Disney Springs, the shopping and retail complex adjacent to Walt Disney World in Orlando, began a phased reopening Wednesday with 44 of its 190 locations including retail stores and restaurants ready for business.
The park declined to share attendance numbers but fans took to Twitter with relief as locales flung open the doors including company-owned stores, World of Disney, D-Luxe Burger (for mobile orders only) and the Marketplace Co-Op. Some had lines in what is one of the first major tests of the appetite for controlled public gathering by a major U.S. entertainment company.
Disney announced the plans earlier this month following a playbook from Shanghai where it opened a retail complex outside the theme park before the main attraction. Shanghai Disneyland opened, apparently successfully so far, on May 11 with limits on attendance that CEO Bob Chapek has said would be scaling up weekly in accordance with parameters set by Chinese authorities.
Disney Springs is open from 10 am to 10 pm. The complex has four neighborhoods ― The Landing, Marketplace, West Side and Town Center — built around springs. Strict security protocols in place include social distancing, required face coverings and that all guests have their temperatures taken before entering the complex. Anyone registering 100.4 or higher – and the rest of their party — won’t be admitted.
Elevators and escalators, handrails, benches, tables, handles, restrooms are rigorously disinfected and there are hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer available around the site.
“Wait times are all over the place right now at #DisneySprings – STK is one hour, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill is walk up. Most quick service establishments have no line currently,” tweeted WDW Today (an unaffiliated site for all things Walt Disney World).
“Edward Beiner at #DisneySprings is here for all your fine eyewear needs, and will keep everything freshly sanitized as you go!” posted a newly reopened optician.
Universal CityWalk outside Universal’s Orlando park reopened last Thursday, also with a limited number of businesses and strict safety regulations.