Disney theme parks are about to hit an important milestone.
The Mouse House said Wednesday that it will reopen Hong Kong Disneyland on Friday, marking the return of the majority of Disney theme parks since the onset of the pandemic a year ago.
The Hong Kong theme park has closed three times in response to spikes in the COVID-19 infection in the city, with its most recent closure going into effect on Dec. 2 of last year.
The latest resumption of business comes as the infection rate in Hong Kong has made steady improvement. On Tuesday, the city reported just eight new cases of infection, prompting authorities to give local cinemas and theme parks the thumbs up to reopen. Cinemas in Hong Kong had been closed since Dec. 2 but plan to welcome movie-goers again on Thursday.
Hong Kong Disneyland’s first closure came on Jan. 26, 2020, during the early days of the pandemic. It then reopened on June 18 before closing again on July 15, only to reopen on Sept. 25.
Hong Kong Disneyland said that when it reopens on Friday, it will implement a host of safety precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, including mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing and heightened sanitation measures. Capacity will be limited in accordance to Hong Kong law, Disney said, without providing an exact percentage.
“Our park will be reopened on Feb. 19, to welcome guests to experience the magic of our 15th anniversary and our new Castle of Magical Dreams. I want to give thanks for the support of our guests and the countless efforts from our cast members during this challenging time,” said Michael Moriarty, managing director of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
The theme park’s reboot means that the majority of Disney’s theme parks are back in business, including Shanghai Disneyland, the Tokyo Disney Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Only the Disneyland Paris Resort and Disneyland in California remain closed indefinitely due to local government restrictions, although Disneyland has recently unveiled plans for some activities to return inside Disney California Adventure next month.