10 Photos From the First Disney Park to Reopen That'll Blow Your Mind

It’s back to business at one of the Happiest Places on Earth.

Following three months of shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, Shanghai Disneyland Resort reopened on May 11, 2020—the first of Disney's six amusement parks to brave this new world. However, things at Shanghai Disneyland look very different during the "initial reopening phase" than they did before. Now, there are social distancing areas, temperature checks, and required masks, among other protocols. But one thing hasn't changed—how excited guests are to be in the Happiest Place on Earth.

1. There are no crowds on Main Street.

In order to follow government guidelines on social distancing, Disney has reduced the park capacity to 30 percent (that's roughly 24,000 people). Here, Eunice Yoon, Beijing Bureau Chief and Senior Correspondent for CNBC, shows how few people were in the park on opening day.

2. The staff members all wear masks.

Guests, like Heyni, who runs the blog All About The Diz, were excited to return to Shanghai Disneyland. But they quickly noticed a few big changes, including how all the staff must wear face masks and stand apart as they greet guests on Main Street.

3. There are temperature checks at entry points.

The health of staff and guests is of utmost importance. To ensure guests aren't demonstrating common coronavirus symptoms such as fevers, Disney employees are testing people's temperatures at the entry points before allowing them into the park.

4. There are no lines for rides and attractions.

squares where you should stand apart in line to a disney ride
Xinhua / Alamy

While you're probably used to seeing massive, snaking queues to get on rides, there are virtually no lines at Shanghai Disneyland. Guests report that the longest wait time they've seen so far is around 10 minutes, compared to hours on a normal post-pandemic visit. Other park changes include closed rows between riders and more regular sanitation of main touch points (like handlebars) on rides.

4. Certain shows are cancelled until further notice.

Although the famous castle show is still on, other regular entertainment—such as parades, fireworks, and children's play areas—have been temporarily put on hold. Here, Chip 'n' Dale greet guests from a safe distance.

5. There is timed entry for each ticket.

a group of people in masks walk on main street in shanghai disneyland
Xinhua / Alamy

In order to keep capacity at safe levels and ensure the park doesn't get overcrowded with eager guests, people must buy timed-entry tickets in advance—walk-ins not allowed. Tickets for opening day sold out within minutes.

6. The social distancing guidelines call for three feet of space instead of six.

The park has painted yellow squares on the pavement to clearly mark how far guests should stand apart. Unlike the U.S., where guidelines call for six feet of distance, Chinese guidelines call for one meter, or a little over three feet, of space. In this photo, Disney fans spread out to take in the famed castle show.

7. Restaurants have tables sectioned off.

empty tables at a restaurant at shanghai disneyland
Xinhua / Alamy

Because the park is operating at a lower capacity, many restaurants and dining areas appear empty as certain tables are not available. Guests who would like a meal are seated far apart in order to follow social distancing protocol.

8. Disney characters have guards to keep people away.

Characters will continue to make appearances—however, guests must now keep a proper distance and are not allowed to hug them like in the past. Disney employees walk alongside the characters to make sure no guest gets too close. Here, Heyni catches the big man, Mickey Mouse himself, out and about in the park with his escort.

9. There are a lot of guests taking selfies with masks on.

girl in disney outfit takes a selfie in front of the castle
Xinhua / Alamy

You won't see many smiles at the Happiest Place on Earth anymore. With everyone required to wear face masks, selfies don't look quite the same—but that isn't stopping guests from taking them anyway. Here, a young girl snaps a shot of herself with the enchanting Shanghai Disneyland castle and her Minnie Mouse doll.

10. Many guests are still dressing up in their finest Disney attire.

two young girls pose for a photo at shanghai disneyland
Xinhua / Alamy

Despite having masks on, you'll still see plenty of guests sporting Mickey and Minnie ears as well as princess paraphernalia and other get-ups inspired by beloved Disney characters. This just goes to show that no matter what's happening in the world, the magic is still alive and well at Disney. And for more ways Disney might be different, check out the 7 Things You Won't See at Disney World Ever Again After Coronavirus.

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