Shanghai Disneyland is the First to Reopen
Disney has just announced on its Chinese social media accounts that Shanghai Disneyland is scheduled to fully reopen to the public on May 11th 2020.
Disney already reopened Disney Town (an attraction that’s equivalent to the American Downtown Disney), Wishing Star Park and Disneyland Hotel back in March. Representatives said that reopening those attractions taught them a lot of lessons that they can apply to the reopening of the main park to ensure it’s successful.
Shanghai Disneyland says that they will open the park with an increased level of health and sanitation procedures for a period of time until the coronavirus is no longer considered a threat.
These procedures include restricting the number of people that can be inside the park at any one time.
In addition to limited entry capacity, guests will also be asked to keep a safe distance between each other. The park will also alter the queue lines in such a way that will force people to keep their distance.
The park will also employ more custodial staff who will constantly work throughout opening hours to keep the park sanitised and clean.
Anyone that had previously booked tickets will need to re-purchase their tickets; they’ll be able to do so once the online box office reopens at 8 am on May 8th.
All tickets must be pre-purchased, meaning that you will no longer be able to turn up at the park spontaneously and buy a ticket on the day. Daily ticket sale limits have been enacted.
Even annual pass-holders will not be allowed to spontaneously turn up to the park without having made a reservation ahead of time.
Shows & Rides
Shanghai Disneyland has said that the rides, shops, attractions, and some entertainment offerings will be opened in scale with ticket sales. This means that if the park has low ticket sales for a particular date, the guests who have tickets for that date will have fewer attractions available to them.
Theatre performances that are performed indoors will not reopen, neither will play areas for children.
Speaking of shows, it seems that even the regularly scheduled parades and outdoor shows will not be available when the park opens. However, the park is advertising a replacement show that will be offered multiple times a day while the park is open, but doesn’t specify details.
If I have to guess, I’d say that the show will be a toned-down version of the regular parade “Mickey’s Storybook Express”, perhaps with fewer characters and floats.
The main castle show “Mickey’s Fairytale Fanfare” has not yet been given a date for its return.
‘Ignite the Dream’, Shanghai Disneyland’s fireworks and projection show has been confirmed as returning when the park reopens. Although I’m nervous that I can’t find the Chinese word for ‘fireworks’ anywhere on the announcement.
As for the world-famous Disney characters, it seems that Shanghai Disneyland can’t leave them out of the opening, but doesn’t want to reopen character meet and greet opportunities either.
Instead, they’re advertising a “whole new way” of meeting your favourite Disney friends.
The details are scarce, but it’s implied that characters will be viewable from a distance, so perhaps you will be allowed to take a distant selfie with Mickey while he safely poses behind a roped-off partition 6 ft away.
Basically, it looks as though Shanghai Disneyland has decided to lead the way in reopening its doors and will act as the guinea pig for the rest of the world of Disney to learn from.
I am personally very curious about how this re-launch will go, so on May 8th, I will make a reservation to visit the park and will document my experience while there.
I’ll take lots of photos and write lots of notes, then turn those notes into an article right here on Overlords.
So come back soon for an honest account of what Shanghai Disneyland did to re-launch the park after several months of being closed because of the coronavirus.
Here’s hoping it goes well, that nobody gets sick, and that Mickey Mouse themed safety masks will be sold as merchandise.