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Shanghai Disneyland reopens. Will US parks follow?

Shanghai Disneyland is all set to open on Monday but it’s still unclear if US Disney parks will jump on the bandwagon anytime soon.

Unlike many, Disneyland is a high-contact family- and kids-centred attraction and reopening means the updated rules and precautions should harmonize with the “new normal” in a pandemic-hit world. Disneyland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pamela Hymel nods in agreement as she says,

“After so many days of self-isolation, I know many of you are eager to enjoy the magic of Disneyland, and we can’t wait to welcome you back. We are 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 the safety of travellers is a top focus.”

Dr. Pamela Hymel, Disney Chief Medical Officer

What will Disneyland look like in the post-virus era

In a place like Disneyland where long queues and enormous crowd are a norm, deliberate social distancing approach is being charted out by Shanghai Disneyland as it reopens on May 11 — minimal guest entry is already on the cards and app notifications for rides might replace queues for good. Guest density and the number of entries allowed at any particular time will be dealt with prudence and screening for virus symptoms will be in place.

And most importantly, Disney is looking at a phased reopening method, carefully replicating the Shanghai blueprint in other locations to make sure they aren’t caught off guard. So Disney hints that reopening of US Disney parks will get delayed. Wearing masks could be made mandatory, but that doesn’t sound so bad after all, for those Mickey Mouse masks will indeed look good on selfies.

COVID-19 impact on Disneyland’s revenue

The coronavirus pandemic had several big and small businesses bearing the brunt of a world coming to an economic halt, and the Walt Disney Company is no exception. The company whose major revenue contribution revolves around tourism, merchandise and products took a $1.4bn hit over the last quarter according to The Guardian. On a totally different note, Disney+ has gained 4.5 million new followers since April 8. Disney also plans online sales of face masks featuring Disney characters and give a good percentage of the revenue to charity.

Also read: How will air travel rebound and what changes are here to stay

While this bolsters the much-needed hope for Disney parks reopening worldwide, fans are keen to see how Disneyland reimagines itself in the post-virus era in a manner that ensures the happiest place on earth stays that way. Let’s stay tuned.


Akshaya Devi

Scared of driving in Chennai traffic but also planning a solo bike trip to Ladakh. Don't be surprised if you find me all hyper, someone somewhere in the world must've misquoted Martin Scorcese or justified a bad coffee saying "C'mon, coffee is coffee".