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Shanghai Disneyland Reopening
Credit: Disney

OpEd: Shanghai Disneyland’s Reopening Drowns Dreams in Dystopian Nightmare

Shanghai Disneyland, and most of the Shanghai Disney Resort, reopened after yet another multi-month closure on Thursday, June 30, and the entire situation might as well have been pulled out of a dystopian novel.

Besides the fact that Disney’s youngest Castle Park resides in a communist nation that imprisoned its people in their homes and had drones patrol neighborhoods that played a message telling these people to “control your thirst for freedom” in the very city in which this Resort resides–all for the futile vision of its “zero-COVID” policy–, Guests are only permitted to experience the slivers of permissible magic if they abide by the authoritarian government’s outright draconian “health and safety measures.”

Shanghai Disneyland Reopening

Credit: Disney

According to Shanghai Disneyland’s website, these measures go far beyond the temperature checks, masks, and social distancing that we saw at other Disney Theme Parks when they first reopened to essentially require government permission to live some semblance of a normal, free life.

Read the requirements for yourself:

All guests, regardless of age, will be required to present a green Shanghai Health QR Code (“Suishenma”) and a negative Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) taken within 72 hours (from sampling time) prior to entering any area of Shanghai Disney Resort. In order to comply with government guidelines for tourism destinations, proof of a negative NAT taken within 72 hours is mandatory (we are not able to accept proof of 24 hour NAT sampling in lieu of a valid negative NAT result). Guests are strongly recommended to register for their Shanghai Health QR Code via the Suishenban App, Weixin/WeChat or Alipay prior to their arrival. For guests without a smart phone, please bundle your QR code with a family member via the Suishenban App, Weixin/WeChat or Alipay, and an offline Suishenma, applied via the Government Online-Offline Shanghai (“Yiwangtongban”) platform, with valid NAT information will also be accepted. Guests using the offline Suishenma will be required to present it to our onsite Cast to scan and verify the information as well as to present a valid government ID at the same time;
– All guests will also be required to scan the “Venue Code” and present a green code to Cast, or present the Shanghai Health QR Code to onsite Cast for scanning to confirm the validity, upon entering Shanghai Disney Resort. Additional scanning of the Venue Code may also be required upon entering different locations across the resort;
– All guests visiting Shanghai Disneyland Hotel are required to present a green Telecommunication Data Based Travel Itinerary Card (Travel Itinerary Card) and complete the Health Declaration Form during check-in at the Front Desk and Magic Kingdom Lounge. If a guest is unable to complete scanning the “Venue Code”, unable to present a green Shanghai Health QR Code and a negative NAT taken within 72 hours, unable to present a green Travel Itinerary Card or if a guest has traveled to one of the medium or high-risk areas affected by COVID-19 over the past 14 days, they may not be able to check in. In accordance with local government directives, if a guest develops a fever or a fever with the following symptoms: cough, cough up sputum, runny nose, sore throat, chest aches and tension during their stay at one of our resort hotels, they will be asked to seek medical attention at a designated medical clinic.

“Big Brother’s watching you…”

The images coming out of Shanghai Disneyland echo the Resorts command, “All guests are advised to strictly follow these measures in support of a safe and happy experience for everyone visiting the resort.” As the “free world” continues to recognize the science of the situation and push back towards some semblance of freedom and normalcy, throwing away masks and dropping mandates (at least, in part), the Guests at Shanghai Disneyland fall backward. If they conform to The Grid and are granted clearance by their overlords, they can sample the magic while muzzled and forced to remain apart.

Shanghai Disneyland Reopening

Credit: Disney

While past actions make it doubtful in this reporter’s opinion that The Walt Disney Company would do anything to fight this level of government surveillance and control of individuals’ movements, it should be noted that they are the minority shareholders in the project. The majority owner is the CCP-controlled Shanghai Shendi Group.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Disney Theme Parks, and I think it is a triumph to have all of Disney’s Castle Parks open to Guests once again. All deserving praise is owed to the magic makers. But I’m not so hypnotized by the smiling characters. While others may share in the excitement of seeing little kids walking through the Park, my worries fall on what will happen to those kids and their families when their rightful instincts for freedom make them want to take the mask off. What back-door punitive communist punishments await any Guest who does not fully comply with the system?

Shanghai Disneyland Reopening

Credit: Disney

I wish Shanghai Disney Resort and all of its Cast Members the most magical reopening, but for now, I’ll stick with the Walt Disney World Resort in the Free State of Florida.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s and may not reflect the sentiments of Disney Fanatic as a whole.

About T.K. Bosacki

TK is a writer and editor based in Tampa, FL with a passion for all things Disney, and adventure.