What started with a lowly cigarette ended with a parade cancellation and a guest under arrest at Shanghai Disneyland recently in a new incident documented by local media.
According to SHINE, the online version of local newspaper Shanghai Daily, a guest at Shanghai Disneyland smoking inside the park was confronted by a Cast Member, since smoking inside the park is not allowed except in designated areas. When the guest began screaming back for being confronted and demanded an apology, the Cast Member complied, in tears from the incident.
Nonetheless, the belligerent guest continued smoking anyway, causing the Cast Member to summon the local Shanghai Police officers on duty at the park. When police confronted him, the man suddenly collapsed onto the ground, which forced the cancellation of the “Mickey’s Storybook Express” daytime parade for the day.
In a statement to local media, Shanghai Disney Resort said “We do not tolerate any bullying of Cast Members nor other behaviors that affect the safety of our guests and Cast Members, or the normal operation of the resort, and will take legal measures when necessary.” Of the incident itself, their response was “The guest involved in the incident on the parade route yesterday has been banned from entering the park again, and his behavior will be further investigated by the police.”
The local tobacco control association in Shanghai, which has advocated for reductions in smoking around the city, applauded the decision, stating “Shanghai Disney Resort has fulfilled its responsibilities for smoking control in accordance with Article 6 and Article 8 of the local Public Place Smoking Control Regulations, protecting the health and safety of visitors and the public. We fully support their efforts and extend our sympathy to the affected Cast Members.”
In recent years, China’s largest city has undergone a campaign to reduce smoking in public and wean the populace off tobacco through increasingly strict laws and regulations around where people may light up.
Shanghai Disney Resort Incidents
This is not the first incident to plague Shanghai Disney Resort recently. Six people have been prosecuted in China for selling fake plushes with Mickey Mouse symbols, particularly of popular Duffy & Friends character LinaBell. The pink fox was first introduced at Shanghai Disneyland in September 2021 before coming to Hong Kong and Tokyo the following year.
Of particular note was an online celebrity surnamed Zhu, has 200,000 followers on the short-video platform Douyin, which is the Chinese version of TikTok. He and his wife sold fake Disney dolls and other accessories at low prices during livestream sales in 2021 and 2022, which drew revenue of more than 3 million yuan ($436,300).
Last August, Shanghai Police arrested 17 people in connection with this case — 13 sellers and four connected to the manufacturing process — as well as seized 600 fake plush items. A disgruntled customer reported the operation to local authorities after purchasing a fake LinaBell plush which he found to be of exceptionally low quality for approximately $6 USD. Police found the factory which produced these fakes had reaped a total of more than 20 million yuan ($2.9 million) worth in these knockoffs.