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‘It’s kind of surreal”: Disneyland reopens in California

Masks, temperature checks and no hugs with Mickey Mouse greeted visitors to Disneyland in California on Friday (April 30), as Walt Disney’s original theme park reopened for the first time in over a year.

Under new coronavirus pandemic guidelines, “The Happiest Place on Earth” was opened only to California residents, with capacity limited to 25% to allow for social distancing.

Guests, age 2 and older, were required to wear face masks and there were none of the usual hugs with costumed characters like Mickey Mouse and Snow White. There will be no parades and the nightly fireworks displays have been put on hold to prevent crowds from gathering closely together.

Lauren England was one of the first visitors to the park and told Reuters “It was kind of like so surreal because it’s been so long since we’ve gone, so it was like just really nice to be back around all the energy and the cast members were so welcoming.”

Michelle Kumpe, who drove from Fresno, California and had first visited the park as a child, was excited to enter the park. She said “You know, I’m sure it’s going to wash over me. It’s going to be odd because there’s going to be so few people, probably less than I’ve ever seen in the park before, but I feel very blessed to able to be in here on the first public day.”

(Production: Rollo Ross/Sandra Stojanovic)

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