Walt Disney World Reopens Disney Springs to the Public

May 20, 2020, 6:31 PM · Walt Disney World's Disney Springs shopping and dining area reopened to the public today — the resort's first step toward a return in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

About half of the district's third-party shops and restaurants were open today but none of the Disney-owned and operated locations. That was enough to entice a decent-sized crowd of fans, however. Like at the reopening of Universal Orlando's CityWalk last week, local media made up a lot of the initial crowd, but people out for a change of lockdown scenery took their place as the day went on.

Almost everyone conformed to Disney's new social distancing and sanitation rules without complaint. One man was seen trying to enter without a mask, barking the same "free country" nonsense that the wannabe Russian agents on Fox News have been spewing for the past couple weeks. *(Link added - Ed.) But Disney security swiftly reminded the gentleman that Disney is private property, and anyone who is unwilling to enter under Disney's rules is perfectly "free" to go elsewhere.

While most visitors seemed to be looking around more than shopping, many did head for the Springs' reopened restaurants. Lines formed with six-foot spacing between parties as all restaurants were sharply reducing their seating capacities to accommodate the new social-distancing rules.

All visitors must undergo a no-touch temperature check before entering Disney Springs. The surface parking lots are closed, so guests must enter from the Lime or Orange parking garages, the rideshare drop-off zone, or the Hotel Plaza Boulevard pedestrian bridge. As we said, masks are also required at all times except when eating while inside Disney Springs.

Disney's own stores and restaurants will open next week, on May 27. Those include World of Disney, Marketplace Co-op and D-Luxe Burger. Walt Disney World's theme parks and hotels remain closed until further notice, though the state of Florida has invited Disney and other theme parks to begin submitting their reopening plans for government review and potential approval.

Replies (37)

May 21, 2020 at 2:42 AM

Where is the story of someone refusing to wear a mask? I can't find coverage of it anywhere.

May 21, 2020 at 6:15 AM

Based on the clips surfacing on IG & TT of those unwilling to comply, its perplexing for people to hear "well this is private property."

May 21, 2020 at 8:19 AM

My favorite line in this article:

"One man was seen trying to enter without a mask, barking the same "free country" nonsense that the wannabe Russian agents on Fox News have been spewing for the past couple weeks."

Robert you are starting to sound like me... And yes there are many Free country idiots like him.

As I have said a billion times, Its all about not spreading the virus and not overwhelming the hospitals.. It's not about YOU, YOU, YOU, or even ME ME ME...hahahaah..


May 21, 2020 at 9:11 AM

Amazing firsthand account of the scene you witnessed of the individual spewing the free country nonsense. My partner and I were present at Disney Springs yesterday and saw no such behavior. Once again, your bigotry shines through with snide comments obviously aimed at those that do not share your point of view. You must take little pride in your writing skills as they are a poor reflection on your character.

May 21, 2020 at 9:18 AM

And then the Troll shows up, spent 30 minutes and thinks he saw everything everywhere the entire time DS was open...

Hahahahahaha - What a clown you are.....

Perhaps you were not in the store at the exact time this happened.
Do you not not understand how time works?

Time passes whether you are present or not.... You are welcome.

May 21, 2020 at 9:50 AM

This is great to hear that the overwhelming theme in the reopening is that folks stayed true to the guidelines and were able to enjoy their day. Although as expected some would be resistant to the new guidelines, it was encouraging to hear Disney handled in a respectful manner.
This has been one of my favorite sites for years and I have always appreciated the informative reporting and friendly banter. I am however starting to get a little discouraged by the infiltration of political divide. Unfortunately it is starting to become more prominent in many posts. The "wannabe Russian agents on Fox News" comment is probably not necessary for this kind of article. As a result we end up seeing the ugly back and forth that doesn't fit in a site dedicated to places that take us away from the outside world. If I wanted to hear the political back and forth I can simply go to CNN.com or Foxnews.com and hear both sides totally rip each other apart since everyone thinks they are experts.
At the end of the day, yesterday was a means to get excited that maybe some normalcy is on the horizon. It will be baby steps to get things going again but every step forward brings us that much closer to experiencing our favorite attractions over and over again. Stop feeding the divide and celebrate what we all love....theme parks.

