Shanghai Disney to relax food ban

Resort says it has listened to visitors' complaints and will soon allow them to bring their own food while it is also endeavoring to make security procedures less intrusive.

Shanghai Disney Resort is to allow food to be taken into the park among what it called "multiple measures to optimize park operation and guest experience," the resort operator announced on Friday. 

The announcement follows a number of complaints and even a lawsuit over the ban on visitors bringing their own food. 

The resort has listened to the feedback on the types of items which are currently prohibited, food and beverages in particular, said Johnny Xue, director of security, safety, fire and health at the resort. 

Based on that feedback, he said, the resort will adjust its food policy to allow guests to bring their own food into the park provided they are not in containers with reheating capabilities, do not require preparation and are for self-consumption. 

More specific details will be announced soon, the resort said. 

“We understand that our guests may feel uncomfortable when undertaking security screenings. We have been reviewing our security screening procedures and working with multiple government authorities to make adjustments in order to meet two important goals — the foremost is to ensure safety and security for our guests and cast, and also to provide a more guest-friendly experience,” said Xue. 

Xue also announced new directives for the resort’s security team to make the process friendlier and less intrusive. Guests will be encouraged to open their bags and remove any flagged items and return items themselves when the screening is completed, he said. 

With support from the local government, the resort team is also seeking ways to adjust screening procedures in the longer term by leveraging new technologies and equipment, according to the resort. 

Guests will also continue to be allowed to bring bottled beverages into the park, while alcohol, cans and glassware will still be prohibited, the resort said. 

“The resort team has been working closely with various government departments to finalize these improvements and we aim to start the implementation immediately," Xue added.

The resort came under fire after a student at the East China University of Political Science and Law filed a suit at the Pudong New Area People's Court over the park's ban on March 5 this year. A hearing on April 23 has yet to return a verdict.

In August, the China Consumers Association backed the student and said it thought the resort was taking advantage of its role as the only Disney park on the Chinese mainland to impose restrictions on visitors. 

Disney’s current regulations state that visitors need to open their bags and have all items checked by staff before entering the park while food and other items, such as glass bottles, are banned.

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