'We were missing the magic': Last Disney park reopens amid pandemic

·2 min read

PARIS — For the first time in 17 months, all of Disney's theme parks are open worldwide.

Disneyland Paris was the latest to reopen, welcoming guests back Thursday, just over a week after France reopened to vaccinated international visitors.

Europe's most frequented theme park had been shuttered for nearly eight months.

"Happiest place on Earth," Debbie Tater, of Delaware, said with tears in her eyes. She was visiting family in France, including her daughter and two granddaughters, whom she hadn't seen in a year and a half.

California's original Disneyland actually bills itself as the "Happiest Place on Earth," and it too had reason to celebrate this week. On Tuesday, the resort reopened to out-of-state visitors for the first time since the pandemic.

►Welcome back: Disneyland among California theme parks welcoming out-of-state visitors, easing mask guidelines

►No masks if you're vaxxed: Walt Disney World drops indoor mask requirement for vaccinated visitors in 'most areas'

Disney theme parks open worldwide

  • Disneyland Resort (California): Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure

  • Walt Disney World Resort: Magic Kingdom park, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom park

  • Tokyo Disney Resort: Tokyo Disneyland,Tokyo DisneySea

  • Disneyland Paris: Disneyland park, Walt Disney Studios park

  • Hong Kong Disneyland

  • Shanghai Disney Resort: Shanghai Disneyland

Disneyland Paris, like France, reopens

“We couldn’t miss the reopening," said Elodie Piedfort, from Haute-Loire region in central France. “Because I’m a nurse, it’s been a very difficult year, and being here, together with my son, is great. And the reopening, moving on is great as well.”

Pauline Baudouin, a Disney fan from Angouleme in western France, said: "We were missing the magic, because it was already a complicated period, and we needed to recharge our batteries in this magical world.”

Visitors must wear masks inside the park and other measures are in place, including a cap on visitor numbers to ensure distancing.

►European travel: EU to recommend lifting travel restrictions for all American tourists

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said Wednesday that France is returning to “a form of normal life again,” as he announced that people won’t have to wear masks outdoors any more, except in crowded places.

France started gradually reopening its economy last month. Monuments and museums, including major sites like the Louvre and Versailles, are open, as well as hotels, cafes and restaurants. Tourists will still have to wait, however, for the Eiffel Tower, which is set to reopen on July 16 after major renovation work.

Contributing: Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Disney parks worldwide: Disneyland Paris reopening marks milestone

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