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Disneyland Article
How 50 Attractions Could Change When The Parks Reopen

Dumbo The Flying Elephant
Orange County Register
Brady Macdonald
August 1, 2020
August 3, 2020
Virtually every Disneyland ride and attraction will change in some way to accommodate the new normal of COVID-19 health and safety protocols when the Anaheim theme parks reopen following an extended coronavirus closure.

Visitors returning to Disneyland will find social distancing measures stretching from attraction queues to the rides themselves with extensive sanitization measures throughout the park.

Disney’s Anaheim theme parks remain closed until further notice while they await still-unreleased reopening guidelines from the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are expected to follow the lead of Disney’s recently reopened Florida parks and implement many of the same changes — with some variations due to unique circumstances in Anaheim. In some cases, the changes to Disneyland attractions will be striking while in others they will be nearly invisible.

Disney World visitors returned in mid-July to find social distancing markers on the ground of virtually every attraction queue and 4,000 hand sanitizing stations located throughout the 47-square-mile theme park resort. Social distancing concerns have forced Disney World to keep parades, nighttime spectaculars, shows and even a few attractions closed.

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of changes expected to come to 56 Disneyland and Disney California Adventure rides, attractions and shows based on health and safety measures instituted at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme parks in Florida.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

1) Rise of the Resistance — Plexiglass dividers have been installed in the queue with the line for the attraction stretching into backstage areas of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Numbered markers on the ground indicate where riders should stand in the pre-show segments of the attraction. Only one family or party is allowed in each vehicle during the dark ride portion of the Rise of the Resistance attraction.

2) Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run — Riders no longer stop and gather to watch the Hondo Ohnaka audio-animatronic pre-show for the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction. Cast members no longer hand out boarding cards indicating whether riders are pilots, gunners or engineers. Only one family or party is allowed in each Millennium Falcon cockpit.


3) Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters — Every other clamshell-style ride vehicle is left empty to maintain social distancing within the Space Ranger Spin attraction at the Magic Kingdom.

4) Star Tours — Every other row is blocked on the Star Tours motion simulator. Plexiglass dividers mounted to repurposed child car seats and secured to some seats inside the StarSpeeder 3000 help maintain separation between riders.

5) Astro Orbitor — Hand sanitizer stations are available after using the high-touch up and down levers inside the spaceship cockpits.

6) Space Mountain — Plexiglass dividers are used throughout the queue.

7) Autopia — Hand sanitizer stations await drivers at the end of the Tomorrowland Speedway queue at the Magic Kingdom. Disneyland’s Autopia cars feature the same high-touch steering wheels. To promote social distancing, Speedway riders are prevented from approaching their vehicles until the previous drivers exit.

8) Disneyland Monorail — Vinyl partitions hang between seating sections to keep parties separated.


9) Dumbo the Flying Elephant — Hand sanitizer stations can be found at the end of the queue for the high-touch spinning ride that employs up and down levers to make the pachyderms fly.

10) Mad Tea Party — Riders using the high-touch spinning plate to turn the teacups will find hand sanitizer stations at the entrance and exit to the ride.

11) It’s a Small World — Rows are left empty to promote social distancing on the boat journey. Cast members regularly use sanitizer sprayers to clean the bench seats.

12) King Arthur Carrousel — Each row of horses is now numbered with cast members escorting riders to their designated section on Prince Charming Regal Carrousel at the Magic Kingdom. The Fantasyland carousel in Disneyland was undergoing a seasonal overhaul when the park closed.

13) Snow White’s Scary Adventures — The classic Fantasyland dark ride was undergoing a major renovation when Disneyland closed.


14) Big Thunder Mountain — Only one family or party is permitted per coaster car to maintain social distancing.

15) Mark Twain Riverboat — Social distancing spots on the deck of the riverboat — known as the Liberty Belle at the Magic Kingdom — indicate where individual families or groups can stand during the journey around the Rivers of America.

16) Tom Sawyer Island — Only three parties are allowed at a time on the raft to and from the island. Families and parties are asked to stand on socially distanced spots while on the raft. “Exit only” signs mark caves and bridges and some pathways are blocked off. High-touch play areas on the island are closed.


17) Jungle Cruise — Plexiglass dividers have been installed to separate riders sitting on the bench seats of the boats (and possibly to shield them from bad jokes delivered by the skippers).

18) Indiana Jones Adventure — The middle row is not in use on the three-row Dinosaur ride vehicle at Disney’s Animal Kingdom — which uses the same ride system as Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland. Plexiglass dividers between seats in the front and rear rows help maintain separation between riders. Disneyland’s Indiana Jones Adventure attraction was expected to undergo a renovation in 2020.

19) Enchanted Tiki Room — Some rows are closed and select bench areas are blocked.

20) Tarzan’s Treehouse — Social distancing signs remind visitors to remain six feet apart on the Swiss Family Treehouse at the Magic Kingdom.

New Orleans Square

21) Haunted Mansion — The stretching room— which is only a visual illusion and not an elevator at the Magic Kingdom — is deactivated and a walk-through only experience. Disneyland’s haunted house was undergoing a seasonal overhaul when the park closed.

22) Pirates of the Caribbean — Rows are left empty between riders to promote social distancing with only one to two parties permitted per boat.

Critter Country

23) Splash Mountain — Only one party is permitted per log. The splashdown finale has been turned off. The classic log ride is drawing long lines at the Magic Kingdom ahead of a “Princess and the Frog” makeover.


24) Gadget Go Coaster — The kiddie coaster is listed as closed for refurbishment on the Disneyland website.

Main Street U.S.A.

25) Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln — The Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom plays much the same role as the Disneyland attraction, just with a lot more presidents. Every other row is closed and seats are left empty throughout the theater to keep parties separated.

26) Disneyland Railroad — The Disney World Railroad is listed as closed for refurbishment and temporarily unavailable at the Magic Kingdom.

27) Main Street Vehicles — Daily character cavalcades in lieu of a parade likely explain why the classic vehicles are temporarily unavailable for visitors at the Magic Kingdom.

Cars Land

28) Radiator Springs Racers — Only one party is allowed per 6-seat car on Epcot’s Test Track — which uses the same ride system as Radiator Springs Racers in Disney California Adventure.

29) Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree — Families or groups stand on circle markers on the ground in the pre-loading area on Alien Swirling Saucers at Disney’s Hollywood Studios — which uses a similar ride system as the Cars Land attraction at DCA.

Pixar Pier

30) Toy Story Midway Mania — Plexiglass dividers in the queue of Disney’s Hollywood Studios interactive dark ride help keep riders separated as they wait in line. Ride vehicles and the high-touch spring-action shooter are sanitized intermittently but not after each ride cycle. Hand sanitizer stations are available at the exit to the ride.

31) Incredicoaster — The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is similar to the DCA ride with inversions and over-the-shoulder safety restraints. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the rows in the load area are separated by plexiglass dividers. Cast members periodically clean the train seats and restraints with sanitizer sprayers.


32) Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout — Riders no longer stop in the pre-show room and watch the ride backstory on Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror — the precursor to the Guardians indoor drop tower ride at Disney California Adventure. Select rows are left empty inside each elevator ride vehicle to foster social distancing.

33) Mickey’s Philharmagic — Rows are blocked and signs block individual seats in open rows to maintain social distancing in the 4-D theater.

Grizzly Peak

34) Soarin’ Around the World — The flight simulator uses car seat-mounted plexiglass dividers in some seats to maintain separation between riders. The aromatic scent effects that accompany the hang gliding flight have been disabled.

35) Grizzly River Run — Every other pair of seats is left empty to maintain social distancing on the rafts of the roaring rapids water ride. Water effects along the river journey are turned off. Cast members regularly use sanitizer sprayers to clean seats and high-touch points on the Kali River Rapids rafts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Other Attractions

A few Disney World dark rides have changed little except for the social distancing markers in the queue and the hand sanitizer stations at the entrances and exits. The Disneyland versions include:

36) Peter Pan’s Flight

37) Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

38) Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Several other Disney World attractions are listed as temporarily unavailable on the park’s website. The Disneyland versions include:

39) Star Wars Launch Bay

40) Turtle Talk with Crush

41) Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition


Live entertainment that draws large crowds is expected to be temporarily canceled when Disney’s Anaheim theme parks reopen. Those attractions include:

42) Magic Happens parade

43) Mickey’s Mix Magic fireworks

44) Fantasmic nighttime spectacular

45) World of Color nighttime spectacular

46) “Frozen Live at the Hyperion” stage show

47) “Mickey & the Magical Map” stage show


Character meet-and-greet locations are also expected to remain closed when Disneyland and DCA reopen. They include:

48) Mickey’s House

49) Minnie’s House

50) Anna & Elsa’s Royal Welcome

51) Fantasy Faire Royal Hall

52) Marvel Heroic Encounters

53) Pixie Hollow

Play Areas

High-touch play areas are expected to also be unavailable once the parks reopen. They include:

54) Chip ‘n Dale Treehouse

55) Donald’s Boat

56) Goofy’s Playhouse

Not every ride at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure is included in this list — largely because identical attractions can’t be found at Disney’s four Florida parks.

Disneyland-only rides like Matterhorn Bobsleds and Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage will require their own unique health and safety protocols.

Disney World lacks many of the classic Fantasyland dark rides found at Disneyland — including Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Alice in Wonderland, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Pinnochio’s Daring Journey. Those Disneyland dark rides could naturally facilitate social distancing with a single family or party limited to each ride vehicle.

Disney never brought many of DCA’s off-the-shelf carnival rides to Disney World — including Golden Zephyr, Goofy’s Sky School, Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind, Jessie’s Critter Carousel, Jumping Jellyfish and Pixar Pal-A-Round. Each of those rides will require its own social distancing and sanitization measures — some trickier than others.

That still leaves big question marks for a number of Anaheim attractions such as Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes, Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin and Casey Jr. Circus Train. How Disneyland plans to handle health and safety protocols on those unique attractions remains to be seen.
Attractions Referenced

Alice In Wonderland

Astro Orbitor


Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

Casey Jr. Circus Train

Chip n Dale Tree House

Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes

Disneyland Monorail

Disneyland Railroad

Disneyland Story Presenting Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln

Dumbo The Flying Elephant

Enchanted Tiki Room


Fantasy Faire

Finding Nemo: Submarine Voyage

Frontierland Shooting Exposition

Gadget's Go Coaster

Goofy's Playhouse

Haunted Mansion

Indiana Jones Adventure Temple Of The Forbidden Eye

It's A Small World

Jungle Cruise

King Arthur Carrousel

Mad Tea Party

Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh

Mark Twain Riverboat

Matterhorn Bobsleds

Mickey And The Magical Map

Mickey's House

Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run

Minnie's House

Miss Daisy Houseboat

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

Peter Pan's Flight

Pinocchio's Daring Journey

Pirates Of The Caribbean

Pixie Hollow

Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin

Royal Theatre

Snow White's Scary Adventures

Space Mountain

Splash Mountain

Star Tours: The Adventures Continue

Star Wars Launch Bay

Star Wars Rise Of The Resistance

Tarzan's Treehouse

Tom Sawyers Island

Parades Referenced

Magic Happens

Lands Referenced


Critter Country



Main Street U.S.A.

New Orleans Square

Star Wars Galaxys Edge


Toon Town

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