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Disney Parks releases health guidelines for safely reopening

With the news that after being the first Disney theme park to close way back in January, Shanghai Disneyland is reopening its gates to guests later this month, Disney Parks is releasing some of its guidelines for health and safety of its cast members and guests that will help make for a safe guest experience and work environment.

The reopening of some dining and retail locations is also happening at Hong Kong Disneyland and looks to be coming soon to Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs (still waiting for an official announcement there, but signs of life are back).

Disney asked its Chief Medical Officer for the Disney Parks division, Dr. Pamela Hymel, to check back in with fans and share some of the new and enhanced safety measures the parks plan to implement in coordination with local health and government officials.

“I’m fortunate to work with Disney’s extraordinarily talented team of health and safety experts who are some of the most experienced in the industry,” said Dr. Hymel. “Together, with our colleagues in operations, and local health and government authorities, we’re evaluating several new and enhanced safety measures to do our part towards helping us stay well while we work, stay, and play at a Disney resort and a Disney store.”

Dr. Hymel says they’re still working on refining and improving, but like all of us, they want to do what’s right so we can all enjoy the magic of a Disney parks experience again soon.

Here’s the list of Disney’s plans as shared by Dr. Hymel:

  • Phased reopening: Disney is looking at all locations and how best to begin the reopening process, including a gradual reopening and/or partial reopening of certain locations. For example, the opening of retail and dining locations prior to the opening of theme parks.
  • Physical distancing and capacity measures: Managing guest density in queues, restaurants, hotels, ride vehicles and other facilities throughout the park and across the resort is a major focus, as Disney implements physical distancing guidelines based on guidance from health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and appropriate government agencies. This will likely include implementation of guest capacity measures to comply with state and federal guidelines. They are also exploring ways to use technology to aid us in these efforts, like with the Play Disney Parks App and through virtual queues at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
  • Cleanliness and sanitization: Disney is planning increased cleaning and disinfection, determining where that should take place (for example, in high-traffic areas), and the cleaning products and processes we’ll use.  
  • Screening and prevention support: Disney states they will follow guidance from the government and the medical community regarding enhanced screening procedures and prevention measures, including those related to personal protective equipment (PPE), such as face coverings. Some measures, like adding hand sanitizers and hand washing stations across the parks and resorts, have already been implemented.
  • Cast training: There will be further emphasizing the strong culture of health and safety among cast members, and Disney will continue to provide new training and reinforcement as they get closer to reopening.

As mentioned on the Disney earnings call yesterday, in order to keep attendence to a reduced capacity, Shanghai Disneyland will only accept tickets that have a reservation for that particular day. Disney CEO Bob Chapek mentioned that would likely be the procedure as other parks open as well.

Are there other health and safety measures you would like to know about or see implemented at Disney’s parks and resorts? Let us know in the comments.