Shanghai Disneyland will reopen on 11 May after closing on 25 January due to the COVID-19 outbreak in China. Now as lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease throughout the country, Disney will partially open the theme park to visitors under "enhanced safety measures".
Disney CEO Bob Chapek said Tuesday that the Shanghai park will be the first of its 12 shuttered theme parks to reopen. The Chinese government is limiting capacity at the park to 30%, or about 24,000 guests, Mr Chapek said but the theme park will operate at capacities "far below that" in its first days of reopening. Typically the park welcomed about 80,000 visitors per day before the pandemic.
"We know how much our guests have been looking forward to returning to Shanghai Disneyland, and our cast is excited to begin welcoming them back," Mr Chapek said in a statement. "As the park reopens with significantly enhanced health and safety measures, our guests will find Shanghai Disneyland as magical and memorable as ever."
To comply with limited attendance, guests are required to purchase admission tickets valid on a selected date only, and Annual Pass holders must make a reservation in advance. Social distancing measures will be observed throughout the park, with guests required to stay six feet (two metres) apart in rides, restaurants and other facilities. Increased sanitation and disinfection measures will also be implemented.
Additionally, all visitors and staff are required to wear masks, undergo temperature screenings before arrival and use a contact tracing app that detects whether they have come within close proximity of an infected person. Cast members will receive training on "procedures with an emphasis on contactless guest interaction," Disney added.
As of 9 March, Shanghai Disneyland partially reopened some shopping and dining facilities, while Hong Kong's resort has opened hotels. However, all of Disney's parks in North America, Europe and Asia have been closed for more than a month. They are shut for the foreseeable future, with no timeline announced for reopening, though it's expected that Shanghai's enhanced safety measures will be copied across the parks when the gates are finally opened.