Walt Disney Co.'s just-opened theme parks in Florida are so deserted that visitors are waiting five minutes or less to get on many rides -- an eerie experience for people accustomed to long lines. Jay Scutt, who runs the Park Hoppin' YouTube channel, visited the Animal Kingdom park on July 12, the day after it opened to the public, and found it lightly attended. "I walked on everything," said Scutt, a frequent park goer. "I've never seen the park like this." No doubt, many would-be visitors are wary of going to Disney's parks during a pandemic.
Visitors in face masks streamed into Shanghai Disneyland as the theme park reopened Monday in a high-profile step toward reviving tourism that was shut down by the coronavirus pandemic. The House of Mouse's experience in Shanghai, the first of its parks to reopen, foreshadows hurdles global entertainment industries might face. Disney is limiting visitor numbers, requiring masks and checking for the virus's telltale fever. China, where the pandemic began in December, was the first country to reopen factories and other businesses after declaring the disease under control in March even as infections rise and controls are tightened in some other countries. "We hope that today's reopening serves as a beacon of light across the globe, providing hope and inspiration to everyone," the president of Shanghai Disney Resort, Joe Schott, told reporters.
Disneyland's 1955 opening was plagued by snafus, including the widespread distribution of counterfeit tickets. More than 60 years later, security agents at the Anaheim theme park are on the lookout not only for phony tickets but for bogus money, too. Police reports show that crime rates at Southern California theme parks are extremely low, but each park wrestles with unique crime problems such as shoplifting at Universal Studios Hollywood and car burglary at Knott's Berry Farm. At Disneyland, reports of counterfeit money are more common than incidents of grand theft or credit card fraud. The problem with bogus money at Disneyland is among several findings that came from a Los Angeles Times analysis of more than 3,700 police reports for four Southern California theme parks from 2014 through the first six months of 2016.
This article is part of Reopenings, a series about how businesses and other institutions are operating during the pandemic. Two friends walk through a Florida amusement park, shoulder to shoulder, pointing and sharing their excitement about a nearby attraction. Suddenly, a huge, hairy beast appears behind them and hurls the visitors apart, sending them flying through the air. "I feel much safer!" says one parkgoer, stuck headfirst in a bush. "Thank you, Social Distancing Skunk Ape!" says the other, dangling upside down from a tree.
Did you know that Disney World has only closed four times or that the iconic theme park is actually not located in the City of Orlando? Take a look at some fun facts that you may not have known about the renowned Disney resort. The chief medical officer for Disney Parks has shared more information about the company's enhanced health and safety measures before Disney World reopens on Saturday, after a four-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Pamela Hymel, chief medical officer for Disney Parks' Experiences and Products, stressed that the safety and well-being of visitors and employees is paramount as the theme parks proceed with phased reopening plans. "From increased cleaning and disinfecting across our parks and resorts, to updated health and safety policies, we have reimagined the Disney experience so we can all enjoy the magic responsibly," Hymel said in a Tuesday statement.