After more than three months of shuttered gates during the pandemic, Shanghai Disneyland Resort reopened last week to the delight of House of Mouse fans, but with a slew of new measures to keep visitors safe, and apart. It was a big day for Michelle Lee — her first time out in a crowded public space in weeks — and what she saw was a bit worrisome.
“There wasn't a lot of caution on the part of park-goers, in my opinion,” said Lee, an annual pass-holder. “I was on rides with people who had taken their masks off.”
The Shanghai park now requires visitors to reserve a ticket in advance, practice social distancing, and wear masks while not eating. And visitors have to have a green health code to get in, meaning they're in good health and haven’t come into contact with an infected person.
Park staffers walk around with signs telling people to abide by social distancing. There are hand-sanitizing stations at the exits of rides. All attendees go through a temperature screening upon entering the park.
Yet on the day Lee visited, people on some rides and in popular photo spots took their masks off. Social distancing was hard to maintain in lines, Lee said. Rides were more full than she’d expected.
But even the less-than-perfect compliance gave her some benefit: “People here tend to be, like, breathing down the back of your neck a lot when you're standing in line, so even though they might not have necessarily followed the prescribed distance, they were at least farther back than normal.”
We spent the day with Lee to see how visitors were adjusting to the new rules, which could be a good indicator of what other big entertainment venues will be facing as they start to reopen.