9 of the most exclusive spots in Disney parks

We all know Disney parks aren’t really affordable to begin with, but if you’re looking to sprinkle a little extra Disney elegance into your visit, there are plenty of ways to experience the magic like a true king or queen. A nice queen, don’t worry.

Here’s our list of the most exclusive spots in America’s Disney parks.

1. Cinderella Castle Suite

First up, the Cinderella Castle Suite. At the top of the iconic Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom, there’s a private suite hidden inside. With towering princess beds, an ornate bathroom, and “Cinderella” props throughout, the suite is definitely fit for a royal. A night’s stay here is so exclusive, you can’t actually book it. The suite is by invite only. But it’s rumored Disney turned down an offer of $40,000 for a one-night stay. Some lucky fans have scored a stay by winning various contests. Special guests at the Cinderella Suite have included Tom Cruise and Mariah Carey.

2. Imagineer Dinner

You’ve probably heard of the Disney Imagineers – or the masterminds behind the rides, the shows, the music, pretty much everything that’s cool at Disney parks – and if you’ve ever wanted to meet one, we’ll do you one better. How about a dinner with an Imagineer? Once a month, you can learn from one of these Disney legends over a four-course meal at Cítricos in the Grand Floridian Resort. The only thing is, you won’t know who you’re eating with until you get there. The experience will set you back $89 and is limited to guests 14 and older.

3. Victoria and Albert’s

Located in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Victoria and Albert’s is probably the ritziest restaurant at Disney World. With only 18 tables, reservations are required, and a fancy dress code is strictly enforced. But getting all glammed up is definitely worth it for their chef’s tasting menu. The 11-course meal comes in at $250. But if you’re wanting something even more exclusive, you can book a table for up to eight people in a completely separate and private space, in the Queen Victoria Room.

4. Morimoto Asia

Morimoto Asia isn’t as high-end as Victoria and Albert’s, but it does have a little something special up its sleeve. “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto opened the glitzy restaurant in 2015. Located in Disney Springs, it specializes in Pan-Asian cuisine. Their most exclusive dish is the Japanese A5 Wagyu beef. The beef has the highest rating for Wagyu and is imported from Japan. Each ounce costs $25, but there’s an order minimum of 3 ounces, so be prepared to pay about $75 at least. They also have a Toku-Jyo Sashimi Platter that runs for $100.

5. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Looking to spoil your little ones? Hop over to Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Here, one of the Fairy Godmother’s apprentices will transform your kiddo into a knight or one of their favorite princesses. The all-in package for knights costs $80, but for Disney princesses, a full transformation starts at $450. It includes a hair styling, makeover, manicure, gown, and tiara. You can get princess shoes but for an extra cost. These magic makeovers require a reservation and are only available for kids 3 to 12.

6. Golden Oak Residences

Four miles away from Magic Kingdom is the super-exclusive gated community called Golden Oak. Three-hundred homes, each with a little Disney flair, make up eight neighborhoods. But living so close to all the Disney magic doesn’t come cheap. Each one runs for about $2.3 million. All Golden Oak residents get access to a luxurious clubhouse complete with a pool, gym, and spa. Another perk: Markham’s Restaurant. You have to be a resident here to experience all their Disney-themed meals.

7. Club 33

A luxury Disney experience doesn’t stop in Florida. Over at Disneyland in California, Club 33 has been serving an exclusive group of fans since 1967. Located in New Orleans Square, the club’s existence was once secret, but now it’s pretty well known although few get to experience it. Reportedly, the initiation fee runs between $25,000 and $100,000. Members pay an additional annual fee from $12,500 to $30,000 depending on how exclusive their membership is. And for those willing to foot that bill, membership does come with a couple perks, like the swanky restaurant Le Grand Salon and the lounge attached to it, which is the only place that serves alcohol in Disneyland.

8. Lilly Belle Train

Anybody can ride the steam-powered train of Disneyland’s railroad, but you might not know that there’s a separate train that runs only occasionally. The Lilly Belle car is named after Walt Disney’s wife, Lillian, and apparently it’s the last remaining car from the opening day of the park back in 1955. It doesn’t run every day, but when it does, you can ride it for free, but you have to be one of the first 14 people in line, so get there bright and early. But for the rest of us late risers, the $85 Grand Circle Tour will get you a peek of the train as well.

