When Can Disneyland Open? Avengers, Annual Passes, and More News for 2021
Of the many tough things about 2020, one of the big ones for Southern California families was the loss of Disneyland. Last year kicked off with a major price hike that left SoCal residents scrambling to enjoy a few last weeks of locals only deals, before being cut short by the park's abrupt closure for COVID-19. The ten months since then have marked the longest some people have ever gone without visiting the Mouse House, and there is still no end in sight.
So what can we expect of Disney in 2021? Will we get to see the inside of Disneyland, and if so will it wipe out the college fund? Is it true that annual passes have been canceled? And will last summer's canceled Avengers Campus opening ever see the light of day? With so many unknowns in the year ahead, we thought hunting down a few of these answers might make the wait more bearable.
Have Disneyland Annual Passports Been Canceled?
The disappointing answer to this question is "yes, but..." Yes, annual passholders have indeed been notified that refunds are forthcoming for the remaining time on annual passports, and that the program is being "sunsetted" (evidently the most upbeat euphemism the PR team could find for "canceled"). But ... Disney is promising some kind of replacement for the program at some later date. These new membership offerings are still entirely vague, so we have no way of knowing if there will still be something special for LA and Orange County residents. The only thing that seems certain is that whatever the new annual program is, it's bound to be more expensive than what we're used to.
Are Unused Disneyland Tickets Still Valid?
If you are in possession of an unused (or partially used) Disneyland ticket, that ticket has been extended until December 16, 2021, whether it's a single day, multi-day, military, or Southern California Resident ticket. Blackout dates will still apply on tickets that are subject to them. No new tickets are being sold during the closure. Presumably the date might be extended again, if the worst happens, but the current pick of a 2021 date at least signals optimism on Disney's part that the park will be able to open again this year.
Expiration dates on tickets will be updated prior to the park reopening. If you have questions in the meantime, call 714.781.4636.
Artists' concept of Avengers Campus courtesy of Disney/Marvel
When Does Avengers Campus Open?
This is the multi-million dollar question. Disney has been continuing to work on the construction and the launch that was to be its biggest park event since the Galaxy's Edge opening. Spiderman star Tom Hollander has recently been teasing some sneak previews of the interactive WEB Slingers VR ride on which he reprises his superhero role (in 3D format). Other promised attractions include a ride-along with Rocket on a Guardians of the Galaxy experience, an encounter with Dr. Strange at an experience called Sanctum, and an action-packed visit to Avengers Headquarters. Avengers Campus seems guaranteed to thrill any Marvel fan, let alone those who have been in quarantine for a year or more.
Disney is not mentioning a date, of course, before knowing when the park itself can reopen, at which point it will doubtless ride the swell of immediate ticket sales before kicking into hyperdrive with the new attractions. Heck, at a time when fans are grateful to walk Downtown Disney shopping at the few open businesses and buying take-out food (currently only to be eaten at home), it won't take much to get us all excited. But rest assured that Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park will be ready to open its gates the moment COVID cases and ticket sales make that a good idea.
So When Is Disneyland Reopening?
Everyone, including Disney, wants the answer to this question.
Disney and the state of California are doing battle over this point. According to current state mandates, large theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios cannot reopen until the counties they are in enter the yellow (or lowest) tier. This means that Disneyland cannot open to visitors until COVID cases in Orange County drop down to fewer than one case per 100,000 people.
When case numbers do drop that low, state rules require that all theme park tickets be reserved in advance, that park capacity be capped at 25%, and that all visitors wear masks.
Disney has repeatedly expressed displeasure with the strictness of these guidelines, citing the reopening of Disney World in Orlando as a success story. Governor Newsom has yet to show signs of relenting so far, though, and with the number of new COVID cases per day at the moment, it seems unlikely that restrictions will lift anytime before summer.
Until then, we'll just have to strap on our Disney face masks and wait for the Avengers to rescue us.