To the delight of Disney fans everywhere, Disney announced today that it will be reopening Disney Springs on May 20 as part of their phased reopening plan.
For weeks we have received small bits of information regarding plans to possibly reopen the Disney parks and resorts. Shanghai Disney is scheduled to open with reduced occupancy next week, but today’s news is the first that will effect fans and hopeful guests stateside. So what will this phased opening look like? Here is what we know so far.
Matt Simon, VP of Disney Springs made the reopening announcement on the Disney Parks Blog today, May 7. In his message, he stated that only limited shops and restaurants owned by third parties will open during this initial phase. Meaning that all Disney owned and operated locations at Disney Springs and throughout the Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed at this time.
Of course, Disney will continue making the safety of Cast Members and guests their number one priority. With recommendations from the CDC as well as local, state and federal governments, certain safety measures will be taken to ensure that anyone working or visiting Disney Springs will be doing so in the safest way possible.
This means that additional cleaning and sanitizing procedures will be implemented, face coverings will be worn by all Cast Members and guests, and there will be limited contact between Cast Members and guests. Additionally, Cast Members will be given proper safety training before returning to work.
In his statement, Simon also advised that there will be limitations on capacity, parking and hours to make it possible for visitors to social distance while at Disney Springs.
While most Disney fans will be thrilled with the reopening and likely take it as a sign of more openings to come in the near future, many Disney hopeful guests have expressed apprehension with the idea of using face coverings while at the resort. With Florida temperatures starting to rise, many seem concerned that wearing face masks in 90 to 100º temperatures will be extremely uncomfortable or even impossible for some.
Additionally, there is the question of how guests will safely enjoy certain activities in which face masks cannot be worn, such as eating. Therefore, it is possible that Disney will institute take-out or outdoor dining only policies at Disney Springs during Phase 1 of the reopening. Disney has not yet released any additional specifics about the reopening of Disney Springs.
Earlier this week Disney did release information regarding their plans for reopening the Parks and Resorts through a phased opening process as we are seeing here with Disney Springs. In that statement from Disney Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pam Hymel, we were informed of the various policies and procedures Disney is considering to safely reopen the resort. Dr. Hymel’s statement was the first official information we received of the “Phased Reopening” plan that Disney is considering in order to safely welcome guests back to their resorts. This Phase 1 reopening of Disney Springs is in line with the information we received on May 5 from Dr. Hymel.
Check back with DVC Shop for updates on the reopening of Disney’s parks and resorts.