Pams Path to Travel
"Making your dream vacation...
...a dream come to true!!"
Call: (650) 363-6156 | Email:
What is Disneyland like in 2021 during a Pandemic?
I will explain! As you know I normally detail out my trip but in this case, I will talk about the differences. We were not sure if we were going to be able to take this trip due to a variety of outside forces, but we really wanted to surprise our friend (& Pams Path to Travel's Independent Contractor), Lisa Kohlmaier for her 50th birthday. She had been planning on taking this trip for 2 years and the stars aligned for us to SURPRISE her! Her mom was in cahoots with me in the planning a few months prior & then I called upon her younger son the day of the Surprise to help locate them (he had no idea that we were the surprise)!
We flew into our favorite airport, Long Beach- though this time we flew from Reno and it was non-stop and uneventful on Southwest. I also booked a sedan/limo to take us to our hotel. With the pandemic, I just feel that a limo company is going to provide a cleaner car, so we took that precaution. They had plastic partitions between the front and back seat and one of our drivers had a copy of his CDC card taped to the plastic partition. Our driver upon arrival was a bit of a crazy driver (Mr Toad's Wild Ride before we ever got into the park), but our return driver was much better and he was about 30 minutes early!
I LOVE staying at the Disney Resorts; however, there is this thing called a pandemic right now and it has impacted the income of most Travel Agencies! As such, we decided to use points and stay at the nearby Anaheim Marriott Convention Center for 3 free nights. The hotel is about a 20 minute walk from the park entrances and not a bad walk as long as your feet are not already tired! There is also the ART bus, Anaheim Resort Transportation, you can purchase a daily pass and the bus will make a few stops along the way but it can be very efficient. However, it can also be very frustrating if you are leaving the parks with everyone else late at night as there are typically long lines to get on the bus. We took the bus to the parks every day. No problem. One night we waited over 30 minutes for a bus but our feet were in no shape to walk to the hotel. The next night, even though it was not closing time there was a long line for our bus and we knew that we would not get on the first bus and have to wait again, we walked back to the hotel that night. It's not a bad option to have the bus, but just know that you will wait or have another line.
There are several hotels located just outside of the maingate that are walking distance at different price points. So there are options for everyone. Of course, free is great and we knew that we'd be waiting for busses or walking 20 minutes to/from the parks.
The parks are at reduced capacity, I think 60% and it really did not feel that crowded. Our friend's boyfriend has a disability pass, so we never waited long in any lines which was great; however, the lines were never bad to begin with even without the pass. Walking around the parks, masks are only required indoors but many people were wearing them while walking around the parks.
Ordering food is probably one of the newer things to get used to. You can pre-order your food on the app and then once you're "ready", you confirm that you "are here" and then they queue up your order for processing. We really only did this one day, which was on our full day in the park for lunch. We had enjoyed breakfast at our hotel and we had sitdown dinner reservations at Wine Country Trattoria for Lisa's birthday. Our other two days in the parks were shortened days and we had dined at our hotel and spent some time by the pool as well.
I have to say that overall, it felt like a normal trip other than putting on masks indoors. Our focus for this trip was simply to be with Lisa for her birthday, I had zero expectations other than that. But we did get to experience the two new rides that are new to us- Rise of the Resistance and Web Slingers. Both rides are virtual queues and you have to get into the virtual line at 7am or 12pm. For the 7am time, you do not have to be in the park but if you try to get in the virtual queue at noon, you need to be in the parks and the app is smart- it knows! Fortunately, Lisa is an early riser and she took care of the virtual queues for both rides. Loved Rise of the Resistance but I felt that Web Slingers could have been better! Overall, the Spiderman "land" could have been better, nothing was "wow" in my opinion. At least before when it was a Bug's Lifee Land, there were many kid-oriented rides for the little ones.
We had a great trip. We enjoyed some good meals, rode some fun rides, took in a few shows, did a little shopping, spent time by the pool, shared some laughs. I think 2020 has made us grateful for the little things and realizing that you don't have to do it all. This trip was relaxed and fun. It was also a great time to escape the smokey air in Reno due to the Tahoe fires!