By Anthony Garza, Staff Reporter
In what’s felt like an eternity, Disneyland is finally opening back up. But, there is so much uncertainty since it closed on March 14 of last year. I think our biggest question as Disney fans is: will that classic Disney experience be the same?
As an annual pass holder, it was hard to imagine life without Disney. The harsh reality settled in when I realized I could no longer eat popcorn out of a “Monsters Inc.” Sully shaped bucket as I waited in line for Space Mountain. And, as if things couldn’t get worse during the pandemic, Disney inconsiderately discontinued their annual passholder options indefinitely which sent all of us fans into a frenzy.
As soon as the gates shut—and I’m sure I’m not the only one
Or, maybe it was me being a Disney fanatic that didn’t really care about the dangerous health conditions and just wanted to soak up the classic nostalgia that Disneyland fills your soul with.
The only thing that couldn’t be seen around is how the local government would find a solution for the large, overwhelming crowds that Disneyland usually attracts. According to the OC Register, the Themed Entertainment Organization reported that Disneyland welcomed around 51,000 people a day, pre-COVID. That definitely would have squandered the idea of fans at the park just because it might be impossible to social distance that many people in such a small amusement park.
But, as we fast forward to May 2021, parks are opening up at 25% capacity.
The parks remained closed for over a year and are now welcoming only California residents back with many guidelines in place. Health and safety guidelines like social distancing in lines, disinfecting the handlebars and seats on rides and wearing masks. While not like the Disneyland we knew before, which was already pretty clean, it seems these new policies are what need to happen to keep the parks open and function so we don’t miss another summer there again.
Not to mention things have got considerably better as well. COVID cases in California are decreasing as vaccines are rolling out. Having got the vaccine myself, I am definitely going to Disneyland as soon as I can get my hands on a ticket. I can imagine that when more people get the vaccine Disneyland can return to normal but for now this will do.
Like many people, I will be extra cautious about what I touch and where I stand. There is definitely a little thought in the back of my head that the experience may not be the same as I alluded to earlier. But, I love Disney and with how much joy just stepping inside the park gives me, it wouldn’t matter how much has gone on in the past year.
So yes, I will feel safe going back to Disneyland and stuffing my face with Dole Whip. But will you? Would you care that we’re still in a pandemic or will you leave that all in the past and run into the park with your Mickey ears on?