PHOTOS: Disneyland Reopens in Hong Kong, But 'Some Things Will Look and Feel Different'
Hong Kong is the second Disney park internationally to reopen their doors after closing due to the coronavirus pandemic
The magic is returning to another Disney park!
Hong Kong Disneyland officially reopened Thursday after closing more than three months ago due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic — and the first day back was a socially distanced celebration for the limited number of guests allowed inside.
Disney announced on Monday that the park would be reopening its gates on Friday, June 18, making it the second Disney park in the world to do so after Shanghai Disneyland, which reopened May 11. According to Stephanie Young, Managing Director of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, more than 100 local families were invited to be the first guests inside the park, and the company plans to “continue working with different non-profit organizations to invite families to visit us, inspiring them with the magic of Disney’s positivity and optimism.”
Much like at Shanghai Disneyland, a variety of health and safety protocols have been implemented at the Hong Kong park, many of which are visible in photos from the opening day.
In addition to limiting attendance, the park has implemented social distancing requirements throughout, including in lines and restaurants and on attractions. Sanitation and disinfection have also been increased in high-contact areas, character experiences “requiring close interaction and close-up photos” have been temporarily suspended and masks and temperature checks before entering the park are now required.
“As we carefully welcome guests back to our park, we will draw on the learnings from the recent reopening of Shanghai Disney Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World,” Young wrote in a press release.
“While some things will look and feel different than before, the magic continues and we’re excited to once again share our park with you because the magic begins with you,” she continued. More park rules and regulations can be found on the Hong Kong Disneyland website.
Last month, Walt Disney World in Florida announced that they will be reopening to the public on July 11 with soft opening preview days. The Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks will open on July 11 while Epcot and Hollywood Studios will open July 15.
Disneyland in California later announced that they would be reopening Disneyland Resort and Disney California Adventure Park on July 17. The parks surrounding Downtown Disney District will begin reopening on July 9, according to a press release from the company. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel are slated to reopen on July 23.
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On March 12, PEOPLE first reported that Disneyland and Disney World would both close over that weekend, following the closure of other major tourist attractions around the world.
The governors of both California and Florida had already declared a state of emergency in order to redirect funds to fight the spread of the coronavirus in their states. President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency the following day.
Disney initially planned for a two-week closure of their parks, reopening at the end of March. But on March 27, the company announced that both parks would be closed indefinitely.