Shanghai Disney Reopens to Smiles and Social Distancing

Patrons were low in numbers but high in spirits on the first day back since the park closed in January amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

SHANGHAI — Fairy-tale fantasies are coming back to life, albeit with a few social distancing rules.

Shanghai Disney Resort welcomed visitors on Monday after more than three months of suspended operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. The theme park said entrance tickets for the first day sold out within minutes when sales resumed Friday but did not disclose the number of expected visitors.

Just before 9 a.m. on reopening day, the normally packed parking space outside Shanghai Disney was mostly empty, and there were no large crowds lining up to enter the park. Loudspeakers in the area intermittently blared cheerful music and reminders to practice social distancing, as masked cleaning staff wiped surfaces with disinfectant.

A mother surnamed Zhang was one of the guests waiting for a fun-filled day with her 6-year-old daughter, Feifei. The family from Jiaxing in the neighboring Zhejiang province make pilgrimages to the park eight or nine times a year, and had looked forward to the reopening of one of their favorite places in the world.

“It feels exciting to be back again — it’s been a while,” Zhang, 34, told Sixth Tone after snapping photos of her daughter, dressed as Disney princess Snow White, posing in front of a water fountain. “I think the measures implemented in the park should be good, and there are relatively fewer people on the first day, so we can get on more rides.”

In January, as COVID-19 swept across China, tourist sites and entertainment venues were ordered to shut down amid concerns that the contagion could spread anywhere people might congregate. On the 25th, Shanghai Disney announced that its gates would be closed until further notice.

As the theme park reopens, staff and guests are being welcomed with new rules, signaling a potential new normal in the post-pandemic era. Shanghai Disney said it would implement “enhanced health and safety measures” — only guests with green health codes on a health-tracking app will be admitted — to ensure that spaces aren’t as crowded as usual. Prior to the pandemic, the park accommodated about 80,000 people daily. Continue to read the full article here.


– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.