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Disney Springs Begins Phased Reopening on May 20

Matt Simon

by , Vice President, Disney Springs

A phased reopening of Disney Springs will begin on May 20. Following the guidance of government and health officials, a limited number of shopping and dining experiences that are owned by third-party operating participants will begin to open during this initial phase. The rest of Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed, including theme parks and resort hotels.

As we continue to monitor conditions, and with the health of guests and Disney cast members at the forefront of our planning, we are making several operational changes. 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. 

We will apply learnings and ideas from leaders in the health and travel industries, and we’re also talking to our unions as we prepare for some cast members to return to work.   

During the initial opening phase, Disney Springs will have limitations on capacity, parking and operating hours. Given this unprecedented situation, we appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we navigate through this process as responsibly as we can. Additional protocols and procedures may be announced closer to the opening date. Please check as we get closer to May 20 for the most current information on operating hours, locations and safety procedures.


  • I’m a huge fan of the mask rule for as long as it takes- just do it so we can get back to normal sooner. I’m just questioning being outside in fresh air with masks and I’m sorry if I appear ignorant. Also, what exactly do the “Phases” mean? And when will phase 2 and 3 happen? And what do THEY mean? I’d “Phase 3” no masks?

    Thank you

  • I’ll wear a mask not because I’m sick but because it can protect me from unnecessary exposure. If it’s mandatory to wear a mask then I’ll still wear one. I think if we work together within the CDC guidelines we will do well as everything keeps opening in phases.

  • I believe this is a good start for Disney to start opening. Though those who tell others not to show up because they choose to not want to wear mