A year after closing amid the pandemic, Disneyland plans to expand with new rides, restaurants, and entertainment

disneyland covid
Visitors take selfies in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle during the last day before Disneyland closes because of COVID-19 in Anaheim, California on March 13, 2020.

  • “DisneylandForward” is a multi-year planning effort that will lead to an expansion, a spokesperson told Insider.
  • The expansion might include themed lands based on Disney movies such as “Tangled” and “Peter Pan.”
  • Disney first needs to receive an updated development approval from the city of Anaheim to expand the resort.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Disney is planning to expand its California theme park with new rides, restaurants, and attractions – but to do that it says it needs the city of Anaheim to agree to redraft decades-old planning restrictions.

The multiyear expansion, called “DisneylandForward,” was revealed Thursday. The plan is light on details or timings, but could include themed elements based on hit Walt Disney movies like “Tangled,” “Frozen,” and “Peter Pan,” a Disney spokesperson told Insider.

Plans for expanding the 500-acre resort in Southern California come a year after Disneyland was shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s hard to believe it’s been an entire year since the Disneyland Resort closed its park gates to guests,” said a website dedicated to the expansion. “We’ve taken this time to look forward,” the company said.

The naiscent plans could include new theme-park attractions, dining, and retail and hotel space, the company said. The expansion will be paid for privately and Disney will not seek any public funding, the Disneyland Forward website said. Disney also does not intend to request more square footage for hotel rooms.

Before the project can move forward, Anaheim city officials must agree to update planning restrictions from the 1990s meant to guide the growth of the Disneyland resort and surrounding businesses.

“With bold planning and leadership, Disneyland Resort could be poised to grow again, bringing jobs and new lands and adventures to Anaheim,” says a website dedicated to the project.

The city’s mayor had a warm response to the plan, Deadline reported. “I welcome fresh thinking about how the Disneyland Resort evolves and how we best maximize this resource for our city,” Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu said in a statement to the news site.

Disney submitted the proposal to the Anaheim City Council on Thursday and the planning and approval process with the city and local community is expected to be completed by 2023, Disney spokesperson told Insider.

Disney said last week that it will reopen Disneyland Resort theme parks – Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park – on April 30 with limited capacity.

The reopening comes with a new theme-park-reservation system that requires visitors to reserve their spot prior to park entry. Reservations are limited because of state COVID-19 guidelines and only California residents may visit the parks for the time being.

Over 10,000 furloughed employees will be be called back to work with the park’s reopening, according to Disney CEO Bob Chapek.

Disney World park has been open since July in Florida, where COVID-19 related restrictions are looser, but attendance was lower than expected compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to data published by Deutsche Bank in August.

The company struggled with the financial impact caused by the pandemic. Disney lost $2.4 billion in income in the fourth quarter of 2020 because of 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 climbs to record highs as California sets date to reopen theme parks

disney california adventure Anahiem California
  • Disney stock hit an all-time high around $203 in heavy trading Monday.
  • California is allowing for the limited reopening of amusement and theme parks in April.
  • The parks may not open if they operate in counties with the highest restrictions due to COVID-19.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Walt Disney shares climbed to their highest on record Monday after California set out guidelines for businesses to reopen theme parks following their closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state’s Health and Human Services agency on Friday said additional activities will be permitted at amusement and theme parks beginning on April 1 based on a four-tiered system.

Investors started the week by pushing Disney shares to an all-time high of $203.02. The stock ended the session up by 6.3% to $202.02. Volume of roughly 24 million shares was stronger than average daily volume of 12.3 million shares.

Companies can open their parks with various capacity limitations only if the counties in which they operate are not under the state’s most restrictive “purple” tier which indicates widespread COVID-19 transmissions.

Under the least restrictive “yellow” tier, larger parks can open with capacity limited to 25%, with reservations or advanced ticket sales required.

Disney runs Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park.

Disney shares led gainers on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which closed up more than 300 points at 31,802.44.

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Nintendo’s giant Super Nintendo World theme park in Japan is finally opening after 8 months of delays, and visitors will need to wear a mask

Super Nintendo World (Shigeru Miyamoto)
  • Super Nintendo World in Japan is finally set to open on March 18, Nintendo announced.
  • The park was originally supposed to open in summer 2020, but this was disrupted by the pandemic.
  • Visitor numbers will be limited and people will have to wear masks, Engadget reports.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Japan’s huge new Super Nintendo theme park, Super Nintendo World, is finally opening its doors this month after being delayed by the pandemic.

Nintendo announced Monday the park, located inside Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan, is scheduled to open on March 18.

The park was originally meant to open in summer last year ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but this timeline was disrupted by the pandemic. It then set an opening date of February 2021, but this also got postponed, after Osaka declared a state of emergency due to high rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Engadget reports the park is set to take only a limited number of visitors at a time, and require them to wear masks.

In a presentation given in January 2020, executives said the park would resemble a “life-size, living video game.”

They also said visitors would be given special “Power-Up Bands” – wearable wrist bands that would let visitors collect coins and compete with each other via an app on their phones.

Bloomberg reported the park would feature locations from the Super Mario video game franchise, including the Mushroom Kingdom, Peach’s Castle, and Bowser’s Fortress.

Nintendo said back in 2017 that there would be an attraction based on Mario Kart

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