Starting on July 15th Hong Kong Disneyland will close after Hong Kong is experiencing a spike in Covid 19 cases. After three straight weeks of not recording a single case, the city now has over one hundred new cases. In response, the government has tightened restrictions of gatherings limiting them to 10 people instead of the previous 50 people.
These restrictions will be in place for seven days and then will be re-evaluated, so it is possible the park will be able to open up in the next week or two. Hong Kong and China in general has excellent contact tracing and they have been able to nip any local outbreaks quickly and I expect the same for Hong Kong.
During this time, the resort hotels will still be operating on a modified schedule and adjusting their needs based on demand.
In more positive signs that Hong Kong Disneyland is getting to be the second park to reopen, there have been talks that Hong Kong Disney is doing cast member testing today through May 21st.
The cast member testing will include temperature checks and social distancing procedures to make sure everything runs smoothly when the park reopens. Just like Shanghai, Hong Kong has been slowly returning to normal operations with reservations at the resorts hotels happening since April and early May.
Shanghai Disneyland Resort has been closed since late January because of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan, China and has spread to many different countries including the United States. Disney announced that beginning yesterday, the resort will be a phased reopening starting with Disneytown and the hotel. No word at this time about when the theme park is going to reopen.
The resort posted this statement to their social media pages:
“In accordance with relevant regulations, every guest entering Shanghai Disney Resort will be required to undergo temperature screening procedures upon their arrival and will need to present their Health QR Code when entering dining venues, and are required to wear a mask during their entire visit. Guests will also be reminded to maintain respectful social distances at all times while in stores, queues and restaurants.”
When guests come to the resort, they will be required to wear a mask and use hand sanitizer. Other International Disney parks are still closed such as Honk Kong and Tokyo. Tokyo reopens on March 15th, while Hong Kong has no end date as of yet. A Disneyland Paris employee tested positive for the virus and France is advising going to large gatherings, but so far Disneyland Paris has not announced any closures yet.
Is the coronavirus making you rethink your travel plans or visits to the theme parks? Let know in the comments below and give this page a follow for all virus and theme park related news.
Shanghai Disney Resort announced that the resort will be closed temporarily starting January 25th because of the coronavirus. The resort released a statement regarding the issue below:
In response to the prevention and control of the disease outbreak and in order to ensure the health and safety of our guests and Cast, Shanghai Disney Resort is temporarily closing Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown including Walt Disney Grand Theatre and Wishing Star Park, starting January 25, 2020. We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and be in close contact with the local government, and we will announce the reopening date upon confirmation.
Shanghai Disney Resort will assist in the refund for guests who have purchased tickets for admission to Shanghai Disneyland, have booked a resort hotel, or have booked tickets for Beauty and the Beast Mandarin Production through the original ticket purchase channel, and we will introduce the detailed procedure and guidelines via the resort’s official platforms as soon as possible.
We wish our guests a healthy and happy Spring Festival!
Shanghai Disney Resort
January 24, 2020
The resort is issuing refunds to those who have booked trips starting from the 25th. The coronavirus has sickened hundreds of people in China as they start their Lunar New Year travels and has made it to several other countries including the United States. Updates to this story will come as soon as they are announced.
UPDATE: Hong Kong Disneyland stops all meet and greets due to coronavirus as well. Hong Kong Disneyland is now closed until further notice as well. Keep checking this blog for updates.
An awesome news story came out today via the website France 24 saying that guests who enter Universal Beijing will be able to use facial recognition technology instead of showing a ticket. The story also notes that the park is partnering with popular Chinese tech company Alibaba so that guests can use Alipay to purchase meals and merchandise.
I think this is fantastic news and is yet another sign of the theme park industry advancing every year implementing new technology into their parks and enhancing the guest experience in large and small ways. Universal is probably also thinking that this is a way to take a jab at Shanghai Disneyland and all of the fancy high tech rides they have over at that park.
Usually Disney and Universal use their international parks to test out new ride tech and new tech to enhance the guest experience. If successful these new ideas usually make there way to the domestic parks (ie: Tron Power Run) I would like to see facial recognition make its way to Universal and Disney parks in the United States and hopefully both companies start to implement this advanced tech into the parks in the coming years and completely take away the need for paper tickets.
What do you think of this new technology? Would you like to see Apple or a tech company partner with Disney or Universal and implement Apple Pay and facial recognition into the parks? Let me know in the comments below!