9. Walt Disney’s Apartment

Back in 1954, as Disneyland was under construction, Walt Disney wanted a place where he could watch over his project. So he had this private 500-square-foot apartment built. The once secret space is located on the second floor of the Fire House on Main Street. It’s decorated by Disney’s original set designer and looks exactly like how Walt Disney left it. You can’t actually stay here, but for $109 per person, the Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps tour will get you a little closer to the man himself.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in April 2019.

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Disneyland and other California theme parks just returned to full capacity – here’s what is changing

disneyland
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 19: Pedestrians walk near the entrance to Disneyland Resort on February 19, 2009 in Anaheim, California. With the worsening economy, declining attendance and reduced operating income, the Walt Disney Company announced that it plans to restructure its domestic theme-park operations, which will result in the layoff an unspecified number of employees in the coming weeks. Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida will reportedly be consolidated into a single unit headed by Worldwide Operations President Al Weiss. Attendance at Disney theme parks in the US dropped 5 percent in the last quarter of 2008 compared to the previous year and in January, Disney offered buyout packages to 600 US executives.

  • California theme parks, sporting events, and concerts returned to 100% capacity on Tuesday.
  • The state health department added some regulations on vaccinations records and masking for theme parks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

California theme parks, including Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, returned to full capacity on Tuesday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom first announced the parks could return to full capacity in May as a part of his Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The previous 15% to 35% capacity limits lifted at the same time that the entire state fully reopened.

The parks will also no longer be required to maintain physical-distancing requirements on the sites.

The California Health Department added special regulations for venues such as theme parks, concerts, and sports arenas that could be classified as “mega-events” – indoor events with more than 5,000 people, and outdoor ones with over 10,000. The venues are required to provide masks for all customers, though attendees will not be required to wear them if they have been fully vaccinated.

Customers planning on attending indoor venues must either be able to verify that they are fully vaccinated or take a COVID-19 test with a negative result 72 hours prior to entering the venue. They are expected to bring their test results or send them prior to arriving at the event.

For outdoor events, the agency recommends that the venues require a vaccination record or COVID-19 test, but will not enforce it. If an individual at an outdoor event cannot verify that they have been vaccinated, it is recommended that the venue asks the individual to wear a mask.

The California Health Department said the new mandates will run through October 1, but will be reassessed on September 1.

Disneyland reopened for the first time since the pandemic started on April 30 at 25% capacity. Since then, fans have flocked to the theme park.

Fully reopening the park will allow Disney to begin recouping from the impact of the pandemic on one of its biggest revenue streams. Last year, the media giant lost nearly $5 billion due to park closures.

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Disneyland is ditching mask requirements for fully vaccinated guests on Tuesday and will rely on customers to ‘self-determine distancing’ at the California park

disneyland reopening
  • Disneyland is dropping its mask requirement for fully vaccinated guests both indoors and outdoors.
  • The park will also stop requiring temperature checks as it begins welcoming out-of-state visitors.
  • The updated guidelines say it is up to guests to “self-determine distancing.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Disneyland is dropping its mask requirement for fully vaccinated guests, according to newly updated guidelines published Monday.

The park says fully vaccinated visitors no longer need to wear face coverings both indoors and outdoors as of Tuesday at its theme park in Anaheim, California. Visitors ages 2 and up who aren’t fully vaccinated will still need to wear masks indoors, except when they’re eating.

Regardless of whether or not they’re vaccinated, all guests ages 2 and up will need to wear face coverings while taking bus transportation from the Toy Story parking lot to the parks once the lot reopens on Friday.

Disney’s new guidelines also mean it will be up to park-goers to “self-determine distancing” after California lifts its physical distancing rules on Tuesday. Disneyland also will stop requiring on-site temperature checks on Tuesday, which is the same day it will start welcoming out-of-state guests.

