After re-closing two months ago as a precautionary measure during a mild spike in the city, Hong Kong Disneyland is reopening again on September 25, 2020. In this post, we’ll cover the details, policies, and more.
For starters, ‘spike’ is a relative term. During what was actually Hong Kong’s third wave, new cases peaked at 149 per day; on that same day, Florida had 9,956 new cases. Since late January, Hong Kong has reported 5,000 cases and 103 deaths. Given Hong Kong’s population of nearly 7.5 million people, those numbers are among the lowest in the world.
While it’s exciting that Hong Kong Disneyland will once again reopen, there’s nothing to say another closure is out of the question. Unlike the US parks, the Hong Kong Government is the majority owner of the venture, with the Walt Disney Company being a minority owner. Given the recent financial woes of Hong Kong Disneyland, it’s unlikely Disney would push to keep the park operational. Even if they did, Disney does not have power or economic influence in Hong Kong…
When Hong Kong Disneyland re-reopens on September 25, 2020, the park will not be open 7 days per week. During the initial reopening stage, Hong Kong Disneyland will be closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays, except public holidays and designated days, until further notice.
This is a shift from its previous reopening, and is somewhat concerning for Hong Kong Disneyland’s long-term viability. The park already had significant economic woes for a number of reasons, and the last ~8 months have only exacerbated those.
The majority of the park’s attractions, shopping and dining locations will resume operations. As before, this will occur with physical distancing and reduced capacity. Guests can check the availability of attractions and entertainment through the official Hong Kong Disneyland website and app.
When Hong Kong Disneyland reopens, all guests will be required to make a reservation for their visit date with their valid tickets or membership cards through the Hong Kong Disneyland Park Visit Reservation website. This includes those guests with regular tickets, Magic Access Annual Passholders, and complimentary ticket holders.
Magic Access members may make a reservation beginning eight days prior to their visit. General guests may make a reservation beginning seven days prior to their visit.
Magic Access members may reserve 1 day in advance, beginning from September 22, 2020. Reservations for other guests will begin at 12 p.m. on September 23, 2020.
Guests with reservations are required to present valid tickets or membership cards for entry. A reservation is not required for children below three years of age and they can enjoy free park admission as usual.
We’re actually mildly surprised to see HKDL use a park entry reservation system given that attendance at the park was already depressed in the last few years. Guest numbers will likely be down even further due to travel bans.
On the health safety front, Hong Kong Disneyland guests will need to make a health declaration as part of their pre-arrival reservation process. (Unlike mainland China, Hong Kong does not have a QR health code tracking system.)
Additionally, guests will undergo temperature screening procedures upon arrival and will need to wear a mask during their visit, except when enjoying food and beverage at catering premises. That’s all pretty similar to what is done at Walt Disney World.
Hong Kong Disneyland will implement social distancing in queues, restaurants, attraction vehicles and other facilities throughout the park. Character experiences requiring close interaction and close-up photos will be temporarily suspended. Other character experience opportunities that can accommodate social distancing will be available in locations throughout the park. The resort is also gradually resuming its hotel services.
The frequency of sanitization and disinfection measures in high-guest contact areas at Hong Kong Disneyland will be increased in order to augment the standards of cleanliness already in place throughout the resort, and extra hand sanitizers will be available. Further health safety measures, including granular things like A/C system cleaning, are covered here.
Hong Kong’s response was a mostly grassroots movement driven by the organizational capacity and the civic infrastructure built by its prodemocracy movement. Little credit can be attributed to the city’s unpopular government, which wavered, delayed, and did its best to bungle the response.
Hong Kong’s total, cumulative caseload has been a small fraction of Florida’s daily numbers. In fairness, Florida does have triple Hong Kong’s population, but we’re still comparing nearly 5 months of cases to a single day, and Hong Kong is one of the most population-dense places in the world.
Ultimately, we would love to visit Hong Kong Disneyland at some point in 2021 if it’s feasible and safe for Americans. With each passing day that seems less likely for several different reasons, sadly. What has happened to Hong Kong is nothing short of heartbreaking.
Nevertheless, we retain a sliver of optimism that the damage done to Hong Kong’s autonomy can still be undone. We absolutely love Hong Kong, its people, and its unique character. Same goes for Hong Kong Disneyland, which is home to two of our Top 10 New Disney Attractions of the Last Decade. Then there are its hotels, which are great–and budget friendly as compared to their U.S. counterparts. Ditto its restaurants, especially the ones at the resorts.
Hong Kong Disneyland is perfect for anyone looking for a more intimate and laid back Disney theme park experience as part of a primarily non-Disney travel experience. Hong Kong Disneyland is charming and relaxed in a way that California’s Disneyland used to be–there’s a lot to love about the little park.
What do you think of Hong Kong Disneyland’s reopening? Would you like to visit sometime this year or next to see the Castle of Magical Dreams? Are you hesitant to visit Hong Kong going forward? If you’ve visited the park, what do you like most about Hong Kong Disneyland? If you’ve never been to Hong Kong, what interests you most about the park? Anything else to add? Any questions? Hearing from you is half the fun, so please share your questions and thoughts in the comments!