Preview a Day at the Reopened Shanghai Disneyland - Theme Park Insider

Preview a Day at the Reopened Shanghai Disneyland - Theme Park Insider

May 9, 2020, 7:55 PM · In advance of the park's reopening on Monday, Shanghai Disneyland executives have hosted tours of local Chinese reporters to demonstrate some of the new operational and social distancing procedures at the theme park.

In this video, Shanghai Disneyland senior vice president of operations Andrew Bolstein explains the new procedures, which start with ticketed visitors having to show their Chinese government QR health codes then having their temperature checked.

Have to admit that I cringed throughout the roughly edited video, watching reporters clearly not practicing much social distancing as they pushed forward to get the best images and audio during the tour. (Please tell me that my next theme park media day - wherever and whenever it is - won't be like this. But it probably will.)

Getting back to the point here, Bolstein talked through the procedures that visitors will encounter during their visit to the park, including marked "no standing" zones to enforce social distancing in queue, taped viewing areas for individual parties to watch outdoor shows such as those at the castle, and even social distancing marks on the ground around food carts.

Disney cast members will be wiping down all high-touch surfaces in the park throughout the day, including trash cans and queue partitions, he said. For those queues, Shanghai Disneyland also has placed yellow tape marks to provide a visual cue where people should stand as they wait to board rides. To help preserve a one-meter space between parties, Disney also has marked "no standing" zones in parts of side-by-side queues. Bolstein said that cast members will be stationed inside queue to explain and enforce the new rules.

The tour includes looks at the new loading procedures on Voyage to the Crystal Grotto and Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle of the Sunken Treasure. On the first, which uses Jungle Cruise-like boats, the park has tape-marked individual seats for passengers. The center bench on the boat will not be used, further limiting guest capacity. On Pirates, the park will load every other of the six rows, with the tour showing no more than three people in each five-seat row. That would mean the ride's capacity would be cut by more than two-thirds, with a maximum of nine riders instead of the previous 30.

Hand sanitizer stations will be provided at the exit of all attractions, so that people can clean their hands after touching surfaces on the ride vehicle or theater. Disney also will control access to shops, including those at the exit of attractions, to permit social distancing. If access through the gift shop is not available, guests departing an attraction will be routed through alternate exits.

The park will allow a maximum of 50 percent capacity in its restaurants, Bolstein said, leading the tour through Barbossa's Bounty, a "station service" restaurant where elaborate tape markings on the floor will show people where to stand - and not - while collecting their food and queuing to pay. Each register also will offer a hand sanitizer station, so guests using cash or credit cards can clean up after paying. The park will control seating capacity by marking which tables are not to be used by guests, rather than physically removing the seating from the restaurant.

Obviously, Disney will be learning lessons from the opening of Shanghai Disneyland - lessons that will influence the procedures that the company will look to implement as it reopens its other theme parks around the world, including those at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts.

Shanghai Disneyland reopens to the public on Monday. Required advance reservation tickets for the first several days already are sold out, though Disney is restricting sales to limit the park's attendance to less than 30 percent of its 80,000 person-per-day normal capacity.

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