CULTURE Tokyo Disney park reopens with infection-prevention measures

CULTURE

Tokyo Disney park reopens with infection-prevention measures

China Daily

09:10, July 07, 2020

Visitors in facemasks lined up to enter Tokyo Disney Resort on July 1. The resort reopened for the first time in four months after being closed due to the coronavirus. (Photo: Xinhua)

Tokyo Disney Resort welcomed visitors on July 1 for the first time in four months after being closed due to the coronavirus, with fans practicing social distancing as they returned to see Mickey Mouse and other beloved characters.

Visitors in facemasks lined up on floor marks and clapped as the gates of the Magic Kingdom reopened. They were encouraged to clean their hands, pay without cash and avoid screaming while enjoying one of Japan's largest theme parks.

The resort will operate at a 50 percent capacity for the foreseeable future, while parades and shows remain suspended.

But the new norm did not dampen the enthusiasm of Disney lovers like university student Momoka Mitsui.

"I'm over the moon just to be able to get inside Disneyland," says the 18-year-old, who visited the park with a friend. Both wore facemasks and matching Mickey Mouse headbands.

Tokyo, which has seen the highest number of coronavirus cases in Japan, allowed amusement parks to reopen in mid-June-later than those in some other regions-after the government lifted the national state of emergency in late May.

Visitors in facemasks lined up to enter Tokyo Disney Resort on July 1. The resort reopened for the first time in four months after being closed due to the coronavirus. (Photo: Xinhua)

Other precautions taken to protect against the disease include temperature screening and the mandatory use of facemasks, according to operations procedures published on the Tokyo Disney Resort's website in late June.

Staff members are also asking guests to refrain from screaming loudly on rides, in accordance with guidelines first published by Japan's main amusement park associations in May.

Masahiko Endo, a 37-year-old care worker from Tokyo, says he agrees with the decision to limit the number of guests entering the park, which is located about 15 kilometers away from central Tokyo.

"I hope the pandemic will be contained soon so that Disney can go back to being a place anyone can visit," he says, clutching a Duffy the Disney Bear toy.

Tokyo Disney Resort, consisting of both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, is the third Disney-themed park globally to reopen following the coronavirus pandemic, according to operator Oriental Land.

It attracted over 32.5 million visitors in 2018 and had sales of 437 billion yen ($4.06 billion) in the fiscal year of 2019.

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