After closing its doors for nearly five months, when Hong Kong confirmed its first coronavirus case, Hong Kong Disneyland was reopened to the public last week – but with new security measures, including mandatory masks for all guests, temperature checks and safe distance measures.
CNBC attended its opening day to see what theme parks might look like in the post-pandemic world.
Hong Kong Disneyland is only the second of Disney parks to open. This follows in the footsteps of Shanghai, which reopened its park last month with 30% capacity due to government mandates.
Similarly, Hong Kong operates on limited capacity. However, a representative of Hong Kong Disneyland told CNBC that the throughput of Shanghai is significantly lower than its own, but did not specify.
Disneyland, Disney World, Paris Disneyland and Disneyland Tokyo are planning to open their parks in July with similar measures. In addition, Universal Studios Parks & Resorts also gradually open in stages with limited capacity.
Guests arrive at Hong Kong Disneyland after nearly five months of closing the park due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Booking at Disneyland Hong Kong must be done online at least seven days in advance, along with a health declaration.
Dozens of employees throughout the park were holding signs that said: “Please observe the appropriate social distance.”
Actors, such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, are currently making comedies around the park, but due to social distance measures, the meetings have been canceled.
Hong Kong Disneyland employee.
However, even though theme parks are reopening, a quick recovery is unlikely to happen any time soon when the economy shrinks and unemployment has reached a record high.
The global amusement park sector is expected to decline by 2.7% to $ 71.6 billion in 2020, compared with $ 73.5 billion a year earlier. in accordance with research and markets,
In February, Disney said it expected losses of up to $ 175 million if its parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai were closed within two months – which they did.
To add to the problems, Hong Kong Disneyland has already struggled with a pandemic. In early 2020, the park declared losses of more than $ 13 million for fiscal year 2019since social unrest in the city scared away Hong Kong guests.
Loyal visitors to theme parks – or season ticket holders – have often provided theme parks with a steady source of revenue in recent years, but this relationship can be tense due to narrower wallets and security concerns.
Until the Covid-19 testing becomes ubiquitous and a vaccine is found, the decline in visitors to theme parks is expected to last two years. according to Wells Fargo Securities report,
Hong Kong Disneyland employee after opening the park.