After shutting the park’s gates in January, Disney has reopened its Shanghai theme park with new physical distancing rules.
Tickets for the reopening on May 11th sold out within minutes, with visitor numbers capped at just 30% of the park’s usual 80,000 capacity. Once inside the theme park, new safety measures have been introduced to keep cast members and customers safe.
Face masks are now mandatory, with visitors undergoing temperature checks on arrival. Ticket holders are given an entry slot to prevent overcrowding and those with annual passes are required to reserve an entry time a day in advance.
Social distancing measures are also present when queuing and on rides. Purple mats show visitors how far apart to stand and on rollercoasters alternate rows are left empty. Seats and safety bars are regularly disinfected, with some interactive rides now requiring disposable gloves to be worn.
Speaking to the NYT, Joe Schott, General Manager of the Shanghai resort, shared that the reopening was going well: “So far, guests are being very, very respectful about social distancing… there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
The park has suspended parades and firework displays to help avoid crowding whilst interactive play areas and indoor live theatres remain closed. Disney’s iconic character meet-and-greets have been modified, with costume characters only able to pose for photos while abiding by social distancing.
It has been suggested that Disney’s Florida resort could be next, with a staggered reopening in the coming weeks and months.