I know that we are all missing our ‘home away from home’. As a start, on Wednesday, May 20, Disney will begin with a great first step in the phased reopening of Walt Disney World Resort, as Disney Springs begins its initial reopening that morning. With the safety and well-being of its guests, cast members and third-party operating participants at the forefront of their planning, they are eager to begin welcoming you back to this part of Walt Disney World. While Disney theme parks and resort hotels remain temporarily closed, the phased reopening of Disney Springs is a welcome milestone as they begin to navigate through this unprecedented time together as responsibly as possible.
Next week, many of Disney Springs third-party operating participants will open their doors to guests. On May 27, three Disney-owned and -operated stores and venues will reopen: World of Disney, D-Luxe Burger (mobile order) and the Marketplace Co-Op. You can visit DisneySprings.com/reopening for the most current information on which locations are open.
Based on applicable government requirements, as well as guidance from health authorities such as the CDC and appropriate government agencies, Disney is implementing a number of new health and safety measures and operational changes. I am sure that we can all agree that this will be the ‘new normal’ for quite a while in the future. I have posted a summary of the guidelines given on my Facebook and Instagram and here is a little more explanation of what we can all look forward to right now as we look forward to Disney Springs opening. Here is what you need to know prior to your arrival:
- Parking and Entrances: During this initial phase, guests will be directed to self-park in the Orange and Lime Garages. All surface lots will be closed. They will also reduce the number of entrances for Disney Springs to four locations: Orange and Lime Garages, along with the Hotel Plaza Boulevard pedestrian bridge and ride share location.
- Appropriate Face Coverings: All guests 3 years of age and older, along with cast members and third-party operating-participant employees, will be required to wear an appropriate face covering while visiting Disney Springs. This is an important part of protecting both yourself, otherss and cast members. Please be sure you have an ample amount of face coverings for yourself and your party before you arrive, as you’ll need to wear them over your nose and mouth at all times (except when sitting at a dining table). It may be a good idea to bring an extra mask just in case, especially if you are traveling with children or in case one gets dirty.
- Temperature Screenings: Once you arrive at Disney Springs, you and your party will be required to undergo temperature screenings. Based on guidance from health authorities, anyone displaying a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will be directed to an additional location for rescreening and assistance; those who again measure 100.4 degrees or higher will not be allowed entry, nor will those in their party. I found this interesting that they will not automatically turn you away if your temperature is high, but take you to another location to get screened again. This may have something to do with how hot it can get in Florida or while waiting in line. Also, interesting that they said that if one person has a temperature, the entire party will be asked to not enter. If there is any questions whatesoever that you may have a temp or not feel well, it is best not to risk it. Disney is encouraging you to check temperatures of yourself and your party prior to leaving home, as an extra layer of precaution.
- Physical Distancing and Capacity Measures: To maintain appropriate physical distancing throughout Disney Springs during this initial phase, they will limit the number of guests visiting the property, as well as within each location. In addition, ground markings will help promote proper distancing when queuing is necessary. They will also be adding physical barriers in select places where it’s difficult to maintain physical distancing.
- Cleanliness: Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures in high-traffic areas such as elevators and escalators, handrails, benches, tables, handles, restrooms and more. There will also be hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer available, and they are encouraging guests to use these frequently. Bringing along some Clorox or Lysol wipes may not be a bad idea as well.
- Cashless Transactions: Disney is recommending you use cashless payment options whenever possible during your visit to Disney Springs, including debit cards, credit cards, Disney gift cards, etc. You can also opt for contactless payment options or use cash to purchase a Disney gift card at the Welcome Center and select merchandise locations. I foresee that this will also be implemented at the resorts and the parks moving forward.
- Cast members are going through extensive new training as we all learn to adjust to these changing times together. To that point, some cast members will be walking throughout Disney Springs to explain the new procedures and answer any questions you may have. They will also encourage everyone to follow these measures for the health and safety of us all.
Everything Disney is doing during this unprecedented time is in service for us, the guests, their cast members and those third-party operating participants, who will also be following these new guidelines in their locations. Disney will be constantly monitoring conditions and best practices and will continue to learn every day from health and government authorities. As a result, operational changes and safety measures may change from time to time as circumstances evolve. Of course what we do as visitors and guests will also play a large part in how Disney moves forward and how quickly they look at opening more of Walt Disney World Resort. They want to deliver all the Disney magic we know and love with safety, as always, their top priority. So let us all be extremely mindful if and when we choose to visit Disney Springs and all other businesses and attractions slowly opening up. One thing we do not want to do is become part of the problem and most definitely contribute to an up tic in cases or numbers and have to start all over again. Here is a statement from Disney regarding the reopening:
I understand this is a great deal of change to absorb, and I speak for all of us at Walt Disney World in thanking you for your cooperation and patience during this initial phase. Today’s world is different, and it’s going to require a shared responsibility, with everyone doing their part.
As a reminder, please visit DisneySprings.com/reopening for the most up-to-date information on available shopping and dining locations, operating hours, new safety procedures and more. You can also check back her at spokesmayne.co for more information as it comes available from Disney. Take care, be safe and remember, we are all in this together.