ANAHEIM (CBSLA) – Although its amusement parks remain closed, several stores and restaurants in Anaheim's Downtown Disney District reopened Thursday to customers for the first time since shuttering in mid-March, and dozens of cars were lined up to get in hours before it even opened.
"We found a hotel and we were like, 'we're just gonna split it, and we're just gonna do it,'" one woman who drove 90 minutes with her friend to attend the reopening told CBSLA.
Customers and employees will be required to have their temperatures taken before entering the district, and of course, anyone over the age of 2 will be required to wear face coverings.
There will be limited parking and clearly defined entrances. Guests will have to park at the Simba Parking Lot.
Lines and seating will be arranged to ensure physical distancing. There will also be an emphasis on cleaning and sanitation.
All three Disneyland Resort hotels remain closed.
Despite the new regulations, scores of people showed up, hoping that the Disney magic would help ease their minds during this time.
"It seems like just a fun environment to be in right now," said one attendee.
The new physical distancing regulations made wait times longer than usual, with lines up to three hours long for World of Disney Thursday afternoon as fans tried to snag some long-awaited new merchandise.
While the longer wait times and strict mask enforcement may have been an inconvenience, many said it made them feel safer.
"I felt really, really comfortable," season passholder Breanna Smith said. "Security was on it. Any time someone went to take their mask off and drink...they would send them to a designated section. They really enforced the six feet apart."
Disneyland and California Adventure parks were scheduled to reopen July 17 before Disney announced that the reopening would be delayed indefinitely amid a surge in coronavirus cases both in Orange County and statewide. The coalition of unions which represent thousands of Disneyland workers have repeatedly argued that the parks are not ready to reopen safely.
On Wednesday, O.C. reported a single-day record for cases, with 1,333. The county, as a whole, has recorded 20,225 cases and 376 deaths from the disease.
Walt Disney World in Florida has already begun the reopening process: Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are opening on July 11, followed by Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15.
Here is a list of the Downtown Disney stores and restaurants which will reopen Thursday:
- Asian Street Eats™ by Chef Hung Huynh
- Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes
- California Churro
- Curl Surf
- Disney Home
- Disney's Pin Traders
- Earl of Sandwich®
- Kayla's Cakes
- Marceline's Confectionery
- Naples Ristorante e Bar
- PANDORA® Jewelry
- Rinse Bath & Body Co.
- Salt & Straw
- Starbucks® West
- Sugarboo & Co.
- Sunglass Icon®
- The Disney Dress Shop
- The LEGO® Store
- Uva Bar & Cafe
- Wetzel's Pretzels®
- WonderGround Gallery
- World of Disney®
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