May 21, 2020 at 10:32 AM

"...wannabe Russian agents on Fox News..."? Where in the world did this come from?

C'mon, Robert, we've been down this rabbit hole before. How does some "free country" knucklehead at Disney Springs roll into another attack by you on Fox News?

I could point out that there are knuckleheads from the other side of the political divide that frequent this site. Should I use their foolishness to attack CNN or CBS or MSNBC? I can easily do that. Do you want that?

As far as the "Russian agent" thing goes, wasn't there once a recent political candidate who mocked his opponent when he brought up the issue that Russia was/is still our enemy during the election. Now the side that brought up that issue is now being accused of being "wannabe Russian agents". Really? Do you want me to go there?

This is your site, Robert, and you can do what you want, but why can't we use our enjoyment of theme parks to find common ground to like and respect each other?

May 21, 2020 at 10:44 AM

Thanks Carols, These baby step are what we need right now and it is nice to see the effort of many.

Wouldn't it be nice to just get a latte of Triple Shot on ice and sit by the water in DS.... Ahhh the simple things I miss..

Robert was simply making an observation as an impartial reporter and I commend him for his efforts...And it was damn funny to-boot!!!!

May 21, 2020 at 10:56 AM

Progressive.

Quick question.

What do you think the following statement communicates about you?

>> Once again, your bigotry shines through with snide comments obviously aimed at those that do not share your point of view. You must take little pride in your writing skills as they are a poor reflection on your character.

May 21, 2020 at 10:58 AM

I'm really interested to see how the guidelines will impact the World of Disney Store. As large as the store is I have never been able to sustain social distancing before it was a thing. Curious as to what the capacity on that store is and whether we will see some pretty lengthy queue lines for entrance. Uh-oh, dare I say fast passes for retail???? Totally off topic but I have to imagine that Ghiradelli will probably not be giving out the little chocolate samples which totally just made me sad ---- Damn you Corona!!!

May 21, 2020 at 11:22 AM

Ah, the comments from the peanut gallery - Brian, do you really believe that Robert is impartial or are you just singing in the choir?

Robert is about as impartial politically as you and I. He's just setting another bear trap for some of our less astute conservative visitors.

Thank goodness that we have you for comic relief. How are you feeling about President Trump today?

May 21, 2020 at 11:33 AM

Where I live in the North East, On June 1st they are going open Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos but on a on limited basis.

I will not be going to a casino any time soon and as I said there are limitations and distancing rules posted.

Temp checks at the door, mask, wipe down machine before and after use....
Only one section of the casino will be open, limited amount allowed to enter.. A lot of rules and we will see how this works out...

Tim - I was being honest about Robert, he is a great journalist.. Might get an award for this article alone, Maybe pulitzer worthy.

May 21, 2020 at 11:33 AM

Getting off the political talk and back on topic, it does sound that, as with many places, guests are being smart and following the rules and it indicates this might go okay. My concern is that Disney doesn't wait as long as they should keeping to these guidelines but try to "open it up" a bit more with more folks coming in and that can cause problems down the road. We are in uncharted territory here so expect trial and error but at least some attempts being made.

May 21, 2020 at 11:43 AM

The face mask story was related to me in an email by a reader. I get emails every day from readers with tips, personal reports, observations, etc. and could not run the site without them!

In the scheme of things, it's just once incident and not a big deal by itself, but it illustrated that Disney is handling such objections swiftly and firmly, so I thought it worth including. To me, the mask question is becoming the central one in determining whether we contain this virus or launch a second wave as stay at home orders lift. (See The Risk in Reopening for background on that.) So addressing mask requirements is news, to me.

Now, for a counter example, let's take the social media kerfuffle over the family grilling what looked like hot dogs outside Cookes. I skipped that one because it smelled to me like either truly clueless individuals... or a set-up - someone trying to bait Disney into enforcing its rules so that they could accuse the company of some form of discrimination.

