Breaking news — Disney CEO Bob Chapek has just announced Shanghai Disneyland is reopening!
The theme park was shuttered amidst growing concerns over health and safety for Cast Members and guests back in January, but in less than a week, Shanghai Disneyland is now expected to resume its operations.
In an earnings call today, Bob Chapek said Shanghai Disneyland would officially reopen May 11th.
Shanghai Disneyland partially began to resume operations on March 9th. This is when a limited number of shopping, dining, and recreational experiences reopened in Disneytown, Wishing Star Park, and Shanghai Disneyland Hotel. During this time, Shanghai Disneyland implemented a new health screening protocol for guests entering the resort. This included temperature checks and the scanning of Health QR Codes. Those with a green QR code are able to enter the resort.
Last week, Shanghai also began testing out its nighttime fireworks spectacular, Ignite the Dream.
Social Distancing and Health Measures
Bob Chapek stated that when Shanghai Disneyland reopens on the 11th, strict social distancing measures will be implemented. This will include the use of masks, temperature checks, contact tracing, and other early detection systems. He also shared that masks in Shanghai will be worn by guests and employees.
He shared that Shanghai’s capacity is 80,000 a day. The China government mandate says the park should have no more than 24,000, but Disney will be opening with less than that at first.
According to the Shanghai Disneyland website, “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.”
Hand sanitizers will be available at queue entries and attraction exits. High-touch locations like ride vehicles, handlebars, queue railings, and turnstiles will have increased sanitization as well.
A few locations will remain closed, these include, “Some interactive attractions and experiences, such as children play areas, and theater shows.”Shanghai Disneyland mentions that guests can check the availability of attractions and entertainment offerings through the resort’s official website and app.
Shanghai has been testing a few of these health measures prior to the parks reopening. You can learn more about that here.
Character Interactions and Show Information
Parades and nighttime spectaculars will be returning at a later date. Shanghai Disneyland will bring to life a special Disney character procession known as Mickey and Friends Express during the initial reopening phase. This will take place several times each day. The Enchanted Storybook Castle will “come to life with light and music at dusk each day with Evening Magical Moments.”
Face characters will not wear masks but will be kept at a distance from crowds. According to the website, “Beloved Disney characters will 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.”
Disney has also shared more information regarding tickets. According to the Shanghai Disneyland website, “Ticket sales will be available via the resort’s official online channels and official travel partners’ channels beginning on May 8 at 8:00 a.m., with a limited number of tickets available each day during the initial reopening.”
Guests will be required to purchase dated admission tickets prior to their arrival and Annual Passholders will need to make a reservation for their visit date before their visit. This can be done through the resort’s official online channels. During this “Advanced Reservation Period,” general admission tickets for Shanghai Disneyland will not be accepted.
Cast Member Training
Disney also shared that, “Cast members will receive training on procedures with an emphasis on contactless guest interaction, cleaning, and social distancing and will receive additional protective equipment including masks.”
We’ll report more on this developing story as more details become available — stay tuned!