that’s all she wrote! Literally! Hopefully this gives those of you who are headed to Disneyland soon an idea of what to expect. And be sure to check out Returning to the Happiest Place on Earth for more detailed tips. If you have any questions, please drop a comment!

Spreading magic one post at a time


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