[Just Dance: Disney Party 2]How Disneyland ride capacity could plummet under COVID-19 restrictions
2021-08-21 02:12:10

  People-eater attractions like Pirates of the Carribean, Haunted Mansion and It’s a Small World, known for gobbling up riders, will have their capacity levels severely slashed when Disneyland returns after a year-long coronavirus closure.

  Updated state guidelines for California theme parks will keep indoor attractions at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure at reduced capacity levels indefinitely and could force the Anaheim theme parks to keep some rides closed.

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  SEE ALSO: What a 15% attendance cap could mean for Disneyland

  Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and other California theme parks can reopen on April 1 provided the counties they reside in reach the red/substantial tier 2 risk status of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s updated Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Orange County — home to Disneyland and DCA — has?reached the red tier?and could reach the orange tier by the time Disney’s Anaheim theme parks?reopen on April 30.

  Starting on April 1, California theme parks can reopen at 15% attendance capacity in the red/substantial tier 2, 25% capacity in the orange/moderate tier 3 and 35% capacity in the least-restrictive yellow/minimal tier 4.

  Under revised guidelines, indoor rides will be required to maintain a 15% capacity limit in the red tier and 25% capacity in the orange and yellow tiers while outdoor rides can accommodate more riders provided social distancing mandates are followed.

  Indoor attractions will also be subject to time limits, according to state officials.

  “There are going to be limits on indoor rides,” California Business and Economic Development Director Dee Dee Myers told the media in early March. “There will be a building capacity limit and then there will be a time limit. We’re still working out the details of that.”

  State officials have not yet revealed what the time limits will be on indoor attractions.

  Orange County, home to Disneyland and DCA, is currently in the red tier and could reach the orange tier by the time the Disney theme parks reopen in late April. That would help raise indoor attraction capacity to 25%, but then rider levels would remain stuck indefinitely at that level — with no indication when the limitations would be lifted.

  The restrictions mean Disneyland and DCA will have far less ride capacity and the parks could opt to keep some low capacity attractions closed. As a result, fans expecting relatively low crowd levels when the parks initially reopen with attendance restrictions could still find themselves waiting in long attraction lines.

  Disneyland officials rarely discuss visitor attendance or ride capacity. Touring Plans, which uses big data and statistical analysis to estimate daily crowd sizes and ride wait times at theme parks, has calculated average hourly capacity limits for every Disneyland and DCA attraction.

  SEE ALSO: Disneyland crowds expected to bounce back after coronavirus closure, analysts say

  Indoor Disneyland attractions

  In pre-pandemic times, Disneyland relied on a lineup of people-eater rides to help absorb crowds on busy days. Pirates of the Carribean, Haunted Mansion and It’s a Small World could all accommodate at least 2,500 riders per hour or more, according to Touring Plans. That throughput will shrink to fewer than 800 riders per hour at 25% capacity levels.

  Disneyland’s famed mountain range can be relied on to vacuum up riders — with each attraction accommodating 1,500 riders per hour or more. Space Mountain and Splash Mountain will be reduced to less than 600 riders per hour under state guidelines, based on Touring Plans data. Matterhorn Bobsleds and Big Thunder Mountain could face the same fate if the coasters are deemed indoor rides because of their covered lift hills.

  Disneyland’s fleet of Star Wars rides — Rise of the Resistance, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Tours — all have similar capacity levels as the mountain range ride, according to Touring Plans. The same goes for Indiana Jones Adventure and the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

  Fantasyland’s classic dark rides themed to Snow White, Peter Pan, Pinnocchio, Alice in Wonderland and Mr. Toad all have relatively low capacity levels of fewer than 600 riders per hour, according to Touring Plans. At 25% capacity, only 150 people will be able to ride each indoor attraction per hour. The same goes for Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin.

  Tight confines inside Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, Disneyland Monorail and Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough could force the park to keep the attractions closed or severely restricted in the COVID-19 era.

  Shows like Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and Enchanted Tiki Room could run into indoor time limitations imposed by state officials. Disneyland laid off the cast of “Mickey and the Magical Map” in the Fantasyland Theatre.

  Disneyland has already announced that the nightly firework show, Magic Happens parade and “Fantasmic” nighttime spectacular won’t return immediately when the park reopens. Character meet-and-greet locations like Mickey’s House, Pixie Hollow and Fantasy Faire are expected to remain closed due to social distancing concerns.

  SEE ALSO: Which Disneyland attractions have the most and least downtime? You’ll be surprised

  Outdoor Disneyland attractions

  Fortunately, Disneyland has plenty of outdoor rides that won’t face the same 25% capacity limitations as indoor attractions.

  The biggest outdoor people-eater attraction? Autopia at about 3,000 hourly riders, according to Touring Plans.

  The Jungle Cruise and Disneyland Railroad can handle around 2,000 riders per hour, according to Touring Plans. Matterhorn Bobsleds and Big Thunder Mountain are in the same range if they qualify as outdoor rides.

  Outdoor Fantasyland favorites like Storybook Land Canal Boats, King Arthur Carrousel and Mad Tea Party all tackle more than 1,000 hourly riders, according to Touring Plans. Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Casey Jr. Circus Train accommodate about half that.

  The Mark Twain Riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia can handle about 1,000 riders per hour — but the tall ship has a fairly large below deck area that could be off limits with COVID-19 restrictions.

  Gadget’s Go Coaster and Astro Orbitor are both relatively low capacity rides — serving fewer than 700 riders per hour, according to Touring Plans.

  Tom Sawyer Island and Tarzan’s Treehouse should provide plenty of outdoor play spaces for kids to burn off energy.

  The trackless Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes might not have enough people power to make it around the Rivers of America with socially distanced seating.

  SEE ALSO: How will Disney California Adventure change over the next 20 years?

  Indoor Disney California Adventure attractions

  Across the esplanade, Disney California Adventure has far fewer rides than its elder neighbor.

  DCA relies on a host of mid-capacity indoor rides to keep crowds busy. Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout, Radiator Springs Racers, Toy Story Midway Mania, Soarin’ Around the World and Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure will all see their capacities cut to under 500 riders per hour under state guidelines, based on Touring Plans capacity data.

  The show-heavy park could see Mickey’s Philharmagic, Turtle Talk, Disney Junior Dance Party and Animation Academy hit by time limit restrictions.

  The “World of Color” nighttime spectacular and any DCA parades won’t return immediately when the park reopens. Cast members from “Frozen Live” at the Hyperion Theater have been laid off.

  SEE ALSO: Which Disney California Adventure attractions have the most and least downtime? You’ll never guess

  Outdoor Disney California Adventure attractions

  DCA doesn’t have any big people-eater rides like Disneyland.

  To absorb crowds, Disney’s second Anaheim gate will have to rely on outdoor attractions like the Incredicoaster and Grizzly River Rapids — which each handle about 2,000 hourly riders, according to Touring Plans.

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  The bulk of DCA’s outdoor rides can be found in the Pixar Pier and Paradise Gardens areas — but they are all relatively low capacity. King Triton’s Carousel, Pixar Pal-A-Round, Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind, Silly Symphony Swings, Goofy’s Sky School, Jumpin’ Jellyfish and Golden Zephyr all can handle fewer than 1,000 riders per hour, according to Touring Plans. Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree can do about half that.

  Kids looking to burn off a little excess energy should be able to get their fix in the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.

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