Be warned! If you are expecting to have a magical day out at Shanghai’s upcoming Disneyland, you might want to make sure to check the air quality first.
Yesterday, an official from the Shanghai fire department reaffirmed that when the AQI is above 201 there won’t be any fireworks shows allowed in the city — no exceptions — not even for Mickey.
This might be a fatal flaw if the park had opened in Beijing, but Shanghai’s air tends to be fairly less toxic overall.
However, things are trending smoggier. Shanghai’s Environmental Protection Bureau released a report last week that said the city’s air quality was worse in 2015 than in the year before with eight heavily polluted days (AQI of 300 or more), compared with just four in 2015.
Meanwhile, the proportion of days with “clear skies” (AQI of 100 or less) fell from 77% to 71%.
At the end of last year, Shanghai announced a comprehensive plan to reverse this worrying trend that includes building more parks in the city and introducing a ban on polluting vehicles and factories. It will also attempt to place limits on dust emissions from construction sites. Additionally, there’s a planned “smog fee” that aims to cut pollution levels in half by 2018.
Meanwhile, Fan Xiping, chairman of Shanghai Shendi Group, Chinese partner of Disney, said that the park will use fireworks that are the “most advanced and environmentally friendly.” So that’s a relief, though it’s not clear if it will be enough to change city policy.
A Disney spokesperson said in an e-mail to the Wall Street Journal that the company will work closely with the government to comply with all local regulations.
No word yet on barbecue restrictions inside Disneyland. The park opens on June 16th. Bring a smog mask, just in case.