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Photos: Shanghai Disneyland reopened its doors, with social distancing and face masks

Shanghai Disneyland
A little less magical.
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Shanghai Disneyland, one of 14 Disney theme parks globally, reopened yesterday, making it the first Disney park to resume operations since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic forced entertainment venues around the world to close their doors.

The House of Mouse in Shanghai had some noticeable differences upon reopening. Guests and employees must wear face masks (though Disney princesses and other characters are exempt from the requirement). The park has also limited the number of daily visitors to one-third of the usual 80,000 capacity, and guests have to have their temperatures taken before entering and flash their mobile “health code,” a government-sponsored system showing citizens’ health status based on big data. Only those who have a “green code,” meaning the person is healthy, are allowed in.

Visitors are also required to sit one row apart on rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean, while some rides also allow only one group of people per car to avoid having people sit with strangers. For attractions like Buzz Lightyear’s Planet Rescue, players have to wear plastic gloves when they’re shooting at targets.

Some of the park’s hallmark events, however, such as parades, night fireworks, and theater performances, have been suspended, in order to avoid too many people gathering.

Visitors seemed undaunted by the new rules and flocked to the park, with local media reporting that tickets to the park for its first day of re-opening were sold out within three minutes online on May 8 online.

Worldwide, over 100,000 Walt Disney employees have been furloughed due to the outbreak. The reopening of Shanghai Disneyland could provide a glimpse of hope that some semblance of normality can return in the future, even if it’s a little less magical.

Opened in 2016, Shanghai Disneyland is a joint venture between Walt Disney and an entity under the Shanghai government. The park attracted 12 million tourists last year and 66 million in total since it opened, according to the company.

Staff members wearing face masks greet guests at Shanghai Disney Resort.
Actors dressed as Disney characters are seen at Shanghai Disney Resort.
Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, among other characters, greet visitors at Shanghai Disneyland.
AP Photo/Sam McNeil
Visitors, wearing face masks, wait to enter the Disneyland theme park in Shanghai as it reopenes.
Workers wearing face masks prepare social distancing markers at Shanghai Disney Resort a day before the Shanghai Disneyland theme park reopens.
A visitor dressed as a Disney character takes a selfie while wearing a protective face mask.
Visitors wearing face masks line up to enter the Shanghai Disneyland theme park on the day of reopening.
A girl wearing face mask poses for a picture at Shanghai Disney Resort.
AP Photo/Sam McNeil
Visitors, wearing face masks, enter the Disneyland theme park in Shanghai as it reopens.

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