Shanghai Disneyland Reopens With Strict Safety Procedures
The elephants are flying again.
On Monday, one of the Walt Disney Company’s 14 closed theme parks, Shanghai Disneyland, reopened to visitors on a limited basis, offering a first peek into the kind of escape Mickey Mouse can offer in the age of face masks, social distancing and disinfectants.
周一，华特迪士尼公司(The Walt Disney Company)14个被关闭的主题公园之一——上海迪士尼乐园向游客限流重新开放，让人们首次窥探到了米老鼠在口罩、社交距离和消毒剂时代所能提供的那种逃离感。
“It has been an emotional morning,” Joe Schott, president and general manager of the Shanghai Disney Resort, said in a phone interview. “There is light at the end of the tunnel.”
“这是一个激动人心的早晨，”上海迪士尼度假区(Shanghai Disney Resort)总裁兼总经理乔·肖特(Joe Schott)在接受电话采访时说。“隧道的尽头有曙光。”
From a business standpoint, Shanghai Disneyland will be operating far below its potential. The Chinese government has limited capacity at the park to 24,000 people daily, less than one-third of its pre-outbreak capacity. Bob Chapek, Disney’s chief executive, said last week that Disney would reduce ticket sales even further — “far below” the government’s limit, in his words — to make sure that employees can enforce new safety rules, including temperature checks for ticket holders upon arrival. Fewer tickets sold means decreased food and merchandise sales.
Yet the reopening carried immense symbolic importance. It sent a message to Disney’s furloughed park employees — 43,000 in Florida alone — about the future: There will be one.
Investors have been relieved. Disney shares have climbed 8 percent since May 5, when Mr. Chapek announced that Shanghai Disneyland would reopen, perhaps paving the way for similar actions at Disney resorts in the United States, Japan and France. The limited number of tickets that Shanghai Disneyland put on sale for this week sold out within hours, suggesting that people are willing to resume public activities, even without a vaccine.
Time will test the ability of Disney’s theme parks to program out negative aspects of life and emphasize the positive.
When the Shanghai resort reopened on Monday, according to videos of the event, cast members — Disney’s term for employees — lined Mickey Avenue, which leads to the castle and aerial Dumbo ride, and waved madly as they greeted attendees. Belle, Minnie, Woody, Duffy and other costumed characters appeared with welcome banners as a marching band played an upbeat “Mary Poppins” tune.
活动视频显示，周一上海度假区重新开业时，演员（这是迪士尼对员工的称呼）在通往城堡和小飞象(Dumbo ride)的米奇大道(Mickey Avenue)上排成一排，疯狂地挥手，向来宾们打招呼。贝儿(Belle)，米妮(Minnie)，伍迪(Woody)，达菲(Duffy)和其他角色们打着欢迎横幅出现在活动现场，乐队演奏着欢快的“玛丽·波平斯(Mary Poppins)”曲调。
“Life can get you down,” Mr. Schott said. “Our brand is about hope.”
To safely reopen, however, Shanghai Disneyland had to allow some of the grimness of pandemic life to puncture the utopian fantasy. All guests and park employees must wear face masks. Costumed characters are the only exception, and they now pose for photos from afar. The park is dotted with garbage cans dedicated solely to used face masks.
Parades have been suspended because people crowd sidewalks to watch them. Theater shows also remain closed. For now, Shanghai Disneyland will offer an evening castle show but no fireworks. To discourage people from bunching up in line as they wait for rides, Disney has placed purple social-distancing mats on the ground.
“So far, guests are being very, very respectful about social distancing,” Mr. Schott said.
To ward off germs, Disney has decided to leave rows of seats empty on rides like Pirates of the Caribbean. Employees have been deployed to constantly disinfect ride vehicles and lap bars. Want to hop on Buzz Lightyear’s Planet Rescue, where riders zap targets with hand-held blasters? You now must wear plastic gloves.
为了抑制细菌，迪士尼已决定在“加勒比海盗(Pirates of the Caribbean)”之类的游乐设施中设置隔排空位。员工不断为游乐设施游乐和座位上的扶杆消毒。想乘坐“巴斯光年星际营救(Buzz Lightyear’s Planet Rescue)”，手持爆破装置击中目标？现在，您必须戴上塑料手套。
The Shanghai Disney Resort began to reopen in early March. First, an adjacent shopping mall, Disneytown, resumed operations. Lego, Build-A-Bear, Swatch, Nike and Starbucks have stores there. Two other areas of the resort, a lakeside area called Wishing Star Park and the upscale Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, also gradually reopened before the theme park itself.
Disney owns 43 percent of the $5 billion resort, with the majority stake held by a Chinese state-controlled consortium. Disney owns 70 percent of the management company that operates the property.
Shanghai Disneyland attracted roughly 12 million visitors last year, an 8 percent increase from 2017, its first full year of operation, according to the Themed Entertainment Association. To compare, Disney’s No. 1 park, the Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Florida, had about 21 million visitors last year. The troubled Hong Kong Disneyland had attendance of 6.5 million.
根据主题娱乐协会(Themed Entertainment Association)的数据，去年，上海迪士尼乐园吸引了约1200万游客，比2017年（其首个完整运营年份）增长了8％。相比之下，迪士尼的第一家公园——佛罗里达州迪士尼世界之魔法王国(Magic Kingdom at Disney World)，去年共接待了2100万游客。陷入困境的香港迪士尼乐园的年游客量为650万。
It is unclear when Disney’s other theme parks may start to reopen. But Disney has signaled that its vast resort in Florida could be next. The shopping mall there, Disney Springs, will begin phased reopening on May 20.