Like a scene straight out of a B-horror movie, Disney announced Monday they had locked its gates to its Shanghai Disney park, keeping current and aspiring Disneyphiles out while also reportedly trapping guests inside.
The house of mouse wrote on its Shanghai Disney Resort website that due to the city’s stringent anti-covid policies, but while they were offering those with tickets to come back another day, folks already on the grounds are stuck in the park until they can show a negative covid test, according to Reuters which cited the Shanghai government’s official WeChat. Videos originally posted to Chinese social app Weibo showed visitors had run to park gates only to find them shut. Police ushered guests behind metal fences and told them they had to await test results until they could leave.
Though it is the spookiest time of the year, there have been no reports of guests slowly turning around only to find Mickey Mouse and Goofy holding bloodied knives in their white-gloved fists. The BBC reported that local areas surrounding the main park such as the area’s shopping street were also closed after around 11:30 a.m. local time.
A Disney spokesperson told Gizmodo Monday afternoon that the park expedited the testing process for visitors at the Shanghai Disney Resort, adding that all guests received negative test results and have since left.
“We are required to follow the standard procedures set forth by Shanghai, which was the same process for a previous closure like this one that occurred one year ago,” the spokesperson told Gizmodo in an email.
Additionally, it’s being reported that anybody who had visited the park since Oct. 27 would need to test for covid three days in a row. The city went through a sudden spike of 47 new covid cases earlier this month, and the city instituted quiet lockdowns of schools and some tech manufacturing districts. Shanghai had recently reported 10 locally transmitted asymptomatic cases Oct. 30, though it’s unclear if any of these cases were somehow connected to Disney’s park.
Well, those on the inside were still able to ride the rides. A spokesperson told Reuters those in the park were allowed to partake in “limited offerings.” Which means it’s unclear if all those guests could suffer through any of the park’s rather inane Halloween experiences to take their minds off the fact they were basically locked inside a kind of Disney prison.
In the near future, anybody wishing to sprint away from a Disney mascot will need to show they are negative for covid on the official Shanghai health app “Suishenma” and show a negative nucleic acid test taken within the past three days. All guests still need to keep masks on at all times.
Disney’s Shanghai park had just opened at a reduced capacity this past weekend to comply with local restrictions. Though the park re-opened in June after being closed due to the pandemic, it has struggled to maintain operating hours due to covid-related city restrictions.
It’s part of China’s Beijing government’s “zero-covid” policy. Some anti-communist party activists have used the park’s shutdown as an example of the stresses caused by the ruling government’s covid crackdown. There have been a widespread stirring of online unrest after an unknown protester dubbed “Bridge Man” hung a banner over an overpass in Beijing reading “Go on strike at school and work, remove dictator and national traitor [Chinese President] Xi Jingping! We want to eat, we want freedom, we want to vote.”
Update 10/31/22 at 2:50 p.m. ET: This post was updated to include a note from a Disney spokesperson who said that all guests have since left the park.