Hong Kong Disneyland, closed for five months due to Covid-19, is ready to reopen


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Hong Kong (CNN) — On June 18, Hong Kong Disneyland will become the world’s second Disney park to reopen.

One of the smallest Disney theme parks, it closed on January 26 due to the global coronavirus crisis and has remained shut since then, with a few exceptions — namely its hotels and a few on-site restaurants.
Shanghai Disneyland was the first park to reopen, welcoming guests back on May 11. Its reopening gave clues as to what Disney parks around the world would look like post-coronavirus, with social distancing regulations enforced and both guests and employees (aka cast members) sporting face masks.

And it looks like Hong Kong Disneyland will follow similar procedures.

Guests will be required to book reservations online at least one week in advance in order to maintain crowd control. Upon arrival, they will have to submit to temperature checks, fill out a health declaration form and wear face masks.

Magic Access members, who are the park’s annual pass holders, will get priority for booking reservations.

“We are proud to be part of the Hong Kong community, which has worked hard and shown fortitude in how it has handled the pandemic,” Stephanie Young, the park’s managing director, said in a statement.

Another major component of the Disney experience, character interactions, has changed for the coronavirus era. For now, guests won’t be able to have up-close experiences like photo ops with Mickey, Minnie and company but will be able to enjoy socially distanced activities like parades and shows.

Since the virus was first identified in January, Hong Kong was quick to enact social hygiene measures. Currently, the city has recorded only 1,110 cases and just four deaths.

While waiting for crowds to return, Hong Kong Disneyland has been continuing work on its newest attraction, the Castle of Magical Dreams. Though it isn’t complete yet, visitors will be able to see the castle’s progress as it enters its final phase of construction.

Hong Kong Disneyland is also hard at work on a new “Frozen” themed section, with an area themed around Elsa, Anna, Olaf and the other characters from the current record holder for highest-grossing animated film ever.

Outside of greater China, though, Disney fans will still have to wait to get their theme park fix. Disney’s parks in California, Florida, Japan and France are currently closed.

Read more at CNN.com