Will Mickey Mouse wear a coronavirus mask when Shanghai Disneyland reopens?


All but one very select group of Shanghai Disneyland employees will be required to wear protective face masks when Disney’s Chinese theme park reopens after a three-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lone exception to the face mask rule: Disney’s beloved characters.

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Shanghai Disneyland employees and visitors will wear face masks when the theme park reopens on Monday, May 11, according to new Disney CEO Bob Chapek.

“In terms of Shanghai it’s going to be masks for guests and employees,” Chapek said during a conference call with analysts.

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Shanghai Disneyland theme park temporarily closed on Jan. 25 due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Shanghai Disneyland resort previously reopened its outdoor shopping district and a hotel during the first stage of a phased reopening plan.

Photos from inside Shanghai Disneyland show cast members, Disney-speak for employees, wearing masks while they clean and sanitize attractions and scenery throughout the soon-to-reopen theme park.

A Shanghai Disneyland cast member wears a mask while cleaning and sanitizing scenery in the soon-to-reopen theme park. (Courtesy of Disney)

Shanghai Disneyland visitors, known as guests in Disney parlance, will be required to wear an approved mask during the entire visit except when dining, according to the theme park’s website.

The same mask requirement will extend to all Shanghai Disneyland employees — except Rapunzel, Captain Marvel and Jack Sparrow.

“The only characters that will not wear masks are the face characters,” Chapek said during the conference call. “They’ll be at a distance from crowds.”

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Disney characters will greet visitors from balconies, stages and other remote locations when Shanghai Disneyland reopens following the coronavirus crisis. Traditional meet-and-greet photo opportunities with Disney, Pixar and Marvel characters will be replaced with occasional character appearances throughout the day.

Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Duffy the Bear and other Disney characters will “wave hello” from a balcony over the entry portal of Shanghai Disneyland. Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore sightings will happen in Fantasyland. Captain Marvel, Spider-Man and Doctor Strange will take the stage in Tomorrowland. Woody, Jessie and Bo Peep will be on patrol in Toy Story Land on a mission to find lost toys. Visitors will be able to catch a glimpse of Captain Jack Sparrow on a balcony in the Treasure Cove area of the park.

SEE ALSO: Disneyland construction crews return for limited ‘essential work’ during coronavirus closure

Disney characters are typically broken into two main categories: Face characters and sculpted or fur characters.

Face characters have a human appearance and visible facial features. Examples include Belle, Peter Pan and Jack Sparrow.

Sculpted or fur characters typically represent anthropomorphic animated animals with sculpted appearances and furry costumes. Examples of sculpted or fur characters include Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck and Pluto.

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Chapek’s statement suggested that only Disney face characters would be exempt from wearing masks.

Disney officials said Shanghai Disneyland cast members will wear protective face masks with the exception of face characters like Cinderella that will be positioned at a distance from crowds.

No word yet if Mickey, Minnie and Pluto will have to don masks when Shanghai Disneyland reopens.