Global Disney Parks and Resorts Opening Status: May 8th
Last week, we started tracking the reopening status of all Disney parks. Over the past few days, the overall picture has improved a great deal.
One Disney theme park in China will return this week. Another isn’t far away from its reopening.
Also, something happened at Walt Disney World that will put a smile on your face.
Disney Park Status:
|Resort||Locations Currently Open||Is Country/State Open|
|Walt Disney World||
||Currently in Phase One of Reopening (started on May 4)|
|Disneyland Resort||Nothing Yet||Currently in Phase Two of Reopening (started on May 8)|
|Disneyland Paris||Nothing Yet||No Public Gatherings of 10 Or More Until June 2|
|Hong Kong Disneyland||
||No (Ends May 31)|
Here are all the Disney park operations that are back in business, along with a few tidbits that might impact others.
Shanghai Disneyland Returns on May 11
Let’s start with the most exciting news this week! During the Fiscal Second Quarter Earnings Call, new CEO Bob Chapek revealed that Shanghai Disneyland will reopen on May 11.
Yes, in a matter of days, Disney will have a theme park running once again! Park officials intend to test some safety measures in Shanghai before implementing them in America.
The official Shanghai Disneyland website lists the following precautionary measures:
- “Purchase dated admission tickets for Shanghai Disneyland prior to their arrival, as on-site sales will not be available. Annual Pass holders must make a reservation for their visit date and time through Shanghai Disney Resort’s official online channels before their visit to the park. During this “Advanced Reservation Period,” General Admission tickets for Shanghai Disneyland will not be accepted;**
- Provide basic personal information for each guest visiting the park, including name, phone number, ID type and ID number via Shanghai Disney Resort’s official online channels after purchasing a ticket and prior to arriving at the resort. A Shanghai Disneyland Reservation QR Code will be provided after the successful submission of the required identification information, and guests will be required to present the code before entering the theme park;
- Register for the Health QR Code prior to their arrival, which will be required to be presented upon entering any location at Shanghai Disney Resort. Only guests with a green Health QR Code will be allowed to enter the resort;
- Be prepared to present a China government ID card, or valid travel document, for each guest at the park turnstiles (photos or printed copies will not be accepted);
- Undergo temperature screening procedures upon arrival; and
- Wear an approved mask during the entire visit to the resort except when dining.”
Will Walt Disney World and Disneyland Employ These Measures?
Admittedly, some of these measures seem a bit outlandish. As Disney Vacation Club members, we’ve gotten used to having the run of the parks. So, the idea of pre-visit registration is a bit jarring.
I’d ask you to keep in mind two aspects of this. The first is the addendum at Shanghai Disneyland:
“*These measures will continue to be reviewed as the situation warrants, and may be further adjusted.”
These restrictions are limited-time methods to keep crowd traffic at 24,000 or lower. That’s the maximum capacity the Chinese government will allow right now. It’s 30 percent of maximum occupancy if you’re wondering.
The other is that even if Disney’s American theme parks introduce these concepts for a while, it’s unlikely to impact DVC visits.
The prevailing belief is that people with reservations at official Disney resorts will gain park admission. So, it’s another temporary benefit of being a DVC member.
Please remember that much of this is speculation based on a weird combination of official statements from Disney executives and cast member gossip.
Still, the news here is undeniably positive. In fact, here’s another exciting tidbit…
Universal CityWalk Is Open
Before I discuss other updates at Disney parks, I’d briefly like to talk about a competitor. Universal Orlando Resort remains closed for the most part.
However, the management team here took advantage of the reopening of Florida. During Phase One, restaurants and stores may host customers indoors, albeit at 25 percent of capacity.
This change in social distancing practice is the reason why I previously speculated Disney Springs could return soon. Alas, Disney provided a push notification on the My Disney Experience app last week to reiterate that all parts of the campus remain closed.
Universal executives went a different way. Universal CityWalk will partially reopen on May 11! Employees at CityWalk Starbucks and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville received notifications that they will return to work on this date.
Disney Responds in Kind
Disney officials initially remained tightlipped about their phased reopening, ever after Universal employees broke their silence. Then, news broke on May 7 that an incredible change is in the offing!
Disney Springs will reopen on May 20!
Yes, it’s true! According to the official Parks Blog:
“Following the guidance of government and health officials, a limited number of shopping and dining experiences that are owned by third-party operating participants will begin to open during this initial phase.”
The language here strongly suggests that everything reopening on May 20 belongs to non-Disney entities. Of course, most businesses at Disney Springs are third-party owned and operated.
Unfortunately, neither this statement nor the one on the Disney Springs website indicates which businesses are returning first. So, this story is still developing. We’ll all take what we can get at this point, though, right?
Meanwhile, a bit more good news has dropped in California. The governor has stated that the state will enter the second stage of its reopening on May 8. He’d previously warned people not to get their hopes up. So, the timeline is well ahead of expectations.
Happy Disney times might be just around the corner, at least in America.
The Other International Parks
Overseas, the situation hasn’t improved at two of the parks. Japan has extended its stay-at-home restrictions through May 31.
So, the soonest that Tokyo Disneyland will reopen is June, and even that appears a bit ambitious right now. Japan’s Coronavirus numbers increased by a factor of seven during April.
Thankfully, the country has confirmed less than 1,200 new cases in May thus far. However, without knowing the number of tests administered, it’s impossible to determine whether the infection rate is under control.
At Disneyland Paris, park officials updated cast members about operational status. This FAQ provides a strange combination of optimism and pessimism.
One section addresses the rumor that Disneyland Paris could return on June 2. The reply splashes cold water on that idea.
“It is still too early to announce a reopening date, as the situation is still evolving.”
That’s not a no, but it’s closer to no than yes.
On the bright side, the FAQ alleviates some concerns about French guidelines. By strict interpretations, the park might not be able to open until September of 2020. Disney states:
“That restriction to 5,000 people mentioned by Edouard Philippe is related to one-off events that must be declared to the Prefecture in advance – like festivals, professional fairs, sporting events, soccer matches etc. It is our understanding that our destination is not affected by this measure.”
So, the FAQ is a mixed bag. The glass is either half-full or half-empty, depending on your perspective.
As for Hong Kong Disneyland, I have nothing tangible to report. It sounds nearly ready to return, as it should be. After all, this park closed the day after Shanghai Disneyland. The reopening timeline should be the same, too.
Even so, Disney hasn’t prioritized reopening it yet. I presume that park strategists want to test the measures at Shanghai Disneyland before attempting them elsewhere. I suspect it’ll resume second out of all Disney theme parks, though.
Overall, the park status update this week is exceptionally positive. One park is ready to return, while others are advancing nicely in their phased reopenings!