SupChina illustration by Derek Zheng
Shanghai Disneyland sold out of entrance tickets for its first day of reopening — today, May 11. The park was the first of Disney’s theme parks to close on January 25 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and today it became the first to reopen.
Visitors could board rides and eat at Disney cafes and restaurants, but with social distancing rules enforced. The park operated at below 30% of its 84,000 customer capacity. Visitors had to purchase tickets online in advance, wear masks, have their temperature screened upon entry, and show their government-issued QR code, which provides contact tracing and serves as a COVID-19 detection system. Visitors were not allowed to take selfies with Disney characters. (See photos taken today at the park.)
The world’s largest entertainment company has already taken a staggering $1.4 billion hit to its earnings this year, with the company’s theme-park division the most impacted. Disney’s net income for the first quarter fell 91% to $475 million. Earnings are likely to decline even further in the current quarter.
In China, Disney reopened some of its retail and entertainment attractions in early March, including Wishing Star Park, Disneytown, and the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel. Last week, China’s State Council unveiled a new set of guidelines (in Chinese) for reopening higher-risk public locations such as tourist attractions and movie theaters. In short, they can open for business, but are advised to resume operations at reduced capacity and with social distancing and other conditions enforced. See SupChina for details on the new guidelines.
Meanwhile, Chinese Basketball Association chairman Yáo Míng 姚明 told CCTV in an interview on Friday that he hopes the CBA will resume at the start of July. See SupChina for details.