Part of Disneyland will finally reopen — just don’t plan on going on any rides

Oct 23, 2020

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What’s Disneyland without rides and attractions? Apparently, it’s not a theme park — which may be a good thing on its path to reopening.

This week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that Disneyland (and the state’s other major theme parks) could not reopen until its home county was in no higher than a minimal (yellow) tier on the state’s county risk-level scale.

And with that, the hope of a 2020 Disneyland reopening was all but dashed as Orange County, home to Disneyland, is currently two tiers above the yellow tier required for reopening as a large theme park.

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Disneyland made its unhappiness with this decision known, and has responded with a new approach. The iconic theme park complex is going to partially reopen — without rides.

Beginning in November, a portion of the Disney California Adventure Park will reopen for shopping and dining only.

Related: Why Disneyland is unlikely to reopen anytime soon

The Buena Vista themed-area of Disney California Adventure Park (located just across the promenade from the original Disneyland Park) will open up its gates — along with some shops and restaurants.

If you’re not familiar, the Buena Vista area is right after the ticket turnstile when you enter Disney California Adventure. Think of it as this park’s version of Main Street U.S.A. Only, instead of being themed as a turn-of-the-century small-town, it’s a glitzy version of Los Angeles from 100 years ago.

(Photo courtesy of Disneyland Resort)

Reopened shops and restaurants inside Disney California Adventure will include:

  • Elias & Co: Merchandise for men, women and children
  • Julius Katz & Sons: Holiday merchandise and Disney-themed home décor
  • Kingswell Camera Shop: Frames, photo albums and more
  • Trolley Treats: Classic candies, old-fashioned confections and freshly made treats. Vending carts will offer popcorn, churros, ice cream and other “must-bite” snacks.
  • Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe: Everything from coffee to sandwiches
  • Carthay Circle Lounge: Sit-down restaurant with expanded outdoor seating and an all-new menu of cocktails and dining.
  • Smokejumpers Grill: American classics for lunch and dinner with a streamlined menu of burgers, fries, onion rings and craft beer.

These retailers will join the previously reopened Downtown Disney District shopping and dining area that’s located nearby, but outside the theme park gates.

Related: Where to stay near Disneyland

Downtown Disney District in 2019 (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Additionally, Disneyland previously created a new entrance to the Disneyland Resort Backlot Premiere Shop at Stage 17 from outside the gates of the California Adventure Park, and that will remain open, too.

Having visited a reopened Disney World in Florida (twice), I can say that shopping and eating inside a reopened portion of a Disneyland theme park isn’t the same as having a truly reopened Disneyland. Still, it’s an exciting step forward.

Tasting a familiar treat, hearing the background music and simply being in one of the happiest places on Earth is much better for Disneyland fans (and employees who can return to work) than just being on the outside looking in.

To enter, there will be mandatory face masks for guests ages 2 and up, temperature checks before entering and capacity controls, just as there are for the Downtown Disney District. Whether we’ll see an expanded reopening of other shopping and dining areas of Disneyland Resort remains to be seen. But, at least there’s finally a pinch of good news for Mickey fans out West.

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