Disneyland says guests won’t be required to proof of vaccination. Instead, an honor system will be in place in which “vaccinated guests will self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry,” according to the updated guidelines. Reservations will still be required to gain entry to the parks. While booking their tickets, all guests will need to attest that they’re aware of California’s recommendation that people be fully vaccinated or test negative for COVID-19 before entering the parks.

“As more people are vaccinated and the nation is turning the corner on this pandemic, we are encouraged that COVID-19 health and safety guidelines set forth by the CDC and state and local officials are being adjusted and eased,” Disneyland said in its update.

The resort shut down in March 2020 due to COVID-19. Disney announced the layoffs of roughly 30,000 workers late last year as the coronavirus continued to tank park revenue. The park reopened for the first time in more than a year on April 30 of this year.

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Disney theme parks are notoriously pricey, but these proven tips and tricks can help you save hundreds

how to save tips on disney vacations

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Disneyland and Walt Disney World have reopened to all visitors.
  • The parks are notoriously expensive, but you can save hundreds with some creative planning.
  • Here are our top 14 expert tips for saving money on your next Disney Parks vacation.
  • Head to Insider Reviews for more travel recommendations

There are no two ways about it: Planning a family vacation to the Walt Disney World or Disneyland resorts can be an expensive proposition.

The cost for tickets, food, and souvenirs alone can rapidly add up; it skyrockets when you factor in airfare, hotel, car rental, parking, and other incidentals. For a family of four, for a five-night stay, the average price of the trip is approximately $4,500 and can quickly increase by the hundreds, if not thousands.

While there are few discounts on admission, there are proven ways to save significant money elsewhere that won’t hinder the enjoyment or limit the experiences. After all, not having to stress about money makes for a far more enjoyable time – the key is to plan ahead and know what to expect.

As a travel writer who has covered Disney vacations extensively for over a decade, I have figured out the best ways to maximize the fun while keeping costs down. These top tips, based on what I’ve learned over the years, can help ease the damage a Disney vacation could have on your bank account.

In addition to money-saving tips for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, I’ve also included a few that are unique to each property. Here are the best tips for saving money on a Disney parks vacation.

disney carousel

Top tips to save money on Disney vacations

Pick the right time to go

As with any popular destination, prices for resort stays tend to rise during peak season, especially during school breaks in the summer, Thanksgiving week, and the days around Christmas and New Year. Weekends are always more expensive as well. Traveling during non-peak dates may be a challenge, but you can save an average of $400 a night.

Forgo the Park Hopper

Disneyland and Disney World are comprised of multiple parks, each with its own entrance fees. As the name suggests, Park Hopper is an option that lets you visit multiple parks per day, but you will pay significantly more for this privilege. The difference between a single park ticket and one with Park Hopper can be up to about $85 per day; for a family of four, that’s a savings of $300 to $350.

Another reason to skip the Park Hopper concerns logistics. There’s plenty to do at each of Disney’s parks, so I recommend dedicating an entire day to one park, instead of stressing to rush to another. You can take it slow and enjoy all the amenities of a single park. This is especially true for Walt Disney World, where the parks are located far apart and you would waste time shuttling from one to another.

Explore your ticket discount options

While Disney doesn’t generally offer discounts on park tickets, there are a few money-saving options to explore before paying full price. First, nail down how many days you plan to be in the parks; there is a price break depending on how many days you visit. For example, if you go to Disney World for just one day, it would be about $109 per day. If you opt to go for five, the price drops to $88 a day. Keep in mind that the standard tickets don’t include water parks, golf courses, and other non-theme park areas.

Know a friend or relative in Florida? State residents can save 40% off a four-day ticket in addition to other discounts. The catch is that the resident must be present and show verification at the time of entry, so they will need to be included in your group. If it’s a close family friend or grandparent, that may not be an issue. From time to time, Southern California residents may also receive a similar offer.

Make wise restaurant choices

There is a large selection of dining options at either resort and prices range from budget to premium. For example, a New York Strip at the upscale Steakhouse 55 in the Disneyland Hotel costs $58 (that is just for the steak, sides not included). But at the casual Bengal Barbeque eatery inside Disneyland, you can enjoy a delicious Bengal Beef Skewer for $5.49.

