Walt Disney World Resort has announced the first phase in their plan to re-open their Orlando, Florida locations after closing in the early days of the global coronavirus pandemic. The announcement comes just two months after Disney shut down all theme park locations in the United States following closures at the Shanghai, Tokyo, and Hong Kong parks earlier in the year.
A Saturday, May 16 Disney Parks blog post details how Walt Disney World plans to tackle the first phase of re-opening. The post addresses just the re-opening of the Disney Springs location on Wednesday, May 20. Unfortunately, there is no mention of plans or dates for re-opening other resort or theme park locations. An official statement reads,
“With the safety and well-being of our guests, cast members and third-party operating participants at the forefront of our planning, we are eager to begin welcoming you back to this part of Walt Disney World. While our theme parks and resort hotels remain temporarily closed, the phased reopening of Disney Springs is a welcome milestone as we navigate through this unprecedented time together as responsibly as we can.”
Walt Disney World Resort also shared a brief video highlighting new and important health measures which will go into effect on May 20, too. These guidelines have been drawn up in accordance with CDC guidelines to help keep Disney parkgoers safe from the spread of COVID-19.
For more detailed information, below are the bullet points provided by Walt Disney World Resort on the new health and safety guidelines which will be in place for those planning to go to Disney Springs. More information on the Disney Springs re-opening can be found here. And, for more on all things Disney theme parks, check out our latest coverage here.
- 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. We 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 our guests and our cast. 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).
- 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 re-screening and assistance; those who again measure 100.4 degrees or higher will not be allowed entry, nor will those in their party. I encourage 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, we 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. We will also add physical barriers in select places where it’s difficult to maintain physical distancing.
- Cleanliness: We’ve increased cleaning and disinfection procedures in high-traffic areas such as elevators and escalators, handrails, benches, tables, handles, restrooms and more. We will also have hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer available, and encourage you to use these frequently.
- Cashless Transactions: We’re 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.