Need a dose of Disney magic? Disney Springs plans May 20 reopening
Though the fabled theme parks of Disney World remain closed, a nearby sprawling dining and shopping complex will be reopening later this month, it was announced Thursday.
Disney Springs, which features a wide variety of restaurants, stores and a 24-screen movie theater, will begin a "phased reopening" on May 20, according to a statement on its website. Disney Springs, along with other Florida attractions, had been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Disney Springs will begin to reopen in a way that incorporates enhanced safety measures, including increased cleaning procedures, the use of appropriate face coverings by both cast members and guests, limited-contact guest services and additional safety training for cast members," wrote Disney Springs Vice President Matt Simon in a blog post on the Disney park site.
The Orlando complex is just across a lake from Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, near the Old Key West Resort and a short distance from the Epcot theme park. But those theme parks and hotels remain shuttered with no reopening date announced.
In California, Disneyland in Anaheim is closed, too, along with its shopping and dining district, Downtown Disney.
Even when Disney Springs throws open its gates, the experience won't be the same. The statement on its site says all of Disney's attractions and other properties "may be modified and will be limited in capacity and subject to limited availability or closure, based on direction from health experts and government officials to promote physical distancing."
Just how that plays out at Disney Springs is yet to be seen. However, in an earnings call Tuesday,The Walt Disney Company hinted at some of the measures that can be expected when it announced the first reopening of any of its theme parks around the globe, Shanghai Disneyland in China. That park is due to welcome back guests on Monday.
There, guests and staff will not only wear masks, but the park will be limited to 30% of its 80,000 patron capacity by government order and Disney's stable of walk-around characters – from Mickey Mouse to Goofy – will be kept at a distance.
Disney Springs' reopening comes amid a flurry of states that are lifting stay-at-home orders around the country.
In Florida, dine-in restaurants are being allowed to open as long as they limit patronage indoors to 25% of capacity and diners are spaced six feet apart if they are enjoying meals outside. Many businesses are yet to be allowed to reopen, including bars and gyms.