The key is to research the various food outlets available at the park you will be visiting, basing it on your budget and family’s eating habits. If you don’t care about sit-down meals and can run on hot dogs and churros from a street cart, you can cut down on food expenses.

Note that some restaurants, such as the aforementioned Steakhouse 55, are still temporarily closed.

Get food delivered

Another option for cutting down on food costs is to have groceries delivered to a hotel, as many rooms have mini-fridges and microwaves – great for stocking up on water, sodas, snacks, and even quick-heat and pre-made meals and alcohol. If your room has a full-sized kitchen, consider cooking some meals “at home” or for bringing inside the park (see our tip above). Amazon Prime delivers to hotels, while Garden Grocer specializes in Disney World deliveries.

Bring a refillable water bottle

With all the walking you will do, it’s important to stay hydrated, especially during the hotter months in Florida and California. Skip the bottled water the park sells (a bottle of Dasani costs around $4) and opt for a money-saving and environmentally friendly refillable water bottle instead.

You can fill water bottles at restaurants or one of the refill stations. But keep in mind, refill stations are few and far between, and due to COVID-19 cleanliness protocols, it is harder to fill your own water bottle.

Insider Reviews recommends the Vapur Element and Hydaway Collapsible Water Bottle because they are lightweight when empty and easy to pack.

Collapsible Water Bottle (small)Collapsible Water Bottle (small)

Stick to a souvenir budget

Disney is skilled at dividing guests from their money, especially when it comes to keepsakes. In most areas of the parks, you won’t be able to go more than 20 feet without being lured by the siren song of souvenirs. It can be very tempting to walk away with a droid from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge ($99) or a replica of the Enchanted Tiki Room Sign ($150), but try to keep those temptations at bay.

Instead, spend your money on less expensive, classic park items that will hold their value (in sentimental ways), such as a pair of Mickey Mouse ears with a name embroidered on them (about $23) or, my favorite, a hand-cut silhouette from one of the artists on Main Street ($10).

Walt Disney World

Tips to save money at Walt Disney World

Stay at a value resort

While Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa are lovely, they are also expensive – the Grand Floridian starts at around $400 per night. If a hotel is purely a place to sleep, Disney’s Art of Animation or Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort are two of the more inexpensive options inside the Disney bubble, starting at around $179 a night.

Check out all our choices for the best Disney World hotels here. If you’re willing to stay at a non-Disney resort, there are also many excellent hotels in Orlando and Kissimmee from as low as $66 per night, depending on the season.

If you want to go deluxe, consider renting DVC points

Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is Disney’s popular timeshare program that lets you rent studios, villas, and suites at one of the deluxe resorts. Membership is a big investment, but my friends who joined have been pleased with the program. Here’s a secret: You can take advantage of the program without being a member, by renting DVC points.

When you rent DVC points, you are essentially booking through a DVC member, not Disney. For a negotiated fee, you get access to their points and preferred rates (a member has a set number of deductible points that must be applied in order to get those rates), which can make those deluxe resorts drop down drastically in price.

For example, the price for a deluxe studio at Disney’s Riviera – depending on the date – is $559 a night, but you can rent points and pay about $275 for the same night. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, a studio is $616 a night, but with DVC points you pay $380. You are basically getting the same room for almost half the price. And, it’s not just for Florida: DVC also includes California properties.

Companies such as David’s Vacation Club Rental and the DVC Rental Store can facilitate the points rental from DVC members, and the booking process is similar to a regular hotel reservation. There are plenty of caveats with this system, so make sure to go over all the restrictions and conditions from the broker or DVC member.

Schedule a non-park day

Save on park tickets by scheduling a non-park day. There are many ways to get a Disney resort experience, including spending hours by the pool, checking out the lobbies and restaurants at hotels, and heading to the Disney Springs shopping and entertainment center. Keep reading for our suggestions on free stuff to do at Disney World.

disneyland reopening

Tips to save money at Disneyland

Stay at a Good Neighbor hotel

There are only three Disney-owned hotels within Disneyland – the Grand Californian, the Disneyland Hotel, and Paradise Pier. While the hotels are fantastic and convenient, they are also expensive. For example, rates at the Grand Californian start at $586 a night. Thankfully, there are lots of affordable options surrounding the park. Read our roundup of nearby hotels ranging from the budget-friendly Hampton Inn & Suites to the new JW Marriott, which, even though it is a four-star property, is about half the price of the Grand Californian or the Disneyland Hotel.

