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Disneyland Shanghai Banned A Woman From Bringing Outside Food–She's Now Suing

She said the “no outside food” rule is a “double standard” and violates her rights.

by Meera Navlakha
15 August 2019, 4:03am

Image by Jeremy Thompson via Flickr.

This law student won’t let anything get in the way of her and her food.

A woman in China has sued Disneyland Shanghai after the park stopped her from entering their premises with packed snacks on hand.

She visited the park in January but was not allowed inside “the happiest place on earth” by security guards unless she threw out all her food.

Disneyland parks in Asia—that’s Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Shanghai—do not allow outside food in their premises. But just like its locations in Anaheim, Orlando, and Paris, food in the parks are very pricey.

Disneyland Shanghai’s ban on outside food was first put in place in November 2017, about a year after it opened.

Wang argued with the guards and even resorted to calling the police and the municipal official’s complaint hotline to make her case, but to no avail.

She was still made to throw out her food before entering.

To Wang, the “no outside food” rule is a “double standard” and is in violation of her rights.

“Many people may also feel that their rights have been violated, but did not sue," Wang told Chinese media outlet, The Paper. "As law students, [it] is our duty.”

She took her case to the People’s Court of Pudong New Area, where Disneyland Shanghai is located, on April 23. She asked for the ban on outside food and beverages to be overturned and for Disneyland to compensate for the cost of her snacks which amounted to around $6.60. The verdict is still pending.

It turns out that many others have a problem with the rule as well.

Users across Chinese social media platforms including microblogging site Weibo have spoken out against it and praised Wang’s lawsuit. According to AFP, the topic has garnered over 600 million hits and thousands of comments.

“Disney’s [rules] are an example of double standards and discrimination against Asia,” read a comment on Weibo.

Other users complained about the exorbitant prices of food and drinks inside the park. According to Global Times China, a can of Pepsi costs seven times the normal retail price.

The China Consumers Association also released a statement supporting Wang's lawsuit, according to CGTN.

Despite the backlash, Disney stuck by its rule. Speaking with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, the company said that the Shanghai park’s regulations are “consistent with most of China’s theme parks and Disney’s other destinations in Asia.”

Disneyland Shanghai opened in June 2016, at an estimated $5.5 billion. The park is Disney’s sixth worldwide and third in Asia.

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