Following the announcement made by Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek, during Disney’s Q2 FY20 Earnings Results Webcast, about the phased reopening of the Shanghai Disney Resort, Joe Schott, president and general manager of Shanghai Disney Resort, published a blog post on the Disney Parks website.
Following what has been the longest park closures in the history of the Disney company, Schott said, in Shanghai, Disney had taken “the first measured steps towards reopening in early March, with the opening of some retail, dining, and entertainment experiences at Disneytown, Wishing Star Park and the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel”.
Speaking on 5 May, Schott said: “Today, as residents in Shanghai and its neighbouring provinces have returned to more normal life – including at workplaces, schools, shops, restaurants, and entertainment destinations – I’m excited to share that Shanghai Disneyland will also be reopening to the public on May 11.
“As we welcome guests back to the park, we will draw on the learnings from the reopening of Disneytown and Wishing Star Park, and we will implement new and enhanced health and safety measures reflecting the guidance of our local health and government authorities. While some things will look a little different, know that that a magical experience awaits you at Shanghai Disneyland. Now, more than ever, Shanghai Disney Resort is a special place for families and fans to create joyful memories and celebrate being together once again.
“As Shanghai Disney Resort embarks on the first Disney park reopening, the rest of the Disney family at our other parks around the world also are busy preparing for reopening. When the time is right, they will be able to once again welcome guests – to explore and play, and to enjoy the lands of adventure, fantasy, tomorrow and imagination together.”
On the same day, Disney Parks Chief Medical Officer Dr Pamerla Hymel also issued a blog post via the online site, in which she reassured readers that the company was working hard with local health and government authorities to prioritise the health and safety of employees and guests as the park reopens and begins to resume operations.
Hymel said: “Together, with our colleagues in operations, and local health and government authorities, we’re 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 a 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 travellers is a top focus.
“To that end, I want to share an update with you about our plans and considerations as we prepare for the reopening of our parks, resorts and stores. At Disney, we’re exploring:
- Phased reopening: We’re looking at all of our locations and how best to begin the reopening process, including a gradual reopening and/or partial reopening of certain locations. For example, the opening of retail and dining locations prior to the opening of our theme parks.
- Physical distancing and capacity measures: 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 Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and appropriate government agencies. 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.
- Cleanliness and sanitisation: We’re planning increased cleaning and disinfection, determining where that should take place (for example, in high-traffic areas), and the cleaning products and processes we’ll use.
- Screening and prevention support: We’ll follow guidance from the government and the medical community regarding enhanced screening procedures and prevention measures, including those related to personal protective equipment (PPE), such as face coverings. Some measures, like adding hand sanitisers and hand washing stations across our resorts, have already been implemented.
- Cast training: We’re further emphasising our strong culture of health and safety amongst our cast members, and will continue to provide new training and reinforcement as we get closer to reopening.
Image: New social distancing measures in place at Shanghai Disneyland
“These are just a few examples of the many areas we are developing plans for, so please keep an eye on our online channels, where we’ll provide more details as we confirm and begin to implement our plans. Given the constantly changing global health environment, these practices may evolve as we consider the latest guidance, but we will share more information with you as we look towards reopening.
“In the meantime, our focus remains on the health and safety of the entire Disney community – including the wellbeing of the Cast Members who are caring for and securing our parks and resorts during the closure. We have already implemented a number of enhanced health and safety measures, such as increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfection in work areas, adjusting practices to promote physical distancing, and providing Cast with access to necessary PPE, including face coverings. We continue to learn from these experiences and will carry these lessons into reopening and beyond.