Shanghai Disneyland reopened Monday, becoming the first Disney theme park to do so in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
Photos have arrived via the Associated Press, showing visitors in masks following new social distancing rules as a limited capacity was allowed.
The question in Florida: Is this a snapshot at the future of Disney World?
The answer is: most likely.
“We hope that today’s reopening serves as a beacon of light across the globe, providing hope and inspiration to everyone,” the president of Shanghai Disney Resort, Joe Schott.
Disney is opening Shanghai cautiously as it evaluates reopening other parks around the world. Parks are a crucial revenue driver for Disney. Parks, experiences and product division accounts for around 30% to 35% of total revenue.
What the company learns in Shanghai could become a guide, executives said in a conference call to discuss earnings last week.
Typical capacity in the Shanghai park is 80,000 visitors a day, but the government has cut that to about 30%, or 24,000 a day, said CEO Bob Chapek.
“We’re going to actually open up far below that just to have our training wheels on with our new procedures and processes to make sure we don’t have any lines backing up, either as guests enter into the park or as they wade through the park,” Chapek said. “So we’re going to approach that very, very slowly, but after a few weeks we’ll actually be up to what the government’s guideline is.”
“Making magic means even more to us today, as we reflect on the resilience of our community; our wonderful cast members who worked so diligently to preserve the park during the closure; the enthusiasm of our guests and fans; and, of course, the determination and dedication of the medical workers and first responders who helped to make this possible,” Schott said in post on the Disney Parks Blog.
Activities including children’s play areas and indoor theater shows are closed in line with government restrictions, said Andrew Bolstein, the park’s senior vice president for operations.
Disney Springs will be the first property in the U.S. to reopen and that happens later this year.
As part of that reopening plan, third-party shops and restaurants will be the only shops opening, not the actual Disney stores. Workers and guests will be required to wear face masks. Per state rules, indoor capacity will be limited to 25% and dining tables outside must be more than six feet apart.
Shanghai Disneyland, which opened in 2016, is a joint venture between Walt Disney Co. and a company owned by the Shanghai city government.
Disney has a 43% stake in the Shanghai Disney Resort, which includes the theme park, two hotels and Disneytown.