If these people truly were clueless (which I think the more likely scenario), I don't want to pile on to them. Lord knows that if I wrote about every example of people doing something stupid at a theme park, I'd have no time to write about anything else! And if they're trolls, then I don't want to cover people who are trying to manipulate news media for attention like that. So I skipped writing about that incident, until now. And I'm only mentioning it now to illustrate my decision-making process in what to include, or not to include, in my posts.

May 21, 2020 at 11:49 AM

OK, I get that, but what does this have to do with Russia? I'm lost. I see people referring to Russia a lot on Twitter out of context too. What does not wearing a mask have to do with this?

May 21, 2020 at 12:19 PM

Gotta watch those casino people, Brian. If anybody is more fanatical than theme park people about their hobby, it's the "one arm bandit" aficionados.

MikeW, I'm kind of worried about the way things are opening up. I went to the doctor yesterday and 95% of the people were wearing masks - but the doctor wasn't. Went to Lowes and Sam's Club after that (Why not get my week's worth of exposure out of the way?) and 80% of the people were wearing masks. So, most people seem to be getting the message and are trying to be responsible.

But a fair number of my wife's friends on Facebook are defiant about not wearing masks and proud of it - and a significant number of them claim to be devout Christians. And my church's choir is already back rehearsing as a group. I'm embarrassed for them, and some small part of me wishes for just a little bit of near term karma to happen. (Is there a rule that says you can't use a Hindu term to put a voodoo curse on a Baptist group? Does it fall in that category of things you don't do like crossing proton streams?)

For those of you who missed it, in a previous article, Robert had a link to an article that analytically discussed how COVID-19 spreads, and the choir group in Washington state was one of the case studies - informative and terrifying.

May 21, 2020 at 12:16 PM

I think it would be silly for Disney to re-open while the NBA is there. I'm sure it can be done where MK is open or something and totally separated from the other side of property where the NBA is, but what if one of the players gets the covid while this is going on? Or even worse what if Lebron, AD, or Giannis gets it? That would be a really bad look. IMO it makes the most sense to not open anything until the NBA leaves.

May 21, 2020 at 12:22 PM

@ Jame Trexen, was this the article you were looking for???

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/2020-05-20-disney-parks-faces-backlash-for-requiring-guests-to-wear-masks-masks-should-be-optional-24369665.html

May 21, 2020 at 12:25 PM

DSTP is open for business. Say your prayers folks.

May 21, 2020 at 12:46 PM

Thank you @Tim Hillman, nice to hear a voice of reason on here.
Most conservatives I know listen to both sides of the isle instead of the left that just mimics CNN talking points.
I love how Robert can take an e-mail by a reader and list it as fact.
Did you vet that comment? If you are going to make a statement at least point out its hearsay and NOT factual!

May 21, 2020 at 12:49 PM

@the_man - The NBA (nor MLS) have decided on mobilizing teams to WWoS. Both leagues have advocated the idea of playing "Bio-dome" style, and WWoS provides a perfect combination of sufficient facilities in close proximity along with plenty of hotel rooms and transportation that could be completely isolated. However, the NBA hasn't made any firm decisions regarding resumption of their season, and from the sounds of it, Las Vegas may actually have the edge to win out on a "Bio-dome" completion of the season. It does sound like MLS is moving towards playing at WWoS, but instead of playing out the season, it would be done tournament-style over a couple of weeks across the complex (NWSL is considering a similar tournament that would be staged in Salt Lake City, UT).

I don't think any sports league choosing to play at WWoS would have any impact on the theme parks as fans would be completely prohibited from going to the complex and athletes completely isolated from normal resort guests with an entire resort dedicated to the league.

May 21, 2020 at 1:10 PM

Mr Torrance said- "Most conservatives I know listen to both sides of the isle instead of the left that just mimics CNN talking points."

My rebuttal - Hahahahahahahaahahahahaahahahahahaha And Hehehehehehehehehehehehee... Man I needed a laugh today, I might have even peed a bit..... So Thanks...

By Both sides did you mean Fox and Rush? List to both sides... Again hahahahahahaahaha...


May 21, 2020 at 1:10 PM

I hear Vegas is sounding better as more facilities and the tiny thing about sports gambling such a big deal (talk about an industry that's losing billions in the last two months...). Read interviews and those guys are raring to go tomorrow even with the new rules, they want to play and help the fans. (they're still debating if try to finish a season or jump right to playoffs).

