It's been over 400 days since Disneyland Resort closed to the general public. While most will still have to wait until this Friday to finally return to the happiest place on earth, today the park opened its doors for the first time since March of 2020 for the first cast member preview day. Cast members, and a few of their friends and family are now inside Disneyland enjoying so many of the things that have been just out of reach for so long. And the Disney Parks TikTok account got in on the fun with the perfect Frozen-themed video, celebrating this moment, which is happening for the first time in forever.
Considering that when Disneyland first closed its doors in March of last year it was only supposed to be for a couple of weeks, nobody had any idea just how long this would all last. California held firm on keeping theme parks closed even when they began to reopen elsewhere in the nation, making the closure of Disneyland one of the longest in the country. Having any sort of real ceremony to celebrate the park reopening is still essentially impossible in order to maintain social distancing, and so Disneyland found a couple other ways to celebrate reopening, like this "First Time in Forever" TikTok,
Needless to say, this is beautiful and it's actually giving me chills. It really does feel like it's been forever since Disneyland was open, and considering just how much the park means to guests and cast members alike, seeing it opening again is quite special. In the same way that seeing the castle gates open in Frozen means the world to Anna, seeing Disneyland open again is a sign of normality that so many people have been missing.
The TikTok was actually the second way that Disneyland celebrated reopening. Last night, as part of a special livestream event, Sleeping Beauty's Castle was illuminated again, signifying that Disneyland was finally back. You can check out a recording of the event below.
Certainly, returning to Disneyland won't be a complete return to normal. The same health and safety measures that we've seen at Walt Disney World and other theme parks will be in effect. Lines will be socially distanced and face coverings will be required. Many restaurants are closed, either due to an inability to seat people indoors or simply an inability to justify opening the location because only about one third of normal guest capacity will be allowed inside the parks.
But for many, simply being there will be better than not being there. Dealing with the strangeness of it all will be worth it. And to be fair, I think there's a lot about Disney World right now that is actually pretty cool, and much of that will translate to Disneyland. It will still be sometime before things are really normal again, but for the first time in forever, that day seems like it will happen.