The newest Disney theme park in the world, Shanghai Disneyland, temporarily closed Jan. 25, 2020, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. They will be the first Disney park to reopen, with gates opening tomorrow, May 11, 2020 – over 100 days later. All eyes are on Disney as they make this big step towards re-opening all their theme park destinations.
Social distancing and limited capacity is Disney’s key to making the magic come back. Andrew Bolstein, senior vice president of Operations for the Shanghai Disneyland Resort, gave a tour to the press, showing what will be done for guest safety. Here are some highlights with a video tour by New China TV.
On May 11, the majority of Shanghai Disneyland’s attractions, rides, some shows and shopping and dining locations will resume operations, with controlled attendance. Some interactive attractions and experiences, such as children play areas and theater shows, will remain closed. Guests can check the availability of attractions and entertainment through the resort’s official website and app.
During this initial reopening phase, the park will institute new measures and procedures, including opening with limited attendance and required advanced ticketing and reservations, accommodating social distancing in queues, restaurants, ride vehicles and other facilities throughout the park, and implementing increased frequency of sanitization and disinfection.
Guests must purchase dated admission tickets for Shanghai Disneyland prior to their arrival, as on-site sales will not be available. Annual Pass holders must also make a reservation for their visit date and time through Shanghai Disney Resort’s official online channels. During this “Advanced Reservation Period,” General Admission tickets will not be accepted.
All guests must bring a valid Chinese government ID card or travel document. They must also have a valid green “Health QR Code” to present. Lastly, guests must wear masks all day while in the park, except for while eating.
Upon arriving at the park, guests will walk through a temperature screening area. All guests temperatures must be at 37.3 Celsius (99.1 Fahrenheit) or lower to enter the park.
Guests will then have to present their green “Health QR Code” for validation before heading to the security checkpoint.
Next, guests will have to present their valid ticket to enter the park that day. Upon approval guests will get their bags checked by security before heading to the ticket turnstiles. The turnstiles are the last stop and here guests will have to present their valid Chinese government ID card or travel document.
Many of the parks attractions will be open, but there will be changes in how guests are boarded. Certain rows and seats will be empty to allow safe distance between guests.
Disney has also added hand sanitizer stations at the exit of each attraction. Hand sanitizer will be available all around the park.
There will also be cast members around the park reminding guests of the social distancing and helping to enforce safe practices.
While large-scale shows like the nightly fireworks won’t return until a later date, some shows will return on day one. Seen above in a video screen shot from New China TV, Shanghai Disneyland has added yellow boxes for guests to know where it is safe to stand during a performance.
Characters interactions have been modified to adjust for social distancing. During the initial re-opening phase, a special Disney character procession, Mickey and Friends Express, will take place several times daily. And, the Enchanted Storybook Castle will come to life with light and music at dusk each day with Evening Magical Moments. Beloved Disney characters will also appear in the park in a new way, as they make appearances in each of the themed lands, greeting and welcoming everyone back to Shanghai Disneyland. Close interaction and close-up photos with characters will be suspended during the initial phase of reopening.
At dining locations Disney has taken the guesswork out of where to sit. Tables marked with social distancing cards are not to be used. This will help distance guests while they eat without masks on.
While in stores, guests are asked to only interact with merchandise they plan on purchasing. Guests will also be encouraged to distance themselves from others while shopping. There will be contactless payment options for guests to use if they chose instead of cash or cards.
This first phase of re-opening will certainly be a change to the Disney norm. We also expect procedures similar to these will eventually happen in all Disney parks around the world. What do you think of these safety procedures? And, do you think they will differ from country to country? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
You can watch the full Disney safety procedures video below.
Here’s New China TV’s 15 minute guided tour of the park and its new procedures with Shanghai Disneyland’s Senior Vice President of Operations Andrew Bolstein below.