I just saw the idea of them playing at WWoS to be a bit of a pipe dream although Florida relaxing rules may be beneficial.

May 21, 2020 at 1:22 PM

@leastinteresting (helluva user name), I was more curious about the story Robert described in the article. As he mentioned in the comments, it was something he was told about through private email.

May 21, 2020 at 1:30 PM

@Tim Hillman: I know a guy who seemed a good and rational person...but in the last month has gone down the rabbit hole saying "we are literally in a police state" and that "I don't want to wear a mask, it's my choice, I will not live in fear."

That's a problem, folks who somehow think having to wear a mask for public health is no different than numbers tattooed on your arm and the cases of infections for groups of folks defying orders shows how dangerous it can still be.

We are lucky in a way as Covid is still a relatively low fatality rate as I shudder to think on this crowd pushing "reopen now" with something on level of Ebola. Yet too many people who honestly go "I'd rather die of a virus than give up a single one of my rights for a ten minute shopping trip."

May 21, 2020 at 2:02 PM

People just need to get used to wearing masks. And if they do not want to wear them they do not have to go to Disney or Costco or whatever places has mandatory mask wearing rules. It is all on private property and they can put in regulations such as no shirt no shoes etc. People can complain but Needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Especially with so many assymptomatic cases

May 21, 2020 at 2:03 PM

@MikeW - I call it what it is - sociopathy.

If you want to force people to close their businesses for so long that they fail financially and the result is worse than the problem that you're supposedly trying to prevent, then that's being a sociopath.

If you refuse to wear a mask when you're in public and doing so will protect you and the people around you, then that's being a sociopath.

If it is reasonable for the government to enforce public decency standards (Anybody other than Brian Emery been walking around naked in public recently?), then it is just as reasonable for the government to enforce non-invasive public health standards for the common good. The people wrapping themselves in the Constitution should try to read it once in a while.

Democracy is a balancing act between anarchy and totalitarianism.

May 21, 2020 at 2:21 PM

@tim I agree. I just wish either side was more balanced. I've seen people irate on twitter that they've seen people jogging outdoors without a mask, and on the other side people irate that they can't go wherever they want without a mask. I personally think a mask being required at all times in a theme park or outdoor mall is overkill. When queued up or indoors makes more sense to me. But hey, it's their property, they can do what they want.

May 21, 2020 at 3:33 PM

>> If you want to force people to close their businesses for so long that they fail financially and the result is worse than the problem that you're supposedly trying to prevent, then that's being a sociopath.

When the problem is hundreds of thousands of deaths on one side, and a few failed businesses on the other... I can’t see how the second ever exceeds the first.

I really would like to be charitable on that. But ultimately that’s why we have things like bankruptcy protections for businesses and stimulus packages.

No stimulus package can return a life. Well, there were a few news stories a couple of months ago about people who were convinced they could...

I think putting public health vs the economy in any case is a false dichotomy. Even without lockdown measures being take at all, there would have massive economic harm anyway... and if the figures from Maryland after reopening stay as bad as they are, there’s also the harm from false restarts to consider.

May 21, 2020 at 5:58 PM

Chad H. - I wish I could agree with you, but I can't. As time goes by, it looks like the country of Sweden had the best balance between preserving lives and keeping their economy viable. Yes, they botched their handling of how well they protected the elderly people in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, but overall it seems like they picked the right course.

And you can't make a false argument by saying a few failed business aren't worth hundreds of thousands of deaths. That's not the case. The failed businesses are just the tip of the iceberg. A significant percentage of the population in the United States is feeling seriously disaffected by the restrictions, and they feel justified in almost whatever foolish action they take. I don't agree with them, but in our already polarized society, we don't need more issues to divide us.

And in a perfect world, there's no price on life, but, in reality, there is a price on human life. We just don't like to admit it. Speed limits, car designs, OSHA standards, FDA standards, USDA standards - they're all a compromise between economic factors and safety. The question is: who gets to draw the line where safety begins and economics end?

May 22, 2020 at 7:15 AM

>> I wish I could agree with you, but I can't. As time goes by, it looks like the country of Sweden had the best balance between preserving lives and keeping their economy viable

The thing is, I think the Swedish solution really probably only worked in Sweden. Whereas in Australia and New Zealand, the virus is pretty much gone.

When the US has almost a third of the deaths, and around 5% of the population, there’s no question that the US has underperformed massively. I’m sure part of it is places like New York being global crossroads... but it suggests to me additionally the measures taken weren’t early enough, strong enough, and the health systems weren’t able to give the right support at the right time.

May 22, 2020 at 9:24 AM

Chad, you mean the US where we've had 31% of the global cases and 28% of the global deaths? Seems to me like we're right there with the rest of the world. Also looks like you're cherrypicking statistics, especially when you don't follow your own logic and reasoning that what works in Sweden or New Zealand (island country with a sparse population) or Australia (island continent with a sparse population) may not work in the United States.

I think the US did as best as it could considering the conditions, the information available, and the demographics. You can play Monday morning quarterback all you want, but the reality is that our leaders (on both sides of the aisle) did the reasonable best that they could. To think otherwise is pure crazy conspiracy theory nonsense.

May 22, 2020 at 9:50 AM

Tim believes the US did it's best with considering the conditions, the information available...And now says leaders on BOTH sides are responsible?

I guess you are as usual trying your best-ist to defend your beloved Trump.
Yes Trump failed and the Wh staff is clueless... I know it must he hard for you to see a massive failure from your Hero... But Trump failed.

He was warned in Jan and Feb about this, Did nothing but call it a HOAX and say we have 15 cases and it will be gone in a week.. Said it will be gone when it gets warn on April 1st, then said it will be gone for Easter.

How can you ignore the facts and failure? We have the most cases and deaths in the world... But you know BOTH sides, right.... Just blame others when Trump fails...Perhaps you Red hat is a bit too tight and starting squeeze the brain cells.. You can usually adjust the straps so the hat is a bit looser, but then again maybe, not since the hat was made in China..

The us did its best? Ignoring a problem is the best we can do I guess..
And when are the internal disinfectant shots going to be available?

1.6 mil cases - 96,000 dead...
Best you say.....


May 22, 2020 at 12:13 PM

As usual, Brian, you're in the Ready, Shoot, Aim mode.

I'm giving all of our leaders the benefit of the doubt. If you choose to interpret that as I'm giving President Trump a pass then that's your failure to comprehend the totality and the context of the statement. I don't walk in their shoes and neither do you. Would I have done something different if I were the President of the United States or the Governor of New York or Florida? Perhaps, but I'm not, and I have to trust that they're trying to make the best decisions for all of their constituents with the information available at the time.

Perhaps it's time to stop being so partisan and throwing blame around like it's a cow pie. Does the virus care if you're a Republican or a Democrat? Probably not, but I have seen more than one comment from progressives that they wish it would infect certain individuals in the Republican Party. That's sick.

Oh, and get some help for that bad case of Trump Derangement Syndrome you've got. He owns you. I make a case for all of the public leaders in the US trying to do their best and you fixate on Donald Trump. So sad, but it's funny in a sick sort of way.

May 23, 2020 at 5:00 AM

>> Chad, you mean the US where we've had 31% of the global cases and 28% of the global deaths? Seems to me like we're right there with the rest of the world.

But 5% of the global population. I don’t think the cases number is particularly useful as It relies on the number of tests, and testing policy varies widely. Counting population and deaths shouldn’t vary so widely.

>> Also looks like you're cherrypicking statistics

Specifically the US population and the US death count...

>> reasoning that what works in Sweden or New Zealand (island country with a sparse population) or Australia (island continent with a sparse population) may not work in the United States.

You brought Sweden in, not me...

>> I think the US did as best as it could considering the conditions, the information available, and the demographics

I don’t think so. Action wasn’t taken soon enough, and when it was taken it was the wrong action. The lockdown measures when they happened were good, but you’ve moved too quickly out of them. Your various governments and government levels have been at war, a war that is continuing with churches now the front despite repeated cluster after cluster occurring in these places.

>> You can play Monday morning quarterback all you want, but the reality is that our leaders (on both sides of the aisle) did the reasonable best that they could.

