Disney Parks

Disney World And Other Major Theme Parks Set Official Reopening Dates

Ever since the coronavirus pandemic began impacting the United States in March, all major theme parks have been indefinitely closed. Now, Disney, Universal, and other major theme parks around the country are gearing up to reopen as early as June. In Florida specifically, Disney recently presented a business plan to local government officials that would allow the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom to open on July 11th, and have Hollywood Studios and Epcot open on July 15th. 

The parks won’t be returning to normalcy, however, in fact they have a list of new health and safety measures to ensure that everyone remains as safe as possible while in the park. Things like character meet and greets, parades, and any other event that would attract a large crowd to gather in one area of the park will continue to remain cancelled. 

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Individuals who want to go to the parks also must reserve tickets for when they plan on making their trip, as park capacity will also be limited to ensure physical social distancing practices can still occur. Wearing masks and temperature checks will also be required for park entry. These policies have already been implemented in other locations like Disney Springs, which is a shopping and dining center near the park that began a loose reopening last week. 

“As we all must work together to promote the health and safety of everyone, cast members as well as guests 3 years of age and older will be required to wear appropriate face coverings in theme parks and common areas of resort hotels. All guests will also undergo temperature screenings prior to entering a theme park; cast members will also have temperature checks. Cashless transactions are recommended, and cleaning and disinfection procedures will be increased in high-traffic areas,” Disney Parks’s Thomas Smith wrote Wednesday on the official Disney Parks Blog

Disney’s plans haven’t been fully approved by local and state governments yet, although it’s expected that no one will have an issue with these new measures. There’s no solid opening date for Disneyland in Southern California, however, other major theme park names have also announced they’ll be reopening in the coming months under new Covid-19 safety guidelines. 

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Universal Studio Hollywood has had a “closed at least though May 31st” banner on their website since they initially closed down back in March. Now, the Orlando parks, which includes Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay, announced their aiming to reopen on June 5th. Like Disney World, guests will have to abide by new guidelines that include wearing a mask, and temperature checks upon arrival. Everyone will also be asked to follow floor markings as they travel throughout the park to keep everyone six feet apart. 

Legoland also announced this week that they’re aiming to reopen their San Diego location on July 1st. 

“The plan is based on guidance from the CDC and gives details on personal protective equipment, social distancing measures, cleaning and sanitation protocols, work and sick policies, employee screenings, COVID training and customer communication including signage and website messaging. The safety and health of our employees and guests is the top priority for all San Diego attractions and we can’t wait to be back open,” a Legoland representative told a local San Diego paper.

The Florida Legoland resort is planning on reopening their waterpark attractions on June 1st, and will only require guests to wear masks. It will be interesting to see how many individuals actually take the time to go through all of these new measures in the coming months, however, like with every aspect of this pandemic only time will tell how things will change.

Los Angeles California

Underrated Things To Do In Los Angeles

The East and West Coasts of the United States hold a lot of notoriety. Los Angeles versus New York is a tale as old as time, however, both coasts and both cities are a hub for diversity, culture, and entertainment. While New York City is the city that never sleeps, Los Angeles is the city referred to as La La Land (no, not the movie, but the concepts are similar), but it’s often overlooked as just a city of Hollywood snobs and Beverly Hills housewives. However, there’s plenty to do in LA beyond just TMZ bus tours and posting pictures of smoothie bowls on Instagram.

One of the most underrated parts of Los Angeles is the fact that it’s home to over 150 museums. One of the most notable museums would have to be the Getty Center, which is basically LA’s version of the MET in NYC. The center holds art from a whole slew of artists/artistic periods that defined our world’s culture throughout history; such as pieces by Van Gough, and sculptures from Ancient Greece. Other museums, that hold historical artifacts beyond the art world include LA’s own Museum of Natural History, the Petersen Automotive Museum, the Hollywood Bowl Museum, and Madame Tussauds Hollywood; for the more whimsical celebrity-obsessed LA resident inside us all. 

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From coast to coast, most Americans can agree that if you’re going to visit either NYC or LA, you’re going to need to go shopping. LA especially is known for its wealthy, elitist, high-profile residents, so why not join that same status for the time being on your visit? The “treat yourself” mentality should always be activated on a vacation, but especially when that vacation is to the City of Angels. 

The Beverly Center in LA is over 800,000 square feet of store upon store upon store. It’s basically a super-mall that has retailers ranging from high-end designers, such as Gucci and Balenciaga, to more affordable and feasible options, such as Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. Beyond the center, the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica is an outdoor pedestrian mall that has a multitude of shopping, dining, and entertainment options to fill your day. 

For more family-friendly daily activities, you really can’t go wrong with a trip to Legoland or Universal Studios. These are the obvious mainstream choices, but they’re popular for a reason, especially amongst kids. Both options range between $100-$200 per day depending on the activities within each, and each also offers places to stay on your visit. 

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Another more underrated experience that’s perfect for the constantly moving traveler is a multi-day California tour. These tours begin in Los Angeles, but show you a whole range of experiences in the Golden State that you wouldn’t have access to if you just stayed in LA. One 3-Day California Coast tour takes you on a three-day, two-night journey along the west coast where you’ll stop in other famous California cities such as Santa Barbara, Yosemite National Park, San Francisco, and more! This specific tour costs $500, and most are around the same range. 

According to Tripadvisor, other multi-day tours include a longer 8-day tour that covers the same cities as mentioned above and an extra state; the tour starts in Los Angeles, and ends in Las Vegas, Nevada. In fact, Las Vegas is the destination for a few of the multi-day tours California and LA has to offer.

If you want to lead a more active life while on your trip, there’s yet again a whole bunch of activities that the city has to offer. Some stereotypical California experiences you can sign up for include surfing lessons, helicopter tours that stretch beyond just LA, and hiking/biking groups that will show you the more hidden, natural side of an otherwise extremely metropolitan area. 

Regardless of your coastal preferences, both LA and NYC have plenty of activities that any kind of vacationer would want to embark on.