At this time of year, most of us would be looking forward to our summer holiday, to getting away from life at home and into a world of fun and freedom. The Coronavirus epidemic has certainly affected that. Travel plans have had to be scrapped, hotels and theme parks closed and airlines struggling to come out the other end of the crisis.
In line with so many businesses and attractions, Disneyland Paris has been shut to visitors during the pandemic. Now we are slowly making our way back into the world, the Park is preparing to reopen, and Mickeys seems very excited to see us again.
Like so many other countries, France was in lockdown for over two months and restrictions there have slowly been lifted since mid-May. Restaurants, bars and gardens reopened at the beginning of June, while cinemas did so on Monday after a three-month shutdown.
At Mickey HQ, they’ve been busy carefully tinkering with the Disneyland Paris experience to create the most wonderful fairy tale – all while putting our health and safety first. It will be a phased reopening of the resort as of 15th July, starting with both theme parks, Disney’s Newport Bay Club hotel and Disney Village.
The phased reopening will introduce enhanced health and safety measures implemented for both Cast Members and guests. Theme park capacity will be limited to comply with governmental requirements. Disneyland Paris will manage attendance through a new online theme park reservation system available as of early July and subject to availability.
Among the changes will be the mandatory wearing of face coverings for visitors aged 11 and older at all times except when eating.
There will be no meet and greets with characters for the time being, and some seats on rollercoasters will be kept empty to allow social distancing.
There will be more than 2,000 hand sanitiser dispensers and hand-washing stations set up. These will be located at the entrance and exit to each ride, as well as in restaurants and theatres.
No tickets will be sold on site, meaning that tourists will have to register in advance, while many of the usual shows will be cancelled. These include Disney Stars On Parade and Disney Illuminations Night Time Spectacular. We are told they will instead be rescheduled to a later date.
However, our favourite characters from Disney, Pixar and Star Wars films will still be available for photographs. And let’s be honest, what trip to the park wouldn’t be complete without a snap of Buzz.
Disneyland Paris says there will only be a limited number of tickets every day to maintain social distancing measures.
As for the other properties at the resort, we understand the Hotel Santa Fe will reopen on 3rd August. The Disneyland Hotel, that’s the one right at the park entrance, will stay closed until 7th September and the Sequoia Lodge Hotel and Davy Crocket Ranch will not open at all this summer.
President of Disneyland Paris Natacha Rafalksi said recently………
“All of us at Disneyland Paris are excited to be on the path to reopening. Making magic means even more, as we reflect on the resilience of our cast members and community, the enthusiasm of our guests and fans, and the positive momentum of many reopening in the tourism industry across Europe.”
“We are looking forward to the return of our cast members and reopening our gates for guests to enjoy once again.”
Sophie Huberson, is the the executive director of SNELAC, the organization representing theme parks, leisure and cultural areas in France. She said……..
“Disneyland Paris is one of the main tourism destinations in Europe and largest single site employer in France reopen to guests and its employees. This is an important milestone for the tourism and leisure industry in France and will be a critical step in our industry’s recovery.”
For us here at SOUTH WALES LIFE we have a special affinity with Disneyland Paris. Our team were actually at the official opening back in April 1992, now we definitely feel old. It was a week we’ll never forget. Yes, we were working but lets be honest, surrounded with all our favourite characters, and people there for a good time, it really wasn’t work at all.
In fact we still have our Countdown Watch to the park opening.
At another time we’ll tell you about our encounter with Cher and Eddie Murphy.
Like many others, we see the reopening of the park as a small, but important step for the tourism industry. To provide guests with maximum flexibility, new booking conditions are now available at Disneyland Paris. The “phased reopening” will happen on July 15th, with both its parks as well as Newport Bay Club Hotel and Disney Village. For more information, go here DISNEYLAND