I took my family to Disneyland the day after I retuned from Asia and ended up having a wonderful time. Today I will share some photos from our visit with a few brief reflections.
Disneyland During The Pandemic…What Pandemic?
Here are some thoughts on the day in no particular order:
- The park was super-crowded. Besides the masks, which were required in indoor areas and on rides, you would never know there was a pandemic. Lines are not conducive to social distancing and lines were longer than I have ever experienced (and I always try to time my visits to a midweek day in autumn or winter).
- Despite the packed park, the parking tram is not operating, meaning a long walk (with stroller) between the parking structure and park via Downtown Disney.
- Usually I am able to get a reservation at Blue Bayou, but not this time. It was packed with a big line of standby guests outside.
- I was incredibly impressed by the new Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride. It was incredibly well-done, a lot of fun, and well-managed with a virtual queue (you request a spot at 7:00am, are assigned a group number, and report to the line when your number is called).
- I miss the FastPass system, though I did not explore the new paid “Lightning Lane” option
- My five-year-old son Augustine did a fabulous job on “fast” rides like Space Mountain – I’m proud of him. Interestingly, he was most afraid of Pirates of the Caribbean because the thought the guns were real…
- I may be guilty for letting him think we actually entered a space port and took a joy ride on a rocket ship…
- Families with young children should take advantage of the Baby Center on Main Street USA. Lovely ladies and a clean place to change diapers.
- The Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean have been made politically correct…you can google that if you are interested.
- I ended the day, as I do every Disneyland trip, at Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln –
- Augustine commented: “I don’t know why Abraham Lincoln is still on earth. How is that possible? Did God bring him back from the dead?” (well done Mr. Disney and 1960’s animatronics)
- No fireworks show, which apparently only appears on weekends
- The park was already partially-decorated for Christmas and now apparently is fully decked out
Overall, it was a fun day and once I stopped being offended about the lines and just embraced them, the day went much better (and the lines seems to move quicker…). Enjoy the pictures below.
Have you been to Disneyland lately? How was your visit?
Wow -seeing the crowds in these pics makes me wonder how anyone could have a good time! They get worse every year although the pent-up demand post-Covid seems to be a new extreme. In any event, as an old dude who has attended “Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln” from the time it originally opened in the mid-60’s, I am thrilled that a ‘youngster’ such as yourself can appreciate it. I still try to drop in every time I’m in the park and am always bummed to see how overlooked an attraction it seems to be. Kudos to Disney for keeping it alive. At least one of Uncle Walt’s crowning achievements can sill prove what a visionary he was.
I was there years ago and loved it (though I think the man behind it all was a jerk).
Also – you’re son is insanely adorable and sweet!
(and yes, I know how that might come off everyone, but I can assure you I’m saying this in the most innocent way possible)
Are you saying Walter Elias disney was a jerk? I didnt realize you knew him personally.
We just went with our nearly 4 year old a couple days ago. He still hasn’t been on a plane since March of 2020 but gave in on the Disneyland crowds. Our experience was very similar. It appears with the reservation system they are normalizing the crowds across the week. They seem to be succeeding at crowd shaping the annual pass visits. We park at one of the Harbor Blvd hotels – the walk is much shorter, and you can usually find a coupon to bring the cost to about $15-$20 per day.
That would have been smart! Next time…thanks for the parking tip.
Matthew, that would be considered a quiet day at one of the two Tokyo Disneys. When the kids are older, take them to Tokyo Disney Sea, the most amazing of all their parks.
Your kid is a wimp as are you from sheltering your child from a gun. My 3 year old loved pirates.
I own guns. But the gun culture in this country is deplorable and I have drilled into my son the necessity of never touching a gun if he finds one at a friend’s house. More people die from accidental discharges and you’re darn right I will do everything I can to prevent that from happening to my children, even if that means scaring him.
a little late to the game – but I love this post. We just returned from a 4 day visit to the parks from Canada – pre-pandemic we try to go at least twice a year (thanks Aeroplan!) and I was amazed by the crowd levels. The early mornings were pleasant, but I found some afternoons and evenings busier than I ever remember, even pre-pandemic. Had a great time, although was hoping to encounter those sparse crowds I read about after first opening up post-shutdown.
What an adorable son you have, and glad to hear he and the rest of the family enjoyed your visit Disneyland. I wish I could say the same as I visited in October for the first time in about 10 years and will never return.
To begin with, my ticket cost $160 for 1 day at both Disneyland & California Adventure. And that didn’t include the $25 fee to park my car and walk 3/4 of a mile (each way) just to get to the park’s entrance. The day we went the park was ridiculously overcrowded (it took us about 30 minutes just to get into the park) with strollers everywhere (Disneyland now has stroller ‘parking areas’). The shortest wait for an attraction was 45 minutes, but most were in the 1 – 1 1/2 hour range (and that’s for a 3-5 minute ride). Disney had also just rolled out their new ‘Genie’ App that allows you to pay even more to Disney and shorten your ride wait. And then there’s the new ‘Galaxy’s Edge Land’, and the gaming around getting into the Rise of the Resistance. I found the whole process completely ridiculous. The morning tickets disappeared seconds after they were supposedly available, as did the afternoon tickets (we got ‘lucky’ with scoring a line entry number that ended up being at 9:45 pm). And I’m still trying to get my arms around how ‘the happiest place on earth’ can have a ride with the word ‘war’ in it. But I agree with you in that the ‘ROR’ ride itself was great, I just don’t think it has a place at Disneyland.
Unfortunately, great moments with Mr. Lincoln was closed when I visited the park, as it is one of the few attractions I have always visited and enjoyed since I was a kid.
IMO Disney has turned their flagship park into a tacky, overcrowded money grab. Ironically, exactly what Walt Disney worked so hard to avoid.
I apologize for the long rant….just bummed as to what Disneyland has become, and that the wonderful park Walt created is being destroyed. His hands were all over Disneyland, and it showed as it was so unique in comparison to all the other Disney parks around the world. Unfortunately, not any more….