Splurge on the MaxPass (when it’s back)

While the MaxPass program is currently on hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions, the MaxPass is well worth the extra $20 per ticket and will enhance the experience by saving you time. The MaxPass allows you to make FastPass selections from your phone and eliminates the need to trek over to the attraction to manually pick up a FastPass from a kiosk. A FastPass, for those unfamiliar, allows you to join a much shorter line for a ride (the feature is also paused).

Get the Disney experience for free

Admission to Disney’s parks is expensive, but there are several fun attractions you can check out that don’t cost a penny. They add to the overall Disney vacation experience while keeping the cost down. (Some of these places and activities may be temporarily closed or unavailable.)

Walt Disney World

Disneyland

Consider waiting until next year

While Disneyland and Walt Disney World are open for business, to get the most bang for your buck, it might be best to wait. There’s a case for going now: reservations are required and capacity is controlled to promote distancing, so it’s less crowded than normal. But parades, fireworks, most live entertainment, the ease of the FastPass system, and close-up character encounters have yet to return. Dining options are also limited, and some hotels haven’t reopened.

Instead, take this time to plan and save up for the trip. When all of the parks’ amenities return, you and your family will have a more memorable experience.

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Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will open to out-of-state residents in June

mickey minnie disneyland

Disneyland and Disney California Adventure (DCA) are reopening to out-of-state guests on June 15, the Disney Parks announced on Wednesday.

Disneyland Resort’s public relations manager, Kelsey Lynch, said in an official blog post that the parks’ website would now allow out-of-state guests to start booking future trips.

“The State of California strongly recommends that all guests be fully vaccinated or obtain a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering the theme parks,” Lynch wrote. “In addition, all guests will be required to wear an approved face covering throughout their visit at the Disneyland Resort.”

The parks will open to full capacity on the same date: June 15, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday.

Disneyland Resort shut down last March amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Downtown Disney, the resort’s retail and restaurant district connecting the two parks, reopened last summer.

The two parks reopened at limited capacity to California residents only on April 30. In November, Disney Califonia Adventure opened partially as an extension of the resort’s shopping district. Guests could only shop and dine inside of a small section of DCA.

downtown disney dca opening day couple.JPG
Inside Disney California Adventure on November 19, 2020.

Insider visited during that time when guests largely had a portion of the park to themselves. If you weren’t from the immediate area, all you needed to do was pay $10 in parking and go through a security and temperature screening to enter.

It was a unique experience that Disney Parks will likely never offer again.

downtown disney dca opening november 2020
Guests visiting DCA from November to March entered
Disney California Adventure through a side gate free of charge. Those visiting from another part of the state who parked had to pay $10 to enter.

The news of Disneyland Resort’s full opening comes almost a week before Disney California Adventure opens its highly-anticipated new Marvel-themed section of the park, Avengers Campus. The new area will open to the public on June 4.

Avengers Campus was previously supposed to open July 2020.

Insider previewed the new area during a hard hat tour in March 2020, a week before Disneyland Resort closed its doors.

The new area will be home to a Spider-Man attraction, an “Ant-Man”-themed restaurant, and a Shwarma Palace food cart (a nod to a famous scene from “Marvel’s The Avengers.” You can check out the new food offerings here.

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Disneyland and other California theme parks will return to full capacity in June – here’s what is changing

GettyImages 1232826025
  • On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced California would fully reopen on June 15.
  • Theme parks, sporting events, and concerts will be able to return to 100% capacity.
  • The state health department added some regulations on vaccinations records and masking for theme parks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

California theme parks, including Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, will return to full capacity on June 15.

The announcement was made on Friday as a part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The current 15% to 35% capacity limits will lift at the same time that the entire state fully reopens.

The parks will also no longer be required to maintain physical-distancing requirements on the sites.

