Tokyo Disney Resort to reopen July 1 after coronavirus shutdown

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Former Disney Imagineer and ITEC Entertainment CEO Bill Coan provides insight into the challenges Disney will face as it reopens parks and resorts.

Tokyo Disney Resort will welcome back guests on July 1 with extensive safety measures in place, ending months of inactivity created by the coronavirus pandemic.

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For the time being, Oriental Land Co., the operator of the resort, announced Tuesday that Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, will run under limited capacity and guests will have to reserve tickets online prior to arrival. The resort shut its doors in February in response to the pandemic.

Tickets will become available beginning June 25. However, in order to maintain social distancing at the front entrance of the park, the company will offer three types of tickets with a different entry time.

As the park resumes operations, certain attractions and experiences, including Disney character greetings, which involve contact with guests, will be temporarily suspended, the park operator said.

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"We will be deliberate in our operations, thoroughly implementing health and safety measures such as controlled capacity through limits on attendance, limited visitors in attractions, shops, restaurants, and other facilities, regular cleaning and sanitization, proactively requesting guests to maintain social distancing, among other things," Oriental Land Co. announced Tuesday.

People pass beneath an archway leading to Tokyo Disneyland on February 28, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

When the parks reopen, visitors will be required to undergo temperature screenings prior to entry. Any guest with a temperature of 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit will be asked to leave. Masks will be required at all times inside the park. However, in order to prevent heatstroke during the hot summer days, guests will be allowed to remove their masks when they are "outdoors with adequate distance from other people."

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The park will implement social distancing markings for ride lines, seats, restaurant tables and benches, and place hand sanitizers throughout different areas of the park. The company is also encouraging that guests take advantage of cashless transactions.

Additionally, if guests become ill after entering the park, they may be asked to leave.

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In 1983, Tokyo Disneyland, the company’s first park outside the U.S., officially opened its gates to park guests. In 2001, DisneySea opened. Both are owned by Oriental Land Co., which pays licensing fees to Disney.

In May, Shanghai Disneyland was the first of the Disney' parks to reopen following shutdowns implemented to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. Hong Kong Disneyland reopened its gates earlier this month. Meanwhile, Disney World in Florida is projected to begin its phased reopening on July 11.

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