Tokyo Disney parks reopen after 4-month closure due to virus

Jul 01 , 2020. 5 hours ago – 12:30 KYODO NEWS

Visitors pose for photos at Tokyo Disneyland on July 1, 2020, as the amusement park in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, reopened the same day after being closed for about four months due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Kyodo)

TOKYO – Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea reopened Wednesday with social-distancing measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus after closing for some four months over the pandemic.

In order to keep the number of visitors to less than half pre-pandemic levels, the parks’ operator Oriental Land Co. will limit entry to fixed-date tickets purchased online in advance.

Operating hours at the parks in Urayasu, just east of Tokyo, which had been closed since Feb. 29, have been shortened from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Attractions and restaurants will cater to a smaller number of visitors while most entertainment shows and parades, including the nighttime Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights, will remain canceled.

Visitors are required to undergo body temperature checks and wear a face mask to enter the park and will be asked to keep a certain distance from Disney characters during meets. A Tokyo Disneyland staff member checks a visitor’s temperature at the entrance of Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu in Chiba Prefecture on July 1, 2020. Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea reopened the same day after closing for about four months due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Kyodo)

“We will consider restarting the parades and increasing the number of visitors allowed inside the park as we monitor this new way of operating,” a staff member said.

Despite the windy weather, fans sporting Disney merchandise and wearing masks lined up in excitement ahead of opening time as staff in face shields checked their temperatures.

“I was really looking forward to (the parks’ reopening). I feel happy just to be able to breathe the air here,” said Megumi Okawa, a 35-year-old company employee from Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture.

Separately, Tokyo’s Haneda airport on Wednesday reopened sections of its domestic terminals that had been closed due to a drop in passenger numbers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Both All Nippon Airways Co. and Japan Airlines Co. have seen traffic recover to about 50 percent of the levels they had initially planned for July.

The airlines expect business to pick up accordingly as passengers return following the slump in early spring.

A Tokyo Disneyland staff member asks visitors to observe social distancing at the theme park’s entrance in Urayasu in Chiba Prefecture on July 1, 2020. Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea reopened the same day after closing for about four months due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Kyodo) People take a selfie at the entrance of Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu in Chiba Prefecture on July 1, 2020. Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea reopened the same day after closing for about four months due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Kyodo)

CR:KYODO NEWS