Shanghai Disneyland sold out of tickets for its May 11 reopening after a four-month shutdown, a sign that consumers in China are prepared to spend as the nation recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
The theme park is implementing safety measures, including limiting visitors to one-third of the normal capacity of 80,000. Shanghai Disneyland was the first of Walt Disney’s parks to close on Jan. 25 as the coronavirus began to spread from Wuhan, 520 miles (840 kilometers) west of the country’s business capital.
The $5.5 billion park’s reopening marks a tentative step toward Disney’s recovery from a global health crisis it blamed for lopping $1.4 billion off profit last quarter, largely by forcing it to shut resorts around the world. While Disney is keeping its U.S., Hong Kong and Paris parks closed, it said Thursday it will open a limited number of shops and restaurants in its Disney Springs mall outside its resorts in Orlando, Florida, on May 20.
The sellout was confirmed on the Shanghai Disney Resort website within minutes after bookings started 8 a.m. Friday local time. Safety measures at the reopening park include “social distancing in queues, restaurants, ride vehicles and other facilities throughout the park, and implementing increased frequency of sanitization and disinfection,” the company said on its website. Some areas and shows will remain closed.
Tickets during the initial reopening phase are 399 yuan ($56) for regular days and 499 yuan for weekends.
Disney’s theme park resort in Tokyo has been shut since Feb. 29 and will reopen when Japan’s state of emergency order is lifted, operator Oriental Land Co. said Friday in a statement. The country’s state of emergency has been set to run until May 31. Oriental Land also said it would furlough 5,400 employees until it is able to reopen the venue and that executives will voluntarily return some pay.
Disney’s theme parks division contributed about 46% of operating income in the 12 months ended September 2019, more than double earnings from its studio entertainment business, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
–With assistance from Li Liu and Lily Nonomiya.