The California Health Department added special regulations for venues such as theme parks, concerts, and sports arenas that could be classified as “mega-events” – indoor events with more than 5,000 people, and outdoor ones with over 10,000. The venues are required to provide masks for all customers, though attendees will not be required to wear them if they have been fully vaccinated.

Customers planning on attending indoor venues must either be able to verify that they are fully vaccinated or take a COVID-19 test with a negative result 72 hours prior to entering the venue. They are expected to bring their test results or send them prior to arriving at the event.

For outdoor events, the agency recommends that the venues require a vaccination record or COVID-19 test, but will not enforce it. If an individual at an outdoor event cannot verify that they have been vaccinated, it is recommended that the venue asks the individual to wear a mask.

The California Health Department said the new mandates will run through October 1, but will be reassessed on September 1.

Disneyland reopened for the first time since the pandemic started on April 30 at 25% capacity. Since then, fans have flocked to the theme park.

Fully reopening the park will allow Disney to begin recouping from the impact of the pandemic on one of its biggest revenue streams. Last year, the media giant lost nearly $5 billion due to park closures.

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Disneyland will reopen on April 30, more than a year after closing down

Disney Land reopening
The theme park will reopen with reduced capacity at first, and only for California residents.

  • Disneyland will reopen on April 30 after being closed for more than a year, Disney said Wednesday.
  • The park will open at first to California residents at limited capacity.
  • Customers will need to book a reservation in advance to visit the park.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

After shutting its gates a year ago as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the US, Disneyland is reopening for business.

The Anaheim, California-based theme park – which includes both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure – will reopen to the public on April 30, Disney announced Wednesday.

To comply with California’s public-health requirements, capacity will be limited and customers will need to reserve a spot in advance. For the time being, tickets and reservations are only available to California residents. Disney said the first visitors invited back will be members of the local community.

In early March, California announced revised COVID-19 guidelines that allows amusement parks and stadiums to reopen April 1, provided they aren’t located in one of the state’s highest-risk zones. Those rules permit theme parks to reopen at 15% to 35% capacity with mandatory mask-wearing and other precautions in place.

Read more: Yeti is aiming to take on Samsonite and Away as air travel hits the highest level since the pandemic and luggage makers gear up to meet pent-up vacation demand

Disney CEO Bob Chapek previously said during a conference call that it would take some time for the company to get its California parks back up and running after the long shutdown. Reopening the parks will mean bringing back more than 10,000 furloughed employees, Chapek said.

Disney has a clear incentive to reopen its parks as soon as public-health guidelines allow. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the company lost $2.4 billion in income due to park closures.

The company’s Disney World park in Florida has been open since July, given that COVID-19 restrictions have been less stringent in the state.

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Disneyland is hoping to reopen in late April

disneyland covid
Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the company will give a firm opening date in the coming weeks.

  • Disneyland is expected to reopen in late April, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said Tuesday.
  • The company will give a firm date in the coming weeks, he said.
  • California on Friday issued guidelines that allow theme parks to reopen starting April 1.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Disney’s chief executive on Tuesday gave some indication as to when the company’s flagship theme park will reopen.

During Disney’s annual shareholders meeting, CEO Bob Chapek said the company hopes to welcome guests back to Disneyland by “late April,” without giving a specific date.

“Here in California, we’re encouraged by the positive trends we’re seeing and we’re hopeful they’ll continue to improve and we’ll be able to reopen our Parks to guests with limited capacity by late April,” Chapek said.

Chapek said Disney will share an official opening date in the coming weeks.

The announcement came days after California issued new public-health guidelines that allow theme parks to reopen starting April 1 with mandatory mask-wearing, limited capacity, and other precautions so long as they aren’t in one of the state’s highest-risk zones.

The state’s theme parks have been closed since March 2020, and Chapek said it will take Disney some time to get things back up and running.

“The fact is it will take some time to get [the parks] ready for our guests – this includes recalling more than 10,000 furloughed Cast and retraining them to be able to operate according to the State of California’s new requirements,” he said.

The company reopened Florida’s Disney World in July, however, since COVID-19 restrictions have been much more relaxed in the state. Disney has a clear incentive for opening its California parks as soon as possible – closed theme parks cost the company $2.4 billion in operating income during the fourth quarter of 2020.

