MickeyBlog News for May 11, 2020
Both Disney Springs and Shanghai Disneyland will return over the next 10 days! This MickeyBlog News update is guaranteed to make you happy!
Let’s Talk Theme Parks!
Folks, this is not a drill. A genuine Disney theme park will reopen on May 11th!
The lucky location is Shanghai Disneyland, which is fitting since it was the first park to close. This week, the citizens of Shanghai can go back to the parks.
Obviously, things will work a bit differently. MickeyBlog has already provided you with many of the details, but I’ll hit the highlights quickly in case you’ve missed it.
In the early days, Shanghai Disneyland can operate at 30 percent capacity. Park officials have stated that they’ll allow even fewer guests during the first few days after reopening.
Speaking of which, guests must book reservations to enter the park…and those reservations sold out in three minutes for the first day.
Suffice to say that demand is high for Disney’s triumphant theme park return.
Of course, Disney has undertaken several safety measures. They’ve painted signs on the ground to show where guests should/should not stand to honor social distancing.
Also, yellow markers on handrails indicate where people should stand in restaurants. And similar markers on the denote the proper positions for guests during outdoor performances.
The entire setup appears exceptionally well organized and carefully considered.
A park official has indicated that Disney performed many tests to identify the best strategies for the park’s reopening.
We will know for sure this week how well these ideas work in practice.
You can read more details here.
Disney Springs Is Back!
The other day, Universal CityWalk announced that some of its stores and restaurants would return this week.
Around this time, word leaked that one of the parking garages at Disney Springs is back in business. Importantly, Disney has reserved these parking spaces for cast members.
All signs pointed to a near-immediate reopening of Disney Springs, and that’s what has happened.
On May 20th, some of the third-party businesses at Disney Springs will reopen to the public. The full list isn’t available yet.
However, we do know that STK Orlando, Wine Bar George, and Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream will all return on May 20th.
You may wonder about Disney-owned businesses. Well, therein lies the rub.
Disney Springs will reopen in phases. Disney will sit out the early days but allow other companies to return.
Some of them have liquidity issues and need to generate revenue again.
Disney isn’t cash-poor right now. So, its managers aren’t ready to reopen until they have more information about the pandemic.
Still, the bottom line here is that Disney Springs will be back soon. All of us who are Disney fans will take what we can get right now.
This turn of events feels like a huge, much-needed win.
Updates on Other Disney International Parks
Overseas, the news this week is somewhat mixed.
Yes, Shanghai Disneyland will return, which is spectacular. Also, all signs point to Hong Kong Disneyland coming back soon, too.
Similar preparations are underway in Hong Kong as we’ve watched unfold in Shanghai.
Since Hong Kong Disneyland closed the day after Shanghai Disneyland, its timeline should work similarly anyway.
We did learn that the official Disney hotels in Hong Kong are accepting reservations starting on May 15th.
So, we’re merely waiting on a final date for Hong Kong Disneyland’s reopening.
At Tokyo Disneyland, I only have frustrating news. Japan has extended its state of emergency declaration until the end of May.
The soonest that Tokyo Disneyland could return is June 1st, and most people are dubious about that date.
The situation seems similar at Disneyland Paris. France’s pandemic guidelines have caused speculation that the park won’t open until the fall.
Park officials actually disputed this thought process. However, Disneyland Paris has quietly canceled reservations through mid-July.
Also, Hotel New York won’t open as planned on June 15th. Currently, all reservations here are canceled through Halloween.
Obviously, the hotel can restore reservations if the situation changes. However, the Coronavirus shutdown has likely caused delays in finalizing the hotel.
At this point, the Chinese parks appear to be the only international Disney locales close to returning. Then again, you’re probably more interested in the American parks…
The Current Status of Disneyland
We have no new information about when the Happiest and Most Magical Places on Earth will return. So, we’re still reading tea leaves here more than anything else.
In California, the governor surprised most observers last Friday. He announced that the state has entered the second stage of its reopening plan.
Most people involved with the matter expected California to go more slowly than that. Even so, Disneyland doesn’t appear likely to return until the fourth stage.
In other words, a return isn’t imminent. In fact, Disneyland is only accepting July reservations at this point.
Now, that’s worse than it sounds. Even though the calendar feels like it’s moving backward during the Great Shut-In, we’re only seven weeks away from July.
Disneyland has also called off Dapper Day on June 20-21. Disney had previously delayed this event from April but really wanted to hold it.
Even now, park officials indicate that a smaller scale version of Dapper Day could still take place by the end of summer. It’s understandably up in the air at this point, though.
…and Walt Disney World
At Walt Disney World, management has canceled all reservations through the end of May. The official Disney calendar has also removed park hours for May.
We’d had some optimism last month when Disney listed official hours for many May days. Unfortunately, the pandemic still isn’t contained enough yet.
I’ll provide one more mixed signal here. The official calendar does list hours for May 31st, at least for the moment.
Unfortunately, you shouldn’t get your hopes up yet. Walt Disney World isn’t accepting reservations of any sort for June.
You can book hotel or dining reservations on July 1st, but nothing is available before that.
Simultaneously, Disney has sent out some surveys to guests who currently have June reservations.
The surveys request feedback on what would make guests keep/cancel their vacations. So, all hope isn’t lost yet!
Disney is clearly trying to figure out what the company can do to deliver a satisfactory experience to its guests, possibly as soon as June.
The timeline likely depends on how well the phased reopenings of Shanghai Disneyland and Disney Springs go. Hope for the best, everyone!