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Disneyland Could Reopen at 50% Capacity With Social Distancing

According to estimates by Thinkwell Group’s Brad Kissling, Disneyland could accommodate approximately 50% of its pre-COVID capacity with social distancing.

Disneyland Gate

While Disneyland rarely shares exact figures for park attendance and capacity, an estimated 51,140 visited Disneyland per day in 2019, according to Themed Entertainment Association/AECOM. Kissling estimates Disneyland attracts approximately 60,000 guests on a normal summer weekend day.

Before COVID-19, theme park density ranged between 500 and 650 people per acre. During COVID-19 social distancing, those numbers would need to be cut in half to approximately between 250 and 325 people per acre.

According to Thinkwell, theme parks usually allow 10 to 15 square feet per visitor for a crowded area. When maintaining a six-foot social distance, this square footage would be expanded to 140 feet per person. The breakdown from Thinkwell is below.

  • Pre-COVID Personal Space   = 10-15 sf (1-1.4 sm) per person
  • Post-COVID Personal Space = 140 sf (13 sm), 6 feet (1.8 meters) between individuals
  • Post-COVID Group of Three = 200 sf (18.6 sm) for group and 67 sf (6.2 sm) individually

Following these numbers, Disneyland could allow 25,000 to 30,000 visitors a day, approximately half of their usual capacity, and still maintain social distancing guidelines.

Kissling told Orange County Register, “There is a lot that goes into calculating the daily attendance and densities. So it’s better to make estimates using big windows — such as 50,000 to 60,000 daily pre-COVID or with COVID 25,000 to 30,000 daily.”

Disneyland Resort closed on March 14. No reopening date has been announced, though we have seen signs of Cast Members preparing both parks for reopening. As of today, Disneyland has canceled reservations through October 3.

For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit wdwnt.travel.

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Ed Kolonsky
Ed Kolonsky
1 month ago

The math on square feet per person is wrong in the post-Covid estimate. Yes, it’s six feet from every other person. But, half of that is coming from the other person. So, it’ not a 12 foot by 12 box for each person, it’s a 6 foot by six foot box for each person. 36 square feet rather than 144. The box each person is in is indeed 144 square feet but the boxes overlap.

Mike
Mike
1 month ago

Is this taking land size overall, or actual available space for guests? Disneyland’s walkways, while some have been widened over the years, are still considerably more narrow than newer parks, not to mention the bottlenecks at Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Haunted Mansion, especially if they open HMH this year. Fifty percent is extremely generous, 35-40% may be a more realistic estimate.

Of course, that’s assuming everyone would actually listen and follow DLR’s guidelines.

Tom
Tom
1 month ago

If only it was as simple as a 4th grade math problem. There are far too many factors that this analyst isn’t considering. Even on “half-capacity” days, there are several spots around the park that personal space is almost non-existent — popular attractions, restaurants, larger main walkways, narrow corridors, etc. Post-covid capacity restrictions on rides, and in stores and restaurants will result in a higher percentage of guests being forced into already easily cramped walkways and other normally “wide open” spaces around the park. So a simple square-footage formula is meaningless. There is no way that 25,000 would be able… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Tom
Tom Villanueva
Tom Villanueva
1 month ago

If only it was as simple as a 4th grade math problem. There are far too many factors that this analyst isn’t considering. Even on “half-capacity” days, there are several spots around the park that personal space is almost non-existent — popular attractions, restaurants, larger main walkways, narrow corridors, etc. Post-covid capacity restrictions meant to ease crowding on rides, in stores and at restaurants will result in a higher percentage of guests being forced into already easily cramped walkways and other normally “wide open” spaces around the park. So a simple square-footage formula is meaningless. There is no way that… Read more »

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