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Disney says more than 100,000 COVID vaccine doses have been administered at Disneyland since the closed theme park was turned into a mass vaccination site

Disneyland vaccines
People wait in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site in a parking lot for Disneyland.

  • More than 100,000 vaccine doses have been administered at Disneyland since last month.
  • Disneyland is one of several “super” vaccination sites in Orange County, California.
  • The theme park has been shut down since last March. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

More than 100,000 vaccine doses have been administered at Disneyland, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced during the company’s fiscal first-quarter earnings call on Thursday. 

Disney announced last month that it would turn part of its Disneyland resort in Southern California into a mass-vaccination site, the first of five “Super” points of dispensing being set up in Orange County, where Disneyland is located. 

Essential workers and people over 70 years old were among the first group offered vaccines at the theme park. On the night before the site began operating, 10,000 people signed up to receive vaccines, causing the county’s website to crash, according to CBS Los Angeles

Local firefighters and paramedics vaccinated 3,000 people on the first day of operation, CBS reported. Orange County has said it plans to complete all vaccinations in the county by July 4, 2021. 

Read more: Disney has lost at least 40 top execs since Bob Chapek became CEO. Insiders describe how he has remade the company’s power structure.

Southern California has been hit hard by the pandemic. Insider’s Aria Bendix reported that Los Angeles has recorded more cases and deaths than any other county in the US, the majority of which occurred during the last two months. Epidemiologists blamed the surge on a range of factors, including overcrowded multi-generational homes, a new local variant of the virus, and increasing pandemic fatigue in the region.

Orange County has tallied about 241,000 cases since the onset of the virus and 3,493 deaths, according to the Orange County Register.

Disneyland has been shut down since mid-March, although Walt Disney World, in Florida, is currently operating. The park’s closure, along with the suspension of Disney’s cruise business and closures of other parks worldwide, has had a serious impact on Disney’s business: The company said during its earnings call Thursday that operating income from its parks experiences and product business declined “significantly” versus the year prior for a loss of $119 million. 

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Get your COVID-19 vaccine at a New Jersey mall or Disneyland. Here are 15 places across the country that have transformed into mass vaccination sites.

vaccine
A half-dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine initially could mean we have double the number doses available when it’s approved by regulators.

  • Disneyland Resort, a New Jersey mall, convention centers, and sports stadiums are opening their doors to the public as mass vaccination sites.
  • Here are some of the locations across the country that are shifting their focus and opening up for the public-health effort. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Sports stadiums, malls, and amusement parks are taking on a new role amid the COVID-19 pandemic – they’re transforming into mass vaccination sites to help in states’ efforts to distribute the life-saving coronavirus vaccines to as many people as possible. 

Many sites have already opened and begun distributing thousands of doses per day. Other venues are still in the works as they prepare to take on the new challenge. 

Though these new efforts are underway, Operation Warp Speed, which is the Trump administration’s vaccination plan, is facing a slower-than-expected rollout. And just as states were preparing to receive more doses, the Washington Post reported the federal government doesn’t have a reserve of the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines. New York City’s mayor said today it would run out of doses by next week. 

Among the mass vaccination sites where people have begun receiving the vaccines, which were approved in mid-December, are Disneyland resort, a New Jersey Mall, and Gillette Stadium. Here are 15 of the sites taking part in the effort.

1. DisneyLand Resort 

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Disneyland Resort. David McNew/Getty Images

The California-based theme park has been closed since March, but has re-opened its doors, so thousands of Southern Californians can get their COVID-19 shots. It’s the first “super point-of-dispensing” site in Orange County, California, government officials said

2. Citi Field

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A general view of the Citi Field stadium. G Fiume/Getty Images

The New York Mets’ Citi Field Stadium will transform into a “mega” vaccination site, providing between 5,000 and 7,000 shots per day, by the end of January.

3. Arizona Cardinals Stadium

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Big Red of the Arizona Cardinals. REUTERS/Darryl Webb

State Farm’s Arizona Cardinals Stadium opened as the state’s first mass vaccination site, giving doses to 4,000 people on its first day in operation and booking tens of thousands of more appointments, AZ Family reported.

