Disney has announced that Shanghai Disneyland will reopen next week with density and guest capacity control, plus health prevention measures. In this post, we’ll cover the approach to safety and how crowds will be limited.
You might recall that Shanghai Disneyland was the first park to close back at the end of January 2020, and has now been closed for 101 days. By way of comparison, Walt Disney World has been closed for 49 days, whereas Hong Kong Disneyland has been closed for 100 days (unlike its mainland counterpart, HKDL does not appear poised to reopen its castle park in the near future).
Shanghai Disneyland took the first steps as part of a phased reopening back in early March, with the opening of some retail, dining, and entertainment experiences at Disneytown, plus Wishing Star Park, and Shanghai Disneyland Hotel. Now, they are in the midst of trial operations ahead of reopening Shanghai Disneyland next week. Here’s a look at what that will entail…
This comes as residents in Shanghai and its neighboring provinces in mainland China have returned to more normal life, with workplaces, schools, shops, restaurants, and entertainment destinations reopening.
Consequently, Disney and its state-owned Chinese partner, Shanghai Shendi Group, have made the decision to reopen the Shanghai Disneyland theme park to the public on May 11, 2020.
New CEO Bob Chapek first announced this news during the Walt Disney Company’s second-quarter earnings call. During that earnings call, Chapek said that Disney is seeing signs of hopes for a return to normalcy for the US parks based upon what the company is observing at Shanghai Disneyland and its adjacent Disneytown complex.
When Shanghai Disneyland reopens, there will be density and guest capacity control. During the question and answer portion of the call, Chapek indicated that normal capacity of Shanghai Disneyland is 80,000 guests, and attendance will be capped at under 30%, or 24,000 daily guests. It’s worth noting here that Shanghai Disneyland’s annual attendance is 11 million guests, meaning the park is normally demand-limited at under 40% of capacity.
Chapek also confirmed health prevention measures, which will include the wearing of masks, temperature screenings, contract tracing, early detection systems, and more. Additionally, Shanghai Disneyland will require advance reservations for visiting the theme park. (All of this is covered in greater depth in our update below.)
UPDATE: Disney sent out a press release with the following information about these measures and procedures that Shanghai Disneyland will use when the theme park reopens:
- Limited and pulsed attendance with an advanced reservation and entry system: Guests are required to purchase admission tickets valid on a selected date only and Annual Pass holders must make a reservation prior to arrival.
- Controlled guest density: Capacity will be recommended and managed in queues, restaurants, ride vehicles and other facilities. Queues will be structured and ride vehicles will be loaded to promote social distancing.
- Implementing required government health and prevention procedures: This includes temperature screening and the use of the government-issued Shanghai Health QR code, a contact tracing and early detection system used in China. Additionally, guests must wear a mask during their visit, except when dining.
- Increased sanitization and disinfection measures: Hand sanitizers will be available at queue entries and attraction exits. High-touch locations, such as ride vehicles, handlebars, queue railings and turnstiles will have increased sanitization.
- Training for cast members: 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.
New Shanghai Disneyland policies will necessitate guest compliance with the following requirements for visiting:
-Purchase dated admission tickets for Shanghai Disneyland prior to their arrival, as on-site sales will not be available. Annual Pass holders must make a reservation for their visit date and time through Shanghai Disney Resort’s official online channels before their visit to the park. During this “Advanced Reservation Period,” General Admission tickets for Shanghai Disneyland will not be accepted.
-Provide basic personal information for each guest visiting the park, including name, phone number, ID type and ID number via Shanghai Disney Resort’s official online channels after purchasing a ticket and prior to arriving at the resort. A Shanghai Disneyland Reservation QR Code will be provided after the successful submission of the required identification information, and guests will be required to present the code before entering the theme park;
-Register for the Health QR Code prior to their arrival, which will be required to be presented upon entering any location at Shanghai Disney Resort. Only guests with a green Health QR Code will be allowed to enter the resort;
-Be prepared to present a China government ID card, or valid travel document, for each guest at the park turnstiles (photos or printed copies will not be accepted);
-Undergo temperature screening procedures upon arrival; and wear an approved mask during the entire visit to Shanghai Disney Resort except when dining.
These measures will continue to be reviewed as the situation warrants, and may be further adjusted.
Finally, the validity period of a Shanghai Disneyland Annual Pass will be extended for the number of lost days falling between the park’s closure date of January 25, 2020 and the end of the “Advanced Reservation Period.” A Shanghai Disneyland Annual Pass that expired before January 25, 2020 or that was purchased after the end of the “Advanced Reservation Period” will not be extended.
The same extension policy will apply to the validity period for General Admission tickets for Shanghai Disneyland. The detailed extension policy, including block-out days, will be communicated with Pass and ticket holders separately.
When Shanghai Disneyland reopens on May 11, 2020, the majority of the park’s attractions and rides, plus 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 Shanghai Disney Resort’s official website and app.
To accommodate social distancing, parades, and nighttime spectaculars will also return at a later date and will not be offered when the park first opens. During the initial reopening 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 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.
Additionally, Joe Schott, President and General Manager of Shanghai Disney Resort, released a statement about the reopening:
As we welcome guests back to the park, we will draw on the learnings from the reopening of Disneytown and Wishing Star Park, and we will implement new and enhanced health and safety measures reflecting the guidance of our local health and government authorities.
While some things will look a little different, know that that a magical experience awaits you at Shanghai Disneyland. Now, more than ever, Shanghai Disney Resort is a special place for families and fans to create joyful memories and celebrate being together once again.
As Shanghai Disney Resort embarks on the first Disney park reopening, the rest of the Disney family at our other parks around the world also are busy preparing for reopening. When the time is right, they will be able to once again welcome guests – to explore and play, and to enjoy the lands of adventure, fantasy, tomorrow and imagination together.
Until then, stay safe, keep dreaming and stay tuned for more Disney Parks news and stories from Shanghai Disneyland!
If you plan on visiting to China, check out our Shanghai Disneyland Planning Guide. It’s a comprehensive guide to the park and beyond, covering everything from transit visas to airfare to WiFi to currency and much, much more. For more photos and an idea of what we did day-by-day during our first visit, read our Shanghai Disneyland Grand Opening Trip Report.
What do you think of this news? Thoughts on the health safety protocol and guest screening measures? What about the reduced entertainment and attraction offerings? Are you planning a trip to Shanghai Disneyland now that the park will be open again? Are you hesitant to visit mainland China given the various ongoing issues? Any questions? We love hearing from readers, so please share any other thoughts or questions you have in the comments below!