Theme Parks

Looking for a Thrill? Here's Every Reopening Date for SoCal's Major Theme Parks

From SeaWorld to Magic Mountain, here's when the biggest theme parks will reopen.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Like the slow climb to the top of a roller coaster, things are looking up in Southern California as COVID-19 case rates decrease and more and more sectors open up.

On March 5, state health officials announced that theme parks could reopen starting April 1, depending on the region’s color-coded tier. Each tier has its own set of restrictions.

Purple Tier:

  • Theme parks cannot open

Red Tier:

  • Capacity limited to 15%
  • A “group” cannot be larger than 10 people or from more than three households
  • No indoor dining
  • Walk-up ticket sales allowed, but parks must collect information of guests for contact tracing

Orange Tier:

  • Capacity limited to 25%
  • Indoor dining allowed but limited to 25% capacity also
  • Walk-up ticket sales allowed, but parks must collect information of guests for contact tracing

Yellow Tier:

  • Park capacity limited to 35% and indoor capacity limited to 25%
  • Indoor dining allowed but limited to 50% capacity
  • Walk-up ticket sales allowed, but parks must collect information of guests for contact tracing

Additionally, the state has provided further guidance, regardless of tiers -- including that guests must wear face coverings, guests must be California residents, and guests can only eat and drink in designated areas, among other changes. See below for the complete guidelines:

So, with all of that said, when will the various theme parks across Southern California open?

When will Disneyland reopen?

Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park reopened April 30.

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa reopened April 29 with limited capacity ahead of the parks. The Vacation Club Villa at the Grand Californian reopened May 2, and Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel will reopen at later dates.

Additionally, the highly-anticipated Avengers Campus addition to the park will open on June 4. Its debut will feature a brand-new ride, WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure, and a place to eat, Pym Test Kitchen -- as well as other iconic franchise tie-ins like Avengers Headquarters and the Sanctum.

Guests will need to make a reservation ahead of their tip to the Happiest Place on Earth.

When will Universal Studios reopen?

Universal Studios Hollywood reopened to the public on April 16.

And to make things even better, the reopen coincides with an entirely new ride -- The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash. Additionally, guests will get to see a new, fully articulated version of the Indominus Rex at the top of the big drop on Jurassic World: The Ride.

Also, Annual and Season Pass Members got an added bonus April 15, when they could stroll down that much-photographed red carpet outside the entrance a day before the public's return.

Universal Studios said “most rides” will be operational but “some rides and attractions will reopen at a later date as the theme park complies with government restrictions.”

Click here to learn more.

When will Magic Mountain reopen?

Six Flags Magic Mountain reopened to members and pass holders on April 1 and later opened to the public on April 3.

Guests must make a reservation before heading out so the park can track capacity levels.

The park also said all 2020 Season Passes have been extended to December 31, 2021.

When will Legoland reopen?

From April 1 to April 12, Legoland California Resort hosted “Park Preview Days.” A limited selection of rides were available, including the Driving School, Lego Technic Coaster, Fairy Tale Brook and Coastersaurus.

During this time, Legoland will only permit existing ticketholders whose trips were initially disrupted because of COVID-19, annual passholders, and guests who are staying at the park’s hotel.

On April 15, the park officially reopened to the public with all rides, shows and attractions, including the SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGO CHIMA Water Park.

Guests are required to make reservations online ahead of their trip. Reservation information and the park's updated health and safety protocols can be found on its website.

Additionally, the Lego Movie World will open on May 27.

Officials said the new area will feature six interactive attractions, including Emmet's Flying Adventure and Unikitty’s Disco Drop.

When will Adventure City reopen?

Adventure City reopened on April 16, according to its website.

All 11 rides are open, but some of the attractions will remain temporarily closed. The Petting Farm reopened without feeding, the park told NBC 7.

Adventure City is normally opened year-round but only for a few days out of the week in the non-summer seasons. The park will be open Fridays to Sundays until it expands its operations closer to summer.

Guests will need to make a reservation in advance of their trip.

When will Knott's Berry Farm reopen?

Knott's Berry Farm will reopen to season passholders on May 6.

The Buena Park destination will reopen to the general public on May 21.

The theme park was set to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Walter and Cordelia Knott's legendary fruit stand in 2020, but it was put on hold. Now, Knott's Berry Farm said the 100th anniversary celebration will be "summer-long."

Guests can start making reservations on April 26, the park confirmed.

Knott's Berry Farm's current food experience, Taste of Boysenberry, is up and running through May 2. Rides and attractions are not open during the outdoor festival, but some shops are.

Knott's Berry Farm Just Revealed Its Reopening Date

Knott’s Soak City Waterpark in Buena Park will make a splash when it reopens on May 29.  The 15-acre waterpark is home to "... one of the longest lazy rivers in the country." It'll remain open through Sept. 12 on "select dates."

When will SeaWorld reopen?

SeaWorld San Diego reopened to the public on Feb. 6 -- because under the Purple Tier, museums, zoos and aquariums have been allowed to open for outdoor operations. Though, its rides and some attractions remained closed.

SeaWorld later said it would reopen "as a theme park" on April 12.

This means the return of "rides, roller coasters, indoor and outdoor animal attractions, and outdoor animal presentations with physically-distanced seating," according to the park's website.

Indoor operations can return under the Red Tier and below with limited capacities (Red: 25%; Orange: 50%).

Guests with existing tickets, Fun Cards or Annual Passes must make a reservation using the system. Guests who purchase a date-specific, single-day ticket won't need to use the reservation system.

Click here for a breakdown of where each of California’s 58 counties are at in the state’s reopening system.

Universal Studios and NBC-owned TV stations operate under the same parent company NBCUniversal.

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