Business / Corporate

Tokyo Disney parks reopen after four-month closure due to coronavirus

Kyodo

Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea reopened Wednesday with social-distancing measures in place 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, Chiba Prefecture, 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.

“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.

Visitors take a selfie at Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, on Wednesday after the popular amusement park, along with the adjacent Tokyo DisneySea, reopened the same day after some four months' hiatus due to the pandemic. | KYODO
Visitors take a selfie at Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, on Wednesday after the popular amusement park, along with the adjacent Tokyo DisneySea, reopened the same day after some four months’ hiatus due to the pandemic. | KYODO

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.

Tokyo Disneyland staff members wearing protective masks and face shields greet visitors during the reopening of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea after months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, on Wednesday. | REUTERS
Tokyo Disneyland staff members wearing protective masks and face shields greet visitors during the reopening of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea after months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, on Wednesday. | REUTERS

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.

Visitors practice social distancing while waiting to enter Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea on Wednesday during the theme parks' rainy reopening. | REUTERS
Visitors practice social distancing while waiting to enter Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, on Wednesday during the theme parks’ rainy reopening. | REUTERS

Your news needs your support

Since the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, The Japan Times has been providing free access to crucial news on the impact of the novel coronavirus as well as practical information about how to cope with the pandemic. Please consider subscribing today so we can continue offering you up-to-date, in-depth news about Japan.

Coronavirus banner