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The Walt Disney Co. on Saturday gave journalists a detailed tour of how Shanghai Disneyland Park will operate when it reopens to the public on Monday following months of being shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” Andrew Bolstein, senior vp operations for the Shanghai park, told reporters as he led the tour, which started at the area guests will wait to have their temperature checked.
A separate instructional video for guests shows that temperatures will not be taken individually, but with a fever-screening system that displays a person’s temperature as they walk past.
“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 line the ground, one meter apart, with the instructions “Please do not stand.” All guests (and employees) must wear masks. The instructional video shows there will be separate waste bins solely for masks.
It was announced earlier in the week the Shanghai park would reopen, but strict new measures would be put in place. The Shanghai park has a capacity of 80,000 people, but under government restrictions, it must be capped at 30 percent, which is 24,000 visitors a day. The Disney CEO on Tuesday noted the park would open with an unspecified capacity lower than the 30 percent, but after a few weeks, it would be increased to the 24,000-guest level.
Staff or “cast members” will stand throughout the park to remind guests to maintain safe social distancing. They will hold cards with visual instructions, according to the press tour.
After guests have their ticket checked and show their government identification, they may enter the park. “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 couple of floats will come out throughout the day and surprise our guests, hopefully.”
He added, “With our limited numbers of attendees every day, we believe everyone will be able to see almost everything they want.”
Markers for social distancing are also placed at all food service locations and shop checkout lines. As for shows, groups can stand in their own individual boxes marked off on the ground, all one meter apart from the next.
“We will have cast members, throughout the park, doing continuous wiping down, sanitizing and disinfecting all the high-touch surfaces,” Bolstein said. “We will have cast members at the entrance of every attraction reminding our guests to maintain social distancing. On the railings [in the line queues], there are yellow markers that we will ask guests to stand at.”
One of the rides shown to reporters was a boat attraction, which Bolstein said normally would have every seat filled, but now, “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 capacity of the ride, but allowing for social distancing which is most important at this stage.” For Pirates of the Caribbean, every other row in a boat will be empty, he noted.
Tickets for the first few days of the Shanghai park reopening went on sale Thursday. They immediately sold out.
Watch the instructional video and Shanghai Disneyland Park tour, led by Bolstein, below.
May 10, 12:22 p.m.: Updated with instructional video.
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