Hong Kong Disneyland closing

After reopening on June 18, Hong Kong Disneyland is shutting down again due to a new COVID-19 outbreak. The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort hotels, however, will remain open with an adjusted level of services. This is the latest setback for Disney – they had to delay reopening Disneyland in California, and they’re currently facing heavy scrutiny for reopening Disney World in Orlando, despite a huge spike in coronavirus cases in Florida over the last several days.

Hong Kong Disneyland is shutting down after reopening on June 18. Per reports, Hong Kong is currently experiencing a “third wave” of cases, with 173 confirmed cases between July 5 and 11. A Disney spokesperson released the following statement:

As required by the government and health authorities in line with prevention efforts taking place across Hong Kong, Hong Kong Disneyland park will temporarily close from July 15. The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort hotels will remain open with an adjusted level of services. They have put in place enhanced health and safety measures that reflect the guidance of health and government authorities, such as social distancing measures and increased cleaning and sanitization.

This news isn’t exactly what you’d call surprising, but it’s certainly frustrating – for a number of reasons. Hong Kong Disney had a whole set of safety measures in place when they reopened, including but not limited to:

  • To promote social distancing among guests, Hong Kong Disneyland will reopen with controlled capacity during the initial phase. Guests are required to make an online reservation for their selected visit date with a valid admission ticket through the Hong Kong Disneyland Park Visit Reservation website within seven days prior to arrival. Guests are also required to make a health declaration as part of the Park Visit Reservation process.
  • Social distancing measures have been implemented in queues, attractions and rides, shows and entertainment offerings, restaurants and other facilities throughout the park. Markers and signage are included in queues and show viewing areas to remind guests to keep an appropriate social distance from others.
  • All rides and theaters will operate with controlled capacity and social distancing measures to support social distancing between groups of guests on the same ride vehicle and accommodate spaced seating. Special seating arrangements will also be introduced inside restaurants with food being served with covers or packaging and pre-packed cutlery. Guests are encouraged to use contactless payment when possible.
  • Character experiences will also be adjusted during appearances to take photos at a distance. Some interactive experiences including parades, close interactions and close-up photos with characters will be suspended during the initial phase of reopening.

And yet, despite these precautions, they still ran into problems. This has to make you wonder just what the heck Disney World in Florida is thinking. The park reopened over the weekend, even though in the last 48 hours, Florida has reported the highest single-day increase in any state in the U.S. since the pandemic began. In other words: Disney World might want to think about pumping the breaks.

Meanwhile, Disneyland Paris is set to re-open this week as well. Will that change? Stay tuned.

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