After months of being shuttered to the public, Shanghai Disneyland will reopen Monday, May 11th. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Senior vice president Andrew Bolstein spoke with reporters Saturday, showing the changes the park has put in place for both guest and cast member safety. Bolstein started the tour at the area where guests will wait for temperature checks before they can enter.
"During the preparation period for the reopening, what we've done is really look at a lot of different measures to deliver a safe and healthy environment within the park," Bolstein commented, "After that stage, the next step is for our guests to go through the security screening, but what I want to showcase here are the markers on the ground for social distancing," he said. "We found it was easier to tell the guests were not to stand and leave the empty space where they can stand."
Purple and yellow mats were placed strategically on the ground, informing guests not to stand on them. The park will also have reduced capacity, with government restrictions limiting the park to see only 30% of its standard 80,000 people capacity. This means that the park will only allow 24,000 people per day to visit the park per government restrictions. However, Disney has noted that the park would open with a lower capacity. At this time, we do not know what that number is. Over the next few weeks, that number will be increased.
Cast members will be seen throughout the park and at attraction entrances reminding guests to maintain a safe social distance from each other. Cast members will be equipped with cards that have visual instructions. Guests will not be able to have a traditional meet and greet with their favorite characters at this time, so no much needed Mickey hugs will be happening.
"In order to maintain safe social distancing for our characters, we won't have any up-close meet and greets, but we still want our guests to have a chance to see our favorite Disney friends and get a chance to take photos of them," Bolstein told reporters. "A small procession of a coupe of floats will come out throughout the day and surprise our guests, hopefully."
This lower capacity will also likely allow guests to see everything they wanted to see on their assigned ticket day. The purple and yellow mats can be found throughout the park at both foodservice locations and shops. Shows will still happen, but with boxes marked on the ground. Each box will be one meter apart. Cast members will be cleaning and sanitizing high-touch surfaces throughout the day.
But what about rides where people are crowded next to each other, such as Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Soarin'? According to Bolstein, "…we have put markers on all the rows, all the benches, to indicate where your seat is. And if they don't have markers, that's not a place to sit. So, it's greatly reducing the capacity of the ride, but allowing for social distancing, which is most important at this stage." In short, rides like Pirates will have every other row empty.
Tickets for Shanghai's reopening went on sale Thursday and sold out within a matter of minutes. Shanghai Disneyland is the first Disney Park to reopen worldwide, giving hope to Disney fans across the world. On May 20th Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort will start it's phased reopening as well.
Are you interested in seeing more? Check out the video below. Are you excited about the parks reopening? Think they should stay closed longer? Let us know in the comments below!