Preview a Day at the Reopened Shanghai Disneyland

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.

Replies (15)

May 9, 2020 at 8:18 PM

Well, doesn’t that look like a whole lot of stress-free fun?! I read somewhere that they’re also implementing a ‘only touch what you buy’ policy, in their stores? For that to work, I would think that every single item will need to have its price clearly displayed at all times, otherwise people will do the usual thing of picking something up to check the tag and whether it’s too expensive or not.

May 9, 2020 at 8:44 PM

A whole lot of fun indeed.
Also I don't get the restaurant part, how do you both wear a mask and eat (remember you're not supposed to touch your mask) ?

May 9, 2020 at 8:51 PM

@Ericsnoopy Apparently, you don’t need to wear the mask inside restaurants. What I don’t understand though (unless it has been explained and I’ve missed it), is how buying food and drink around the park will work. If face masks are to be worn at all times, except for when you’re dining, how will anybody be able to enjoy a drink or snack, whilst walking around?

May 9, 2020 at 11:35 PM

I don't know for sure if this is going to work or be an epic disaster but it's sure going to be a fascinating thing to watch.

May 10, 2020 at 5:50 AM

“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.”

^ I can sure see that working well.

May 10, 2020 at 10:05 AM

So in China, 1 meter (3 feet, 3 1/3 inches) is safe social distancing, but in the U.S. its 6 feet?

The Chinese have been used to wearing masks for quite a while, so so doubt there will be much pushback there. After watching my state open up this weekend, social distancing was rarely seen.

When the parks open back up here (and they will), a tip would be everyone in a family to dress alike so cast members know who is together.

May 10, 2020 at 11:16 AM

Jilin Province in China has rapidly moved back up from low to High, and has reimposed restrictions. I think we can expect this territory based firefighting for a while.

May 10, 2020 at 2:47 PM

The tape on the checkerboard floor in Barbossa's Bounty gave me an instant headache. I cannot imagine how that would actually succeed, but we'll have to wait to see what happens.

I am looking forward to seeing what lessons Disney - and the rest of a watching industry - learn from what's about to happen at Shanghai Disneyland. I imagine that procedures will change as Disney gets real-world feedback and that the openings at WDW and Disneyland might look somewhat different than this, as a result. But we just don't know yet.

May 10, 2020 at 2:54 PM

With all the limitations with the rids, you will probably not have chance to hit more than 6 or 7 attractions...

Does not seem like a vacation I would enjoy, but as always I could do a shot or Clorox internally and be fine with no mask... (My daily Dig at the WH idiots)..

May 10, 2020 at 3:35 PM

I'm really curious to see how this will work in practice. My guess is some things will probably be a success (like hand sanitizer and spacing groups in lines) while others will quickly disappear (like hyper sanitizing everything and spontaneous parades). It will be interesting to see which translate to the US parks as well, because there's certainly a few things I can't see flying in America (like blanket mask requirements). Whatever the end result is, this should be telling as to what we can expect a day at a theme park to be like for the next year or two.

May 10, 2020 at 7:31 PM

Ummm Brian I guess you consider AOC, Chuck and Nancy brilliant. Please.

May 11, 2020 at 9:23 AM

Yes Mapp111 who is too scared to put a real name online.

As long as they don't say idiotic and reckless things like call the deadly Virus a Hoax or you can use disinfectant internally to get rid of the Virus.

So yes, compared to the stable genius you support, they are quite brilliant.

How many bankruptcies dose one have to have before you consider them a failure? Apparently more than 8..... hahahaha I am here all week folks and remember to tip the waitstaff....

May 11, 2020 at 9:42 AM

It is very disturbing to see this fantastic web site being used as a forum to add one's political opinions. It was nice over the years to visit this site for its great articles , theme park options and surveys. Can we not go back to enjoying the theme park experience without political trash from both sides being involved. There is enough in the real world..lets keep it out of our escapism world.

May 11, 2020 at 10:34 AM

@rOBERT iHRIE: I agree completely, but unfortunately our leaders have decided to politicize a pandemic, so it enters the conversation here... sadly.

May 11, 2020 at 11:39 AM

Alrighty online tough guy Brian. Just keep your political talk at home ok there buddy. It’s a theme park web site. No reason to bring a political discussion on here. So keep it to yourself. Thanks.

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