Disneyland’s New Normal in 2020

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Disneyland’s new normal for the rest of 2020. Disneyland during a global health crisis. The new Disneyland. What does that even look like? I’ve wondered what to expect at Disneyland for the rest of 2020 ever since Disneyland closed “indefinitely” and later had a false start and revoked its announced reopening date. And my guess is you’re wondering too.

While we await official word from Disneyland Resort, I have details on what usually happens with each month left of 2020, starting with August 2020. 

My policy here is to report only on solid facts released by Disney and not fuel rumors.

But I also feel in this case, it’s safe to use facts from other Disney Parks that have reopened world wide, including Walt Disney World, to gauge what Disneyland’s new normal might be. Fair enough? Fantastic, then let’s dig right into it.

Disneyland’s New Normal | Safety & Opening

I’ve covered the safety procedures and reopening information in detail here. As things continue to adapt, look to that link for the most updated policies and guidelines. 

 

Disneylands New Normal 2020

 

Reopening info at a glance:

Disneyland 2020 | Characters & Shows

Will there be character dining or meet and greets? One of the things I’ve been following closely at Walt Disney World is how guests can interact with characters since hugging and face to face meetings aren’t happening any time soon. On the surface it seems like such a bummer. 

But what I’ve seen with characters at Walt Disney World has made me SO excited for what we might see at Disneyland. All these have been spotted at Walt Disney World:

  • Numerous mini-parades of characters throughout the day down Main Street
  • Rare and favorites making appearances throughout the parks
  • Modified character dining so you still get to chat from a distance

 

Pluto Disneyland

 

I’d hardly label the examples I’ve seen as “canceled parades.” If anything, character sightings are more frequent and more engaging than ever. See this adorable video from Walt Disney World for an idea!

 

 

 

What I will be missing is the new Magic Happens parade that ran for less than a month at Disneyland. This parade is incredible and I am sure we’ll see it return in due time. 

What about fireworks, Fantasmic and World of Color? Anything that draws large crowds into one area has been put on hold for the time being. Especially with limited operations, it makes sense that many of these popular entertainment options would be put on hold for a bit. 

 

World of Color night

 

Disney itself has said, “Upon reopening, certain parks, hotels, restaurants, attractions, experiences and other offerings will be modified or unavailable, will have limited capacity and will be subject to limited availability or even closure, and park admission and offerings are not guaranteed.”

Disneyland’s New Normal | August 2020

Typically this is the last minute summer vacations calling you, but in 2020 it may very well be your first since the holiday season. We’re used to extended park hours and warm summer nights but if Disneyland reopens and follows Walt Disney World’s lead—hours will be much more limited than we’re used to. 

Disneyland Park regularly opens 8 or 9 am and closes at 11 pm or midnight. California Adventure Park regularly opens at 8 or 9 am and closes at 9 or 10 pm. The new normal at Disneyland could bring anything in-between. Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park is open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, as an example. 

 

Falcon Me

 

August 2020 Postponed Events

No word if D23 Expo tickets will still go on sale in August like they typically do. D23 Expo is scheduled to return in 2021 but time will tell if an event of that scope and scale can make a comeback as early as next year. 

 

D Expo

 

Current at Time of Publishing

Disneyland in September 2020

Traditionally Disneyland in September means kids are back in school which would mean lower crowds. One thing’s for sure, if Disneyland reopens in time for September visits, crowds will certainly be low because capacity will be strictly enforced. 

Disneyland has already announced that every ticketed guest will also need a reservation to get into the parks. And with many families doing online learning this fall, I’d say any day is a good day for a Disneyland visit. 

 

Jessica Halloween2

 

Disneyland Park regularly opens 8 or 9 am and closes at 10, 11 pm or midnight. California Adventure Park regularly opens at 8 or 9 am and closes at 9 or 10 pm on regular nights, but closes at 6 pm on nights featuring Oogie Boogie Bash.  The new normal at Disneyland could bring anything in-between. Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park is open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, as an example. 

 

OogieBoogieSoldOut

 

Halloween Time usually begins early September, including fireworks and projection show “Halloween Screams” at Disneyland park on select nights. It’s one of the best times of year to visit Disneyland Resort with characters in Halloween costumes and so many delicious treats to try!

But what will Halloween Time look like in 2020? Here’s what is current at time of publishing:

 

Mater Halloween Vampire

 

Will Oogie Boogie Bash return at California Adventure? How will they manage all the exclusive shows and trick or treating along with the signature night show  Villainous World of Color?

Disneyland’s New Normal | October 2020

Disneyland in October means fall break and whether you’re home schooling, doing virtual learning or the rare in person learning, everyone deserves a break this fall. What we won’t see in October is crowds like we’ve seen the last few Octobers. Disneyland has already announced that every ticketed guest will also need a reservation to get into the parks.

 

OogieBoogietrail

 

Every October Disneyland Park usually opens 8 or 9 am and closes at 10, 11 pm or midnight. California Adventure Park usually opens at 8 or 9 am and closes at 9 or 10 pm on regular nights, but closes at 6 pm on nights featuring Oogie Boogie Bash. The new normal at Disneyland could bring anything in-between. Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park is open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, as an example. 

 

Oogie Boogie Bash trail

 

What will Halloween Time look like in 2020? Here’s what is current at time of publishing:

 

Mickey and Minnie Mouse Halloween
Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Resort

 

Are you hoping to go this October or looking to reschedule for next fall of 2021?

Disneyland in November 2020

November brings the holiday cheer we all needed way back in April. It’s the most magical time of year with so much to do and see. But time will tell if the magic returns in time for 2020 Holiday Season.

 

Family Christmas tree

 

Disneyland Park  normally opens 8 or 9 am and closes at 10, 11 pm or midnight. California Adventure Park normally opens at 8 or 9 am and closes at 8, 9 or 10 pm. In 2020, we rely on Walt Disney World for predicted hours which have remained essentially the same since their initial reopening in July. Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park is open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, as an example. 

 

viva navidad dancers

 

What will the Holiday Season look like in 2020? Here’s what we know at the time of publishing:

 

Mickeys Mix Magic small world

 

If you’re missing Disneyland holidays like I am (even in July as I write this), expect to see tons of magical holiday merch available at Downtown Disney and shopDisney in early November

Disneyland’s New Normal | December 2020

It’ll be the merriest time of year with lots of holiday cheer with Disneyland open in December if we can make it happen. There’s so much to do and see, will 2020 compare to other years in festivities and pixie dust?

 

Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle

 

Disneyland Park usually opens 8 and closes at 11 pm or midnight. California Adventure Park usually opens at 8 and closes at 9 or 10 pm. In 2020, we rely on Walt Disney World for predicted hours which have remained essentially the same since their initial reopening in July.

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park hasn’t opened passed 7:00 pm at publishing time. Does that mean we’ll only get a piece of the nighttime glow at Disneyland in December?

 

Green Alien Holiday Macaron

 

What will the Holiday Season look like in 2020? Here’s what we know at the time of publishing.

Every first weekend in December Disneyland has hosted an annual Candlelight Processional. This event is not for public viewing, only invited guest receive seating and other areas are standing room.

But at limited capacity as previously announced, if you happen to score a reservation for these dates and they go on as planned I would definitely stick around to watch. 

Will these popular staples of the holiday season return in 2020?

Do you have additional questions about visiting Disneyland in 2020? Let’s talk about Disneyland’s new normal here in the comments.