Monday, May 11, Shanghai Disneyland DIS opened to a limited number of visitors, along with new rules and procedures to keep everyone healthy. “During this initial reopening phase, the park will institute new measures and procedures, including opening with limited attendance and required advanced ticketing and reservations, accommodating social distancing in queues, restaurants, ride vehicles and other facilities throughout the park, and implementing increased frequency of sanitation and disinfection,” according to the Shanghai Disney Resort website. Disney and Disney’s travel partners had tickets on sale the morning of May 8 and they were very quickly sold out for most of the next week.
In general China’s government has been reopening much of the country and much of the economy, as the spread of the virus has slowed dramatically in China. The government and companies like Disney have implemented rules regarding social distancing, as well as mask and other health requirements. Disney reportedly will be scanning visitors when the Shanghai park opens for any high temperatures.
The theme park business is huge and many companies are deeply invested in their theme park attractions. The global amusement parks market size was valued at USD $45.2 billion in 2017, according to Grand View Research, a market research and consulting company headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Grand View, previous to the COVID crisis had projected almost a 6% CAGR for the last three years and through 2025. Obviously those estimates will be revised as the parks around the world figure out when and how to reopen.
In the U.S., Disney plans a phased reopening, starting with Disney Springs in Florida, an outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment complex, which will reopen on May 20. Other Disney Parks locations will remain closed for now, including theme parks and hotels. No date has been set for other Disney parks to reopen. Some analysts are predicting not until 2021.