Shanghai Disneyland is set to reopen on May 11 with limited attendance. Here's what that means.

By Stacey Leasca
May 05, 2020
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Shanghai Disneyland Sets Up "Social Distancing" Queues for Imminent Reopening on May 04, 2020 in Shanghai, China. Since January, China has recorded more than 81,000 cases of COVID-19 and at least 3200 deaths, mostly in and around the city of Wuhan, in central Hubei province, where the outbreak first started.
Hu Chengwei/Getty Images

In March, Disney parks around the globe made the decision to close their doors in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In the weeks since, fans have waited with bated breath for word of a reopening date. Now, Disney is giving fans in Shanghai just that.

On Tuesday, the company announced plans to re-open Shanghai Disneyland to the public on May 11, less than a week away.

“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,” Bob Chapek, chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company, shared in a statement with Travel + Leisure. “As the park reopens with significantly enhanced health and safety measures, our guests will find Shanghai Disneyland as magical and memorable as ever.”

However, the opening will come with a strict set of new rules for both employees and guests. This, Disney reps explained, means complying with “enhanced measures and procedures” set by the government to “focus on the needs of guests and cast members.”

As part of the opening, the new measures and procedures include limited and “pulsed” attendance with an advanced reservation and entry system. This, Disney explained, will require guests to purchase admission tickets valid for selected dates only, meaning no more flex passes. Annual Pass holders must also make advanced reservations.

On an earnings call Tuesday, Chapek said the local government is limiting capacity to about 24,000 visitors a day, The Washington Post reported. “We’re going to open far below that just to have our training wheels on with our new procedures and processes,” he added.

Shanghai Disneyland will also use “controlled guest density” to limit the capacity at restaurants, as well as limit the number of people in line for rides and riding in Disney vehicles. For lines, Disney will also implement social distancing guidelines.

Prior to entering the park, guests must also go through a temperature screening and will be required to wear masks or facial coverings during their entire visit, except when dining.

To further ensure guest safety, Shanghai Disneyland will also be implementing increased sanitization and disinfection measures, including distributing hand sanitizers at ride entrances and exits. All high-touch locations will also be cleaned more often.

Disney also plans to train cast members on best practice procedures with an emphasis on contactless guest interaction. Disney will train cast members on proper cleaning and social distancing techniques as well. Cast members will also receive additional protective equipment, including masks.

No word yet on when other Disney theme parks, including Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida, plan to open their doors again.

“While it’s too early to predict when we’ll be able to begin resuming all our operations, we are evaluating a number of different scenarios to ensure a cautious, sensible and deliberate approach to the eventual reopening of our parks,” Chapek said during the call, The Washington Post reported. “The approach we take may include implementation of guest capacity and density control measures, as well as health and prevention procedures that comply with state and federal guidelines.”