Shanghai Disney is a tourism guinea pig

By | Category: Travel destinations

Today Disney re-opens the Shanghai Disneyworld for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak began. Normally used to 80,000 visitors a day it will be limited to just a third of that number.

All Disney theme parks -and others -will be watching what happens at Disney Shanghai when it re-opens

Attractions around the world will be watching what happens in Shanghai for two very important reasons.

The first is to see whether people will head to the park in large numbers or whether people are still to wary to mix in large crowds.

The answer to that is yes. Tickets went on sale on friday for the first day’s opening and all sold out.

When other attractions in different countries re-open will they have the same appeal? And such a rush to get tickets?

Anyone who has ever been to one these mega attractions knows how busy and crowded they can be. Social distancing isn’t easy although Disney will be attempting to do just that. We will only know when customers start telling others whether Disney was successful.

But can it be profitable operating on just a third of its capacity? How quickly can it jump to 50%, 75% and higher?

The second and more serious question is to see whether opening such huge attractions causes a resurgence in the virus although that will probably take some weeks to be answered.

In many ways the park in Shanghai is being used as a guinea pig for the huge attractions industry.

If it succeeds, other attractions might open up earlier than they might have hoped for but they will face the same problems. If the Chinese go to Disney does that mean that other nationals will visit theme parks in their own countries? Some nations might be more wary than others.

The American theme park group, Six Flags, is also planning to re-open soon, possibly as early as next week. Whilst there none of their theme parks in the UK or Ireland, their proposed measures will also be closely watched.

They include compulsory online reservations, all guests are required to wear face masks, and temperature checks will take place at entry gates. It is   maintain a social distancing policy and reduce face-to-face interactions so visitors can only order things by mobiles, virtual queuing will be in operation and there will be cashless transactions in the parks.

But Disney, Universal, Six Flags and the like might not be able to afford to wait until a vaccine has been shown to work. By then they might have run out of cash.

So May 11th is a key date in the tourism world!

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