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The Walt Disney Co.’s flagship theme park in China, the Shanghai Disney Resort, reopened several restaurant and shopping establishments near its entrance Monday, a tentative step toward the eventual reopening of the full facility.
The Shanghai Disneyland theme park itself remains shuttered, however, with Disney saying that will continue to “closely monitor health and safety conditions” and await the “direction of government regulators.”
The resort has been closed since January 25, when large entertainment venues across China, including virtually all of the country’s cinemas, began shutting down as part of the nationwide effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Hong Kong Disneyland across the southern border closed its doors around he same time, followed by both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea near the end of February. On an earnings call last month, Disney said a two-month closure at the Shanghai and Hong Kong parks could reduce profits by $280 million. The parks in Hong Kong and Japan remain idle.
The facilities that resumed operations in Shanghai on Monday included the Disneytown shopping and dining area outside the park gates, the Wishing Star Park and the venues within the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel. Emphasizing just how tentative the move is, Disney said “each of these resort locations will operate under limited capacity and reduced hours of operation.”
Guests who return to Magic Kingdom’s perimeter this week can expect an experience emphasizing maximal public safety. “Guest[s] entering Shanghai Disney Resort will be required to undergo temperature screening procedures upon their arrival, will need to present their Health QR Code when entering dining venues, and will be required to wear a mask during their entire visit,” Disney said in a statement posted to its website. “Guests will also be reminded to maintain respectful social distances at all times while in stores, queues and restaurants,” it added.
As of March 8, China had reported 80,735 confirmed coronavirus infections and 3,119 deaths. Although the country has begun to contain the spread of the virus, its services and entertainment sectors remain heavily disrupted. Earlier Monday, the Beijing International Film Festival indefinitely postponed its planned 10th anniversary edition in late April, suggesting that business as usual for the film industry remains a distant ambition.
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