Shanghai Disneyland will reopen May 11
MonicaNinker/iStockBy LESLEY MESSER and ZUNAIRA ZAKI, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — The Walt Disney Company will reopen Shanghai Disneyland on May 11, chief executive officer Bob Chapek announced in an earnings call Tuesday.
The park has been closed since Jan. 25 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, which began in Wuhan, China, about 500 miles west of Shanghai.
Although Disney reopened parts of Shanghai’s Disneytown, Wishing Star Park and the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel in March, Shanghai Disneyland will be the first major Disney theme park to reopen after being closed this year.
Dr. Pamela Hymel, the chief medical officer for Disney Parks, wrote in a letter shared to the company’s website that she and her team have been “evaluating several new and enhanced safety measures to do our part towards helping us stay well while we work, stay, and play at a Disney resort and Disney store.”
“I’m also working closely with the US Travel Association on a set of guidelines the travel industry may tailor to their individual businesses to help demonstrate that safety of travelers is a top focus,” she added.
Hymel said to expect a “phased reopening” of parks worldwide — which could include a gradual reopening and/or partial reopening of certain locations, such as opening retail and dining spaces before the theme parks themselves. Figuring out how to help guests stay 6 feet apart from one another is another major concern for the company, she added.
“As you can imagine, managing guest density in queues, restaurants, hotels, ride vehicles and other facilities throughout the park and across the resort is a major focus, as we implement physical distancing guidelines based on guidance from health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and appropriate government agencies,” she wrote. “This will likely include implementation of guest capacity measures to comply with state and federal guidelines. We’re also 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.”
When Shanghai Disneyland reopens next week, Hymel said that the company is planning to increase cleaning and disinfection, and will follow guidance from the government and medical authorities regarding “screening procedures and prevention measures.”
So far, Disney has already added hand sanitizers and hand-washing stations across the resorts, and is assessing the need for personal protective equipment, such as face coverings. Cast members will also receive new training.
Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and Disney World in Orlando, Florida, remain closed indefinitely.
Chapek said on a conference call with investors Tuesday that the impact on operating income for Disney’s Parks, Experiences and Products segment was about $1 billion — primarily due to lost revenue from the coronavirus-related closures.
Disney is the parent company of Good Morning America and ABC News.
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