4. Rockaway Townsquare Mall in New Jersey

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The registration area of the Townsquare Mall in Rockaway, New Jersey on January 8, 2021. KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images

The 30,000 square-foot facility at the Townsquare Mall in Rockaway, New Jersey, opened earlier this month along with the Rowan College of South Jersey – the first two of six mass vaccination sites that will open in the state. Soon, 2,400 people per day will receive the vaccine in the state once the shot becomes available to the general public in Phase 2, according to a Jan. 8 report from ABC7

5. Malcolm X College in Chicago

Malcolm X College
The new Malcolm X College on January 30, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago has opened up six mass vaccination sites at colleges across the city, according to a report from WGN9 News. Along with Malcolm X College, Arturo Velasquez Institute, Richard J. Daley College, Olive-Harvey College, Kennedy-King College, and Harry S Truman College, have also joined the effort as mass point-of-dispensing sites. 

6. The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City

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Exterior of the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York, United States, on March 21, 2020. John Lamparski/NurPhoto

The Javits Center, once operating as a COVID-19 treatment facility, opened its doors Wednesday as a vaccination center, according to the website. The Westchester County Center and New York State Fair Expo Center in Syracuse opened the same day, with the State University of New York in Albany and a site at Jones Beach also opening this week. More mass vaccination sites will be announced in the coming days.  

7. Pier 2 cruise ship terminal in Oahu

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Honolulu, Hawaii Hanauma Bay. Caleb Jones/AP

Pier 2, a cruise ship terminal in Oahu, Hawaii, opened as a mass vaccination site on Wednesday, Hawaii News Now reported. Another site, the Neal Blaisdell Center, in downtown Honolulu, is set to open as well.

8. Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts

Gillette Stadium
Gillette Stadium

On Tuesday, Massachussetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced the opening of the state’s first mass vaccination site at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, where the New England Patriots play. The site will begin administering 300 vaccines per day, with a goal of reaching 5,000 per day over time. First responders will be first up to receive the vaccine here, followed later by other eligible individuals.  The state said it’s working to establish more large vaccination sites. 

9. Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Pennsylvania

Amusement park water slides.
Amusement park water slides.

The Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Pennsylvania will soon transform into a mass vaccination site. Lehigh Valley Health Network, which has set up tents at the site, said it hopes to vaccinate as many as 5,000 people per day at the amusement park once the state approves the location and receives more doses, the health network said

10. The “Pit” in Albuquerque, New Mexico

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The Pit where the University of New Mexico’s Lobos play.

The “Pit” stadium, where the University of New Mexico’s Lobos basketball team plays, will become a mass vaccination site on Jan. 20, with officials estimating the site will be able to administer more than 3,000 vaccines per day, UNM health officials said in a statement

11. Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas

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The Astros stadium in front of the Houston skyline.

The Houston Health Department said it is opening Minute Maid Stadium, where the Houston Astros play, on Saturday to vaccinate thousands of people. The department said it plans to administer vaccinations to about 5,000 eligible patients.

12. Jerome Schottenstein Center at Ohio State

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Value City Arena.

The Ohio State University’s Jerome Schottenstein Center, also known as Value City Arena, will become a mass vaccination site used by the university’s medical center. The new location will be able to provide more than 3,000 vaccines per day, the university said. 

13. TCF Center in Detroit

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The Detroit River along the Detroit, Michigan, skyline. Elaine Cromie/Getty Images

This week, Detroit’s TCF Center started distributing vaccinations and booking appointments as the area’s mass vaccination site.

14. Mercedes Benz Arena in Atlanta

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Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Danny Karnik/AP

The Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons, has become a mass vaccination site for the city, partnering with the Fulton County Board of Health to distribute 4,000 doses in its first week of operation, the stadium said in a statement.

15. The Virginia Beach Convention Center

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Virginia Beach, Virginia. Ritu Manoj Jethani/Shutterstock

The Virginia Beach Convention Center has become the city’s primary mass vaccination location, Wavy.com reported. This week, the center administered almost 1,000 doses per day. 

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