I will agree that many did. But some, including some of those with the bigger pulpit did not, and continued to not do so.

>> I have seen more than one comment from progressives that they wish it would infect certain individuals in the Republican Party. That's sick.

I agree that wishing such a thing is sick.

>> I make a case for all of the public leaders in the US trying to do their best and you fixate on Donald Trump. So sad, but it's funny in a sick sort of way.

I don’t think being critical of trump can be considered trump derangement syndrome. This is a time where in a federal system the Federal government should be supporting the states with a unified precurement programme, instead they joined in with the states competing. Their actions should have been science lead, instead those who’s job it is to do the science (CDC) were sidelined, and their science lead suggestions rejected. The Federal government should be leading and joining in international vaccine efforts, instead they chose to stand alone. Instead of telling everyone coming in and quarantine, they tried to howl at the “bad guys”.

May 23, 2020 at 9:26 AM

Chad, I'll say a few things, a few of them inflammatory, and then I'll leave the floor to you. We've gone back and forth long enough on this issue.

Easy stuff first. Brian does has TDS. He can't say anything about President Trump without sounding like Bill the Cat gacking up a hairball on the keyboard. His comments are beyond criticism. And Brian has been known to go off on a tangent about other issues. Several years ago, I made an innocuous comment about praying for someone, and he hit the roof about not wanting to hear my religious views on this site. It was totally unwarranted, and other people on the site called him down for it, but he's been here quite some time, and we find our common ground, so I actually like Brian despite the fact that he's a bit of a loose cannon.

I'm also dismayed that I can't choose to be non-judgmental of our political leadership during a crisis without being criticized. Blaming our favorite bogeyman at this point in time is just foolish partisan politics, and it hurts our ability to deal with the crisis. There will be plenty of time in the next Trump administration to blame all of the culprits.

And let's cut to the quick on the final issue. We agree on a lot of issues, and I will usually try to find the points of agreement, but you're starting to sound a bit like a know-it-all international. You've touted the results of New Zealand and Australia in containing the spread of the virus, so it's safe to assume that by your language style you're a resident of one of those countries. You've also said more or less that the Swedish approach to dealing with the virus probably wouldn't work in the USA. But you're also implying that the US should have taken the Australian/New Zealand approach. Throw in the fact that you're critical of our leadership, and that smacks of arrogance. You know like, "We smart - you dumb!"

We like in a hyper-partisan political environment in the US these days, and it looks like it will continue for quite some time. I'm not going to waste my time identifying culprits, but you're free to pick the usual suspects depending on your political affiliation. The point I'm trying to make is that judging the USA from your context is flat out wrong. There are huge rifts in the fabric of American society, and the leaders at all level of government are navigating a political minefield. Essentially there is no right answer, and I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, the floor is yours. I'm done on this thread.

May 26, 2020 at 9:49 AM

Tim – you clearly said Both sides are at fault and you are 100% wrong. Both sides did not say this was a Hoax, Both sides did not say there is like 15 people with the Virus and it will be gone in a week, both side did not say it will be gone by April 1st when it gets warn, both sides did not say it will be gone by Easter…

I know it is hard for you to admit your Hero messed up, but he did. Now own it and do not ever say both sides. I do not hate the GOP but I do not like Trump and what he has done to divide the once great nation.

Let me ask you this: How come the vast majority of the North east does not like Him? He is from the North East and one would figure we would celebrate one of our own becoming President… You have no idea how many scams he did. He could not get loans from banks here since he was not paying back loans and instead would take the bank to court. He would have deal with a contractor to hang dry wall for $50,000 and them pay them $20,000 and say that is all I have, take me to court if you want…

There are reasons we do not like him, How about the made up Birther crap he did to Obama? Only later to admit he made it all up. Paid $130K to Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet. And you look the other way and say Both sides…. Laughable…

I will not look the other way and accept a person just because of party affiliation as you do. I look at the person not the party. heck in Massachusetts there is a two term GOP governor who is doing a great job and no one in this blue state is complaining.

I leave you with Trump hotel in Azerbaijan, try and explain this to me. Try getting some facts for once.


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