11th May 2020

Technology Is Disney’s theme park reopening a roadmap for businesses?

Technology Is Disney’s theme park reopening a roadmap for businesses?


Technology Staff workers wear protective masks in Shanghai Disneyland Park.Image copyright
Getty Images

The reopening of Shanghai Disneyland could provide useful insights for companies looking to restart their operations after lockdowns.

The Chinese theme park will reopen next week with a raft of new health and safety measures for guests.

Face masks, contact tracing and temperature checks are among the new features aimed at preventing any spread of the coronavirus.

Virtual queuing and other technologies are also being considered Disney said.

The spotlight will be on Shanghai as Disney’s first park to reopen since the pandemic started. Its phased reopening comes more than three months after the park was closed at the height of the virus outbreak in China.

One of the main changes will be reduced capacity as visitor numbers are massively scaled back from its normal 80,000 a day. While the Chinese government has limited numbers to 24,000, Disney said guests will be “far below” that figure as it tries out new procedures.

Guests will be need to book tickets in advance to avoid queues at the entrance. Before entering the park, a QR code will need to be scanned for contact tracing while guests will need to wear face masks at all times, except when eating. Employees, or cast members as Disney calls them, will also be required to wear face masks.

Social distancing will be key and Disney is looking to manage crowds on rides, in queues, restaurants and hotels.

Disney Parks’ chief medical officer Dr Pamela Hymel said the entertainment giant was looking into ways it can use its own technology to help with social distancing. This could involve a new app to create virtual queues at its US theme parks.

“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,” she said. Cleanliness and sanitisation measures are also being stepped up

Earlier this week, the Walt Disney Company announced its profits had taken a $1.4bn (£1.1bn) hit in the first three months of the year as its themes parks had been closed and movie releases cancelled.

Theme parks in Hong Kong and Tokyo remain closed along with Disney’s US locations.


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