TOKYO – Tokyo Disney Resort on Wednesday welcomed guests back for the first time in months after closing in early February.
Both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea were forced to end the magic and fun due to concerns from the coronavirus pandemic.
After four months of planning and preparation, those excited to meet the mouse and explore a magical kingdom were finally able to walk through the parks’ gates.
As guests walked in cast members were there to say okaerinasai, which means “welcome back.”
“All of the cast members will work together to operate the parks so that guests are able to enjoy the experience,” Disney said. “There may be instances in which we cause inconvenience to our guests but ask for your kind understanding and cooperation.”
Oriental Land, the company that operates the Tokyo parks announced its own reopening guidelines to ensure safety going forward.
“When reopening both parks, we will give top priority to ensuring the health and safety of our guests and the cast. We would appreciate your cooperation,” the tweet said.
The new safety measures include advance ticket booking, enhanced air circulation, mandatory temperature checks and social distancing while inside the park.
The park also reduced its hours of operation to only being open for 12 hours a day.
“We will also endeavor to promote health and safety by having the information filled in for the primary contact person when guests purchase tickets,” Disney added.
In both parks, attractions, entertainment, shops and restaurants will operate with reduced capacity or be closed.
Guests visiting the park will have to forfeit that dream of getting the perfect picture with Mickey and the gang.
While the fab 5 can be seen riding floats along the parade route or boats inside DisneySea, the group will not physically mingle with guests or pose for photos.
Shanghai Disneyland was the first Disney theme park to reopen. The park welcomed guests back in early May with new health protocols and safety guidelines. One of which was a reduced capacity inside the park.
Typical capacity in the Shanghai park is 80,000 visitors a day, but the government has cut that to about 30%, or 24,000 a day, said CEO Bob Chapek.
Disney had originally planned to have all 12 of its parks reopen by mid-July 2020.
Disneyland Paris is scheduled to begin its phased reopening on July 15.
In the U.S., this plan will not come to fruition as Disney’s original theme park pushes back it’s reopening due to rising COVID-19 cases in California.
Disneyland’s original reopening date was slated for July 17, however, that date has been postponed indefinitely after California officials declined to issue reopening guidelines for theme parks.
“Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials,” a representative for Disney said in a statement.
Walt Disney World in Orlando is expected to open its doors on July 11. The park has received push back and complaints about concerns for the safety and health of guests and cast members.
Florida has seen cases of coronavirus skyrocket since its phased reopening. Thousands of new cases are reported every day causing businesses and local leaders to step up and alter the reopening process.
The Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom parks will open first on July 11, with Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios reopening July 15.