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Will Disneyland reopen on July 17? Here’s the case

Disneyland could reopen on July 17, the date of a pretty big anniversary

A train zips through Big Thunder Mountain and past the historic Rainbow Ridge Mining Town. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a popular roller coaster attraction, is located in Frontierland at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif. For editorial news use only.
A train zips through Big Thunder Mountain and past the historic Rainbow Ridge Mining Town. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a popular roller coaster attraction, is located in Frontierland at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif.
Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland

Could Disneyland reopen in the middle of July? A few rumors and speculation hint toward July 17 being the reopening date.

What’s going on:

  • Disneyland in California closed in mid-March once the coronavirus pandemic picked up steam in the United States, leading to business closures across the entire country.
  • Disney recently announced that Walt Disney World will reopen in mid-July. Specifically, Disney World will reopen the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 11. Epcot and Hollywood Studios will reopen on July 15, which I reported on for the Deseret News.

Why July 17?

In a column of theme park ideas, SlashFilm’s Josh Spiegel speculated July 17 could be an important date to reopen because it coincides with Disneyland’s 65th anniversary:

“We’re all exhausted, we’re all angry, and we all need a brief bit of relief at this point. So, Disneyland! Let’s all head over there, right? Walt Disney World, as you no doubt have heard, is reopening in mid-July (as far as we know). And Disneyland’s 65th anniversary is coming up on July 17. It’s entirely possible that the anniversary is going to be the opening day, because Disneyland now has pushed back hotel reservation dates to July 15. The previous date was July 1, but now it’s inched much closer to the 17th. Fingers crossed?”

There’s some evidence to back up the idea. Last week, Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel revealed they would no longer take new reservations through July 15, a sign that the park might not open until the end of July or August.

Disneyland previously pushed back reservation dates. June 1 was the original date for new reservations, but that later changed to July 1, according to The Orange County Register.

The date would align with math for other parks. As I wrote before, Shanghai Disneyland was closed for 107 days before it reopened on May 11. Assuming the dates still work, Disney World’s Magic Kingdom will have been closed for 117 days when it reopens on July 11. Epcot and Hollywood Studios will have been closed for 121 days.

If you add those amount of days to Disneyland’s closure date:

  • 107 days — June 29
  • 117 days — July 9
  • 121 days — July 13

That’s as close to July 17 as you can get.

But remember ... baby steps

Disney CEO Bob Chapek told Bloomberg Television that Disney’s reopening will require baby steps and won’t happen overnight.

  • Chapek said: “Disney opens a little later than others — we open up with not as many people inside our parks — but we do that on purpose because we want to build that trust in this new environment. It’s the new normal, and then take it from there. So baby steps every step of the way.”