Hong Kong Doing Cast Member Testing Today Through May 21st

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.

Disneyland Resort Only Accepting Reservations for Dates After July 1st

Until recently, the Disneyland Resort was accepting reservations for hotel rooms and dining packages on June 1st and afterward. That date has now been pushed back to July 1st as we are in May and rapidly approaching the initial June date.

It is widely believed that Disney and Universal are going to open in Orlando first due to looser restrictions from the state government. It was even reported that Universal Citywalk will be opening May 11th after people spotted trucks delivering supplies to some of the shops and team members getting an email that they would be returning to work next week.

Shanghai Disney is reopening May 11th with some very strict restrictions. It is believed that other Disney parks are going to follow the same protocols when they reopen later this year. Hong Kong Disneyland looks to be the next Disney park to be opening its doors fairly soon.

When do you think Disneyland will be open again?

Bob Iger Takes Over Takes Control of CEO Bob Chapek’s Duties During Pandemic

If you were wondering why Bob Chapek has been so silent ever since he became CEO we now have an answer as to why. The New York Times did an article covering Disney during the past few weeks from the leadership changes to COVID-19 to the future of the company when everything resumes normal operation.

Here is a snippet of the article that explains Iger taking back the reigns as CEO of Disney:

“And now, Mr. Iger has effectively returned to running the company. After a few weeks of letting Mr. Chapek take charge, Mr. Iger smoothly reasserted control, BlueJeans video call by BlueJeans video call. (Disney does not use Zoom for its meetings for security reasons.)

The new, nominal chief executive is referred to, almost kindergarten style, as “Bob C,” while Mr. Iger is still just “Bob.” And his title is “executive chairman” — emphasis on the first word.

Mr. Iger is now intensely focused on remaking a company that will emerge, he believes, deeply changed by the crisis. The sketch he has drawn for associates offers a glimpse at the post-pandemic future: It’s a Disney with fewer employees, leading the new and uncertain business of how to gather people safely for entertainment.”

In my opinion, I think Chapek was never a good decision for CEO as he definitely has more of a middle management style to him than a CEO type of vibe. For example, take a look at the past D23. Chapek seemed very uninspired when talking about the future projects and you can tell he was clearly reading from a teleprompter. By contrast, Iger was clearly excited and passionate while talking about projects such as Galaxy’s Edge. I feel that the Disney company is in much more secure shape with Iger taking back the reigns.

Iger is planning multiple strategies as how to handle this pandemic and the future of the company as described below:

Mr. Iger, meanwhile, is trying to figure out what the company will look like after the crisis. One central challenge is to establish best practices for the company and the industry on how to bring people back to the parks and rides while avoiding the virus’s spread — using measures like taking visitors’ temperatures.

Mr. Iger also sees this as a moment, he has told associates, to look across the business and permanently change how it operates. He’s told them that he anticipates ending expensive old-school television practices like advertising upfronts and producing pilots for programs that may never air. Disney is also likely to reopen with less office space. He’s also told two people that he anticipated the company having fewer employees. (Mr. Iger said in an email on Sunday evening that he had “no recollection of ever having said” that he expected a smaller work force. “Regardless, any decision about staff reductions will be made by my successor and not me,” he added.)”

As Iger said, I can see a future where initially Disney checks temperatures and reduces capacity when first opening the parks. I can also see them having a significant reduction in office space (like most companies probably will) because companies are realizing they do not need as many people in an office due to things such as telecommuting and being more efficient.

What do you think of this developing situation? Who do you want to be the CEO of Disney?

Shanghai Disney To Begin Phased Reopening

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.

Hong Kong Disneyland Castle Construction Update!

Image result for hong kong castle construction

Hello and welcome back to Theme Park Wizard where today we are going to check in on the Hong Kong Disneyland Castle Refurb and Expansion. Several months into construction we can see the castle is at least halfway done by now and is looking rather excellent. The final product will look like the concept art down below!

Image result for hong kong castle construction

I love the new look of the castle and did not like that the original castle was a carbon copy of Disneyland’s castle here in Anaheim. Now each Disney park has its own unique castle and I think that is fantastic, but what do you guys think? Do you like the look of the new castle? Do you think Hong Kong getting a new castle is a waste of money? Let me know in the comments below!