Disney Springs reopens today! After 9 weeks of closure, its initial reopening represents an important milestone. Here we detail everything that you need to know before visiting.
When does Disney Springs Reopen?
The short answer is that Disney Springs reopens today, 20 May. However, this is a phased reopening so it will not be ‘business as usual’ just yet. The timeline that Disney has proposed is as follows:
- 20 May: the phased reopening of Disney Springs starts today.
- 25 May: this week, third-party operating participants open their doors to Disney Springs guests.
- 27 May: three Disney-owned and -operated stores and venues reopen. These are World of Disney, D-Luxe Burger (mobile order) and the Marketplace Co-Op.
Visit here for up to date information of what is currently open.
What new safety measures are in place?
Disney has implemented a number of new safety measures based on guidance from health authorities. This has resulted in the following changes that will be in place as Disney Springs reopens:
- Limited parking and reduced entrances;
- Temperature screenings prior to entry;
- Face coverings required for Guests aged 3+;
- Physical distancing practices including physically-distanced queues and physical barriers;
- Temporary operation modifications, including reduced hours at select locations;
- An increased focus on disinfecting and sanitation. This includes the addition of hand-washing stations and hand sanitisers in key areas; and
- Cashless transactions recommended.
We expect that the above measures will change and evolve over time, and their introduction has elicited a mixed response. The most controversial of the measures seems to be the requirement for face masks. Because of this, some guests are refusing to visit, saying that this is a dealbreaker for them.
Albeit easy for us to say because we can’t hop on a plane and visit now anyway, we think that these measures can only be a good thing. In fact, we’re grateful that Disney is putting measures in place to keep both Cast Members and guests safe. With two young children, we can empathise with the difficulties that the face mask requirement will create. However, in these difficult times we recognise that changes need to be implemented to protect everyone’s health and wellbeing. Better to be safe than sorry we say!
NB. The above guidance is correct at the time of writing. When visiting Disney Springs you must follow all posted instructions.
Is it possible that I’ll be denied entry?
Yes, it’s possible that you could be denied entry to Disney Springs. Arriving at Disney Springs, all guests will undergo temperature screening. If you display a temperature of 100.4 F (38°C) or above then you’ll be directed to an additional location for re-screening and assistance. If you again display a temperature above 100.4 then you will not be allowed entry; nor will the other members of your party.
Similarly, if you arrive without an appropriate face covering, or if a location has reached maximum capacity, it’s possible that you will be denied entry. Masks must be worn at all times, except when seated at a dining table. Futhermore, to be an ‘appropriate face covering’ the mask needs to cover both your nose and mouth. Disney has not indicated that masks will be available to purchase, so you’ll need to bring one with you.
Is the rest of WDW now open?
The rest of Walt Disney World is not yet open. Disney has confirmed that this is a first step in the reopening of Walt Disney World. In the meantime, the Parks and resort hotels remain temporarily closed.
Furthermore, Disney has been clear that upon reopening, the Parks, resort hotels and restaurants and other Disney offerings may be modified, limited in capacity and subject to availability or closure. So it’s unlikely Walt Disney World will be functioning as usual for a little while yet.
What does the future hold?
We’d love to have a crystal ball to predict when we’ll be able to visit Walt Disney World for a ‘normal’ holiday. We’d expect that it’s unlikely things will return to normal for some time yet. That said, the initial reopening of Disney Springs is a really positive step. We fully support Disney in its responsible reopening, and we can’t wait to be able to visit again soon!