Disney Springs to Begin Reopening May 20

May 7, 2020, 4:31 PM · Walt Disney World has announced the first step in its return - a phased reopening of the Disney Springs shopping and dining area, to begin May 20.

The initial phase of the reopening will include selected retail and restaurant locations owned and operated by third parties that choose to return.

“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,” Disney said in its press release.

Operating hours will be limited, as will parking and capacity inside locations. The Walt Disney World theme parks will remain closed until further notice.

Shanghai Disneyland will reopen on May 11, becoming the first of the Disney theme parks worldwide to return. The Shanghai resort reopened its Disneytown shopping and dining district on March 9, a little over two months before the theme park now is scheduled to return.

Replies (13)

May 7, 2020 at 6:29 PM

Is there much of a point to this? With park and hotel traffic gone, is there a decent number of people visiting the springs?

May 7, 2020 at 6:44 PM

The point would be to allow the rent paying tenants to operate...but yeah, considering that the customer base is tourists, I can’t see a whole lot happening. Maybe many will chose to stay closed until Tourism resumes.

May 7, 2020 at 8:09 PM

First American theme park to open ... Godspeed DSTP.

May 7, 2020 at 10:27 PM

With Florida imposing fewer restrictions than a lot of states, I figured this would be coming sooner rather than later. My gut feeling is Disney wants at least one WDW theme park open by the end of June and the whole resort running again (with appropriate guidelines, of course) in August unless this thing flares up beyond manageable levels. California will probably lag that by a month or so, as if opening in Florida and Shanghai doesn't cause a spike they'll have a real strong case for opening elsewhere.

May 7, 2020 at 10:50 PM

The point of this is a dress rehearsal for procedures that Disney will implement when the parks reopen, including the mandatory use of masks for all cast members and guests. The fewer the people at first, the better. Then scale up the test as more locations open.

Also, I would suspect that this allows Disney to resume charging rent to its participants, but I would defer to anyone who has better inside information on that.

May 7, 2020 at 10:56 PM

Mandatory masks for cast members: yes
Mandatory masks for guests: no

Nothing against wearing a mask but in the Florida humidity? No way. At least Disney will still be there when that restriction lifts.

May 8, 2020 at 6:02 AM

We haven't even gotten anywhere close to peak humidity here. And the experience of wearing a mask outside in Florida is pretty miserable. For long durations once the real humidity arrives, it is going to be unbearable for most and possibly dangerous for some.

May 8, 2020 at 6:48 AM

I don’t know what happens inside the Disney bubble, but as a Commercial Real Estate Professional working on the Landlord side of the equation, I can say that in the real world Commercial Tenants rent is not excused during these times.

Landlord’s are not the final stop for rent payments, that money goes on to pay numerous things such as the Property Management staff, mortgage payment on the rental property, real estate taxes, insurance policies, maintenance and upkeep, common area utilities, and so on. In some cases, the Landlord also finances the tenant’s original construction build out (or remodel), and those costs are amortized into the tenants rent payments over their lease term. So it’s not as simple as I rent you this space each month, and if you are able to operate from it, you pay me. A Landlord’s operating costs & obligations do not disappear during a pandemic, so a tenant’s losses can not be passed along to them, because again most of that rent money is not their’s to keep.

Now it’s unlikely that Disney is paying a mortgage, so that part of the equation may not be there, but that is only a small portion of the costs for a Landlord and most other factors are still there. I would be surprised if the Disney Springs tenants aren’t paying AT LEAST partial rent during the shutdown that was forced by the Government (not the Landlord)...

May 8, 2020 at 8:36 AM

GoofTroop, you want cast members to wear masks, but not guests? Why? Is the Florida humidity less intense for cast members? Or is it just that one of the fifty-or-so cast members you'll come in contact with in a day is more likely to infect you than one of the other 10,000 un-masked guests you'll be passing? Masks are not intended to protect you from other people. They are intended to protect other people from you.

That being said, I think the idea that anybody will wear a mask all day in the Florida humidity is destined for failure. I give it fifteen minutes before you see people taking off their masks. They've experimented for two months in Shanghai to see if they can control the crowds. The difference between there and here is that when they tell people in Shanghai they must do something, they actually do it (or quickly end up in prison). Here you can't even get somebody to wear a mandatory mask for a ten-minute visit to an air-conditioned Dollar General store.

May 8, 2020 at 10:55 AM

Wow Great News, I guess Florida has that Pesky Hoax Virus under control... I bet they used disinfectant and now it is gone for good....Internally disinfectant of course. (You knew this was coming from me so enjoy)

And I did not say anything about the crappy Trump handling of this... I did not, see....Hahahahahahaha..... Happy Friday...

May 8, 2020 at 10:21 AM

Masks for Cast Members is a good idea. Asking all guests to wear them is a good idea. But mandating masks for guests may be a problem. Kids will rip them off. The string could be a hazard to younger children. Some older people with mental disabilities may have a problem.

May 8, 2020 at 11:31 AM

As George points out, you can do guidelines and even rules but yeah, folks are going to get around them (especially kids). And trying to monitor every guest wearing a mask would be a logistical nightmare.

May 8, 2020 at 12:44 PM

From my experience of visiting, there is a significant percentage of the local population in Orlando that goes there. I wondered if this is because Orlando doesn't have great local options for dining and shopping elsewhere for residents to frequent. So I would believe when it does open back up, there would be pent up demand from Floridians to visit. I don't feel this is the case with Citywalk at Universal. Citywalk definitely has a more touristy vibe and the majority of people there seem to not be local. I'm not sure if this is because of the different mix of restaurants (chains like Margaritaville versus Homecomin'), the retail that is on par with a regular shopping mall, or something else.
I'm also curious of the average Floridian's view of wearing masks in public. My assumption is that there would be a percentage of the population that would fall into the "invades my freedom" category and I wonder if that would be on par with the size of this group in Texas and other southern states.

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