PHOTOS: Ikspiari Reopens at Tokyo Disney Resort Featuring New Social Distancing Measures
As the long and choppy journey of the first wave of COVID-19 comes to a close in Japan, we’re beginning to see the resumption of businesses across the country. And while Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are still closed for the foreseeable future, we seem to be on the way towards reopening. The state of emergency was lifted across Japan last week, and Ikspiari shortly after announced its official reopening on June 1st. We made the journey down there the day after, when the Disney Store was scheduled to reopen so you could get all the details! Let’s take a journey to Ikspiari in a post-COVID-19 world. It might give us an idea of how the two Tokyo Disney theme parks will operate once they reopen.
We arrived at Ikspiari about 45 minutes ahead of the 11am opening time. There weren’t a lot of people here yet, but the crowd slowly built up.
This was about half an hour before opening.
These signs are in place at the entrance. The first two detail the requests for reducing the spread of infection while visiting Ikspiari and note that Guests with temperatures above 37.5 degrees Celsius will not be admitted. The lower two denote the entrance as well as shops that are opening later or will remain closed for the time being.
This was the lone sign exclusively in English, and it was taped to a barricade. Understandable since they’re probably not expecting a lot of English-speaking visitors right now, but Tokyo Disney Resort is usually very good about posting information in both English and Japanese.
By the time we were 5 minutes ahead of opening, the line had built up significantly. Fortunately, almost everyone was standing on their socially distanced markers. Cast Members patrolled now and then to make sure Guests abided by these markers.
The temperature screening process was rather quick and simple. Rather than using handheld scanners for each Guest, Cast Members monitored a camera which detected whether Guests had a fever. This is similar to the system used at Narita and Haneda Airports to make sure foreign visitors don’t have a fever.
The Disney Store
Most Guests, including ourselves, made a beeline for the Disney Store, since it reopened today.
Inside the Disney Store, signs placed throughout shelves reminded Guests to remain 2 meters away from other Guests and Cast Members whenever possible.
Cast Members inside the store were taking no chances either, wearing both face masks and face shields.
I couldn’t decide whether Mickey sneezing in to a tissue was in good taste in the era of COVID-19, but it was definitely cute either way.
The best thing about the Disney Store had to be the adorable Disney character shoe-print markers for social distancing at the register line!
By the time we left, there was quite a line to enter the Disney Store. Entry was restricted for capacity reasons to make sure social distancing protocols could still be followed.
Lines with markers at difference distances and styles could be seen throughout the complex as stores and restaurants tried to prepare for potential crowds.
Cinema Ikspari installed extra online ticket redemption computers separated by vinyl sheets.
A number of water fountains across the complex were also “out of order”, presumably for sanitary reasons.
Meanwhile all access to the outdoor garden area of the complex continues to be blocked for the time being as well.
Throughout the morning, Operations Cast were stationed in Celebration Plaza, mainly watching over the Disney Store.
Meanwhile, custodial Cast continued to wipe down high-contact surfaces like door handles, despite these doors being held open.
Exits other than the first floor and second floor exits to the Maihama Station front area and the Disney Ambassador Hotel plaza were closed off.
Social Distancing Measures
Lines like the ones we saw earlier continued even for potential restroom queuing areas. These markers denote where to stand if you’re waiting for the restroom on the left, or the ATM vestibule on the right.
Inside restrooms, hand dryers were disabled to prevent the spread of infectious disease.
In this smaller restroom, one sink was taped off completely. A sign also advised Guests to sanitize their hands after washing them thoroughly.
All over the complex, foot pedal-operated hand sanitizer stations are in place as well.
Some businesses are adding some extra touches to their social distancing markers. Like Starbucks, placing a QR code that directs to their menu while customers wait.
Restaurants largely cordoned off areas and placed signs at seats along with removing chairs to help enforce social distancing. The Starbucks on the second floor marked off this entire corner for social distancing enforcement.
Non-restaurant seating areas like benches also featured markers to help enforce social distancing.
If you’re a smoker, you’ll be pleased to know that OLC even had the smoking areas covered for social distancing, with two people allowed per smoking room. They must stand a meter apart at the ashtrays.
While the overwhelming majority of Ikspiari is back in business, a few businesses are holding out for the time being. The Torredor Cigar & Bar on the fourth floor, for example, is still closed for the time being.
Same goes for the buffet restaurant on the first floor of the Garden Site, which is probably for the best right now.
Tully’s Coffee, also in the Garden Site on the first floor, is closed until mid-July for renovations. This seems to have been planned in advance, as it lists the closing date as May 11th.
The following businesses remain closed:
Ichizenya and Susan’s Meatball at Ikspiari Kitchen – Until further notice
Tokyo Disney Resort Ticket Center – Until further notice
Shizenha Buffet Kyounouta – Until further notice
Yorozuya Jyugoya – Reopening June 5th
Moreru Mignon Photo Booths – Reopening June 8th
Tully’s Coffee – Reopening in July
JTB Travel Desk – Until further notice
Girls Mignon – Until further notice
Salon de Sweets – Until further notice
Old Owl Bar – Until further notice
Torredor Cigar Bar – Until further notice
Even after about two hours, visitors kept coming, but there wasn’t a line or imposition of entry restrictions yet.
The exit is off to the side. A Cast Member monitors the exit to make sure nobody sneaks in without a temperature check.
And that’s what it’s like right now to shop at Ikspiari at Tokyo Disney Resort! Hopefully this gives us an idea at how the two theme parks will operate once they eventually reopen. Right now, the parks and hotels remain closed until further notice, even as Tokyo continues to lift restrictions on businesses.
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