Shanghai Disneyland plans phased reopening Monday, but what's in store for Walt Disney World?


  • Photo via Disney

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek announced plans on Wednesday to gradually reopen Shanghai Disneyland starting on Monday.

Closed since Jan. 25, the park will be Disney's first to reopen since pandemic closures began, and will limit capacity while requiring visitors to wear a mask. There were no reopening plans or dates announced for other parks, stores or cruise ships, including Walt Disney World, which has been closed since March 12.

The announcement was made on a corporate earnings call, reports CNBC, followed by a message on Disney Parks' blog from chief medical officer Dr. Pamela Hymel, who called it "an encouraging sign for Disney parks and retail locations all over the world."

"Managing guest density in queues, restaurants, hotels, ride vehicles and other facilities throughout the park and across the resort is a major focus," wrote Hymel, who added that many retail and dining locations will likely open first, ahead of their respective parks.

The company plans to institute physical distancing, likely made possible by limiting guest capacity.

"We are exploring ways to use technology to aid us in these efforts, like with our Play Disney Parks App and through virtual queues at Disneyland and Walt Disney World,' Hymel wrote, saying technology would be accompanied by "new training and reinforcement as we get closer to reopening."

Hymel also said the company is planning "increased cleaning and disinfection" and determining "the cleaning products and processes we’ll use."

Details on screening processes were light, as the company will defer to "guidance from the government and the medical community," including face masks, but Hymel noted some measures, including hand sanitizers and hand washing stations across the resorts, have already been implemented.

"After so much time at home, I know many of you are eager to enjoy the magic of a Disney parks visit, and we can’t wait to welcome you back."

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