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Shanghai Disney opens resort to outside food

By HE WEI | China Daily | Updated: 2019-09-12 09:29
Disney cartoon characters interact with visitors at the Shanghai Disney Resort. [Photo by Yin Liqin/For China Daily]

Shanghai Disney Resort said on Wednesday it has officially implemented its new food policy for guests and adjusted security screening procedures for a more pleasant visit.

This is the park's latest response to a public debate over its no-outside-food policy and stringent security checks that some have deemed intrusive.

Effective immediately, visitors can bring outside food and beverage items into Shanghai Disneyland for self-consumption, provided they do not require heating, reheating, processing, refrigeration or temperature control and do not have pungent odors.

In a statement sent to China Daily, the resort listed prohibited food items, which include but are not limited to instant noodles that require hot water, food kept in containers with reheating capabilities and durian.

Alcoholic beverages, cans and glassware will still be barred, with the exception of small baby food jars.

Guests are welcome to enjoy their own food and beverages at designated picnic areas throughout the park but are kindly reminded to follow waste sorting rules and help maintain a clean and tidy park environment, the company said.

For guests who inadvertently arrive at the park with prohibited items, the park said it offers daily storage for a charge of 10 yuan ($1.40) per item.

The resort also updated its security screening procedures to minimize impact. For instance, guests are encouraged to open their own bags, remove any flagged items and return items themselves when the security screening is completed. The resort said it is also seeking ways to leverage new equipment like X-ray machines to support security screening in the future.

The resort also gave a list of items that are banned for security reasons, such as explosive and flammable items, weapons or objects that appear to be weapons, or toy guns. Detailed rules and regulations are accessible to guests before ticket purchasing via all available channels, it said.

Zhang Zixuan, owner of a Shanghai-based new media company and a frequent traveler, said manual checks of backpacks are equally, if not more strictly, applied in the two Disney parks in California that he recently visited.

Chen Xin, a university student from Shanghai's neighboring city Suzhou, said it is high time Disneyland give its security check procedures a quick digital makeover.

"I would feel less offended if my belongings were examined by a machine rather than a person," Chen said.

Legally, it's arbitrary to draw the conclusion that security checks at Disneyland are a violation of a person's rights given the large number of people at the venue, which might pose a security concern, said Hu Yue, senior partner at Shanghai Jiehua Law Firm.

Hu said the country's constitution prohibits any illegal body inspections, and generally speaking personal belongings are regarded as part of a person's body.

"However, not all types of inspection are illegal," he said. "For instance, security inspections at airports and train stations are totally legal. Besides, any inspection approved by the person being inspected is also legal."

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