22 pictures that show just how different Disneyland's opening in China looked before and after the coronavirus pandemic

AP Photo/Sam McNeil; Jeff Gritchen/Orange County Register via Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business Insider
  • Shanghai Disneyland reopened on Monday for the first time since Disney shut down its theme parks around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Shanghai is the first Disney resort to open during the coronavirus pandemic but operations are not the same as before the outbreak started.
  • New protocols such as temperature checks and social distancing are to be expected, and face masks are required.
  • Check out photos of what the open park looked like when it opened for the first time in 2016, nearly 4 years before the pandemic broke out – and how it looked this week when it reopened.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Shanghai Disneyland reopened Monday, nearly four years after the theme park’s first grand opening in June 2016.

The park shut down for several months during the coronavirus pandemic, but now it’s officially open to the public and is the first Disney resort in the world to do so.

But as the resort opens its doors to welcome guests once again, the atmosphere and procedures at the park look different than they did before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mandatory face masks, temperature checks, social distancing, and yellow tape markers are all part of the park’s new normal as it tries to get up and running after the company lost $US1.4 billion amid the pandemic.

Read on to see photos of Shanghai Disneyland’s reopening process compared to the park’s operations before the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2016, the streets and rides inside Shanghai Disneyland looked very different before the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo by Jeff Gritchen/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Now, the should-to-shoulder crowds of people have been reduced so small groups and families can socially distance.

AP Photo/Sam McNeil

Massive crowds like those seen in 2016 are no longer the norm at Shanghai Disneyland as the resort eases into reopening.

Photo by Jeff Gritchen/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Instead, visitors are spaced out in the lines as they wait to enter the park.

AP Photo/Sam McNeil

Entering the Shanghai Disney theme park used to mean shuffling past the security check, in long crowded lines.

Photo by Kyodo News Stills via Getty Images

Now, admission to the park is 20% of its full capacity, and visitors are required to pass a health check that includes temperature screening.


Guests used to get high-fives from cast members on Mickey Avenue.

Photo by Jeff Gritchen/Orange County Register via Getty Images

But as social distancing becomes the status quo, keeping physical space between strangers is expected.

AP Photo/Sam McNeil

Busy souvenir shops and park rides used to have crowded lines as customers waited.

Photo by Jörn Petring/picture alliance via Getty Images

Now, yellow tape and signs on the ground mark the distance guests should keep from each other while waiting in line.


Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, face masks were an uncommon sight.

Photo by Thomas Yau/South China Morning Post via Getty Images

But every customer is now required to have face protection while visiting the park.


Performers used to greet the audience during the theme park’s opening parade.

photo by Qilai Shen/In Pictures via Getty Images Images

However, this year there was no parade during the parks reopening.

Photo by Kyodo News via Getty Images

Before the coronavirus, clusters of visitors would take photos during the park’s festivities.

Qilai Shen/In Pictures via Getty Images Images

Now, face masks and social distancing are expected.

Photo by Kyodo News via Getty Images

The opening ceremony of the park featured a stage full of dancers and well-known Disney characters.

Photo by Zhang Hengwei/CNSPHOTO/Visual China Group via Getty Images

While the reopening ceremony featured some crowd favourites, a smaller, more spread out cast took the stage.

AP Photo/Sam McNeil

Eager visitors in 2016 bunched together for selfies.

Photo by Jeff Gritchen/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Now, families visit the park with plenty of space between other guests.


Guests gathered to watch the parks finale of fireworks back in 2016.

Photo by Kyodo News Stills via Getty Images

No fireworks burst over the castle during the park’s reopening. Instead, the castle was decorated with a display of lights.

Photo by Hu Chengwei/Getty Images

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