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Shanghai Disneyland Sells Out Of Tickets For Post-Shutdown Reopening

Visitors waiting in line at Shanghai Disneyland will need to maintain physical distancing, as part of the theme park's plans to reopen on May 11.

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It took only minutes for Shanghai Disneyland to run out of tickets to Monday’s reopening, as people jumped at a chance to visit the amusement park for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak forced it to close in late January. Visitors to the theme park will be required to wear face masks at all times, unless they are eating.

Shanghai Disneyland says it’s taking “a deliberate approach” as it reopens. It will require physical distancing and sharply reduce capacity; some crowd-oriented features, such as children’s play areas and theater shows, will remain shut down.

There will be no selfies with famous Disney characters, the company says. Hand sanitizer is being widely deployed, and cleaning measures are stepped up.

Before they can enter the park, visitors will also need to prove they don’t pose a coronavirus risk. That takes place both through a temperature screening and a check of their personal QR code – reflecting their “green” or “red” status on a phone-based app that is now required for travel and other activities during the pandemic.

“Only guests with a green Health QR Code will be allowed to enter the resort,” Disney says.

Ticket prices for the theme park start at ¥399 yuan (around $56) for a standard weekday fare; prices rise to ¥499 ($70) for weekend visits. After the May 11 tickets were snapped up, many days in the reopening week were also sold out.

The move comes as Shanghai prepares to lower its emergency alert level to its third-highest setting; as the Shanghai Daily reports, the city says it has not had a new confirmed local COVID-19 case since early March.

Large Disney parks and hotels in the U.S. and elsewhere remain closed. But as Florida relaxes some of its shutdown orders, the Walt Disney World Resort says stores and restaurants in its Disney Springs waterfront development in Orlando will begin a “phased reopening” on May 20.

The coronavirus has throttled Disney’s businesses, leading the entertainment and media giant to warn of losses up to $1.4 billion in 2020’s second quarter. The company has furloughed more than 100,000 employees.

Disney executives hope to reverse those trends, saying that now more than ever, there is a broad and deep appetite for optimism and happiness.

“People want good news. They want to experience joy and the feeling of togetherness,” Disney’s former CEO and board chairman Bob Iger said on an earnings call earlier this week.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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