ANAHEIM, Calif. — Visitors will soon be able to once again step into a Disneyland Resort theme park – although only a small portion of one.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure remain closed under the governor’s orders as part of statewide efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus. But following last month’s announcement, Disney is reopening the Buena Vista Street portion of Disney California Adventure as an extension to the Downtown Disney shopping district starting Nov. 19, the company announced on a blog post Thursday.
The company also announced that beginning Nov. 19, visitors to Downtown Disney will have to pay a $10 per car parking fee. Currently, parking is complimentary.
“We’re excited to share that Buena Vista Street opens Nov. 19, extending the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort with more Disney shopping and dining experiences,” a Disney spokeswoman said on the Disney Parks Blog.
The extension of Downtown Disney into Disney California Adventure comes a month after Gov. Gavin Newsom and his health staff squashed any hopes that Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, and other large theme parks across the state can fully reopen anytime soon.
Under the governor’s new reopening guidelines, large theme parks with more than a 15,000 person capacity, such as Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Universal Studios, can only reopen when their home county is in the state’s yellow or least restrictive tier of coronavirus cases.
The state has a four-color coded tier system – purple, red, orange, and yellow - that monitors coronavirus cases and dictates the reopening of certain essential and non-essential indoor businesses, restaurants, and schools. Purple is the strictest tier, followed by red, orange, and then yellow as the least restrictive.
Once the large theme park’s home county does reach yellow, theme parks can only reopen with 25% capacity and must follow other health and social distancing guidelines laid out by the state. Smaller theme parks can reopen with modification when their home county reaches the orange tier.
Currently, Orange County, Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm’s home county, is in the red tier. That means there is still a substantial risk of coronavirus in the county, according to the state. Orange County health officials believe the county won’t reach the yellow tier until the summer of next year.
Buena Vista Street is the main entrance and themed area that all visitors pass through upon entering Disney California Adventure. The area harkens back to a typical boulevard found in Los Angeles that Walt Disney would have strolled around during the 1920s and ’30s. Disney, who is originally from Marceline, Missouri, arrived in Los Angeles in 1923.
Buena Vista Street features several retail stores such as Elias & Co., Julius Katz & Sons, Kingswell Camera Shop, and Trolley Treats. Restaurants on the street include the Award Weiners, Smokejumper's Grill, and the Carthay Circle. A new outdoor dining experience is planned for the street.
Disney did not give an end date to this new offering.
A Disneyland spokesman told Spectrum News 1 that Disney has no additional plans to extend Downtown Disney into Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland.