When Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood reopened in April, California residents and fans were quick to buy tickets and make reservations — however, the queues did not seem to be overwhelming, due to the fact that all theme parks were limited to 25% capacity at the time.
Since the theme parks’ reopening, COVID-19 case numbers in the state have decreased and the number of vaccinated California residents has increased. So, the theme parks have been allowed to increase Guest capacity to 35%. Since the capacity increase, Universal Studios Hollywood began to allow out-of-state Guests who could prove their vaccination status. Disneyland Resort is still limited to only California residents, but Disney plans to welcome back out-of-state Guests to the California Disney Parks beginning June 15.
Even with the limited capacity at both Disneyland and Universal, that has not prevented wait times from getting incredibly high — even in the middle of the week. On June 10, there were only three attractions that had under a 30-minute wait at Universal Studios Hollywood. All other open attractions boasted wait times of 45-minutes or more.
At Disneyland, also on June 10, even though there are more attractions than at Universal Hollywood, wait times also continued to climb. Both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure had multiple attractions that were also at least a 30-minute wait — including attractions that many Guests consider “walk-ons”. The more popular attractions were at least a 45-minute wait.
Unfortunately, we suspect these wait times will only likely get worse. On June 15, the State of California is dropping all of its COVID-19 mandates. This means that both Disneyland and Universal Studios — as well as all other theme parks in the state — will be allowed to operate at full capacity and will not have to implement any social distancing between parties.
It is important to note that at this time, neither Disneyland nor Universal has announced a capacity increase. However, it is unlikely that both theme parks will automatically jump to 100% capacity the day they are allowed to. We suspect that Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Anaheim and Universal Studios in Los Angeles will gradually increase capacity over a period of time, but we will update our website with more information as it is announced.
But as more Guests are allowed to enter each theme park, that means that attraction wait times can continue to climb. Universal Studios has its Express Pass for sale, which allows Guests to get to the front of the line once per ride.
Disneyland Resort, however, has not brought back its FASTPASS or MaxPass offerings and has not announced when they plan to do so. That means that for the time being no Guests will be able to jump to the front of the line unless they have a disability pass or have been given a front-of-the-line pass by a Cast Member for a specific reason.
While Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure will continue to operate on a solely virtual queue system, Disneyland also has Indiana Jones Adventure on a virtual queue system on an as-needed basis, which will most likely be used more as the theme park hosts more visitors. If any other attractions at the Disneyland Resort implement a virtual queue similar to the one in place for Indiana Jones Adventure, we’ll update our website.
Upon capacity increase, Disneyland Resort will continue to require Guests to book a theme park reservation along with their theme park ticket. Universal Studios Hollywood requires Guests to pick a visitation date at the time they purchase their tickets as well. Both of these systems will allow Disney and Universal to control capacity numbers.
How do you feel about the theme park wait times? Let us know in the comments!
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