'The happiest place on Earth' reopens with COVID-19 restrictions

'The happiest place on Earth' reopens with COVID-19 restrictions

Face masks are also required for both visitors and staffers, as well as temperature checks upon entry.

Disneyland and Disneyland California Adventure Park reopened their gates to eager visitors Friday after the iconic theme park shut its doors for more than a year due to the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

At 9 a.m. today, the world-famous theme park welcomed its first guests, who were seen clapping and waving as they made their way through the gates.

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Prior to the opening, CEO of The Walt Disney Company Bob Chapek participated in the morning's flag-raising ceremony in the park’s town square where employees donning face coverings were gathered.

“We’re not just another place. We’re not just another theme park. We’re something special and we’re something special because of all of you, because you bring magic to the world,” Chapek told employees, according to The Associated Press (AP).

The “Happiest Place on Earth” shut its doors in March 2020 as the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. began to escalate and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) put in place the country’s first statewide lockdown.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the park had been closed down just three times, once on the National Day of Mourning in 1963 after President Kennedy was assassinated, in 1994 after the Northridge earthquake, and on Sept. 11, 2001 due to the terror attacks. Each closure lasted just one day.

The reopening comes with a series of restrictions, including limiting capacity to 25 percent and requiring both a park pass reservation and ticket purchase to enter its two parks. Only California residents are allowed to visit the park with groups no larger than three households.

Face masks are also required for both visitors and staffers, as well as temperature checks upon entry.

“Just walking down Main Street and looking at the bricks on Main Street and looking at the stores or up at Walt’s window with the candle in it, all those things bring us a lot of happiness,” Zach Bolger, a California resident who attended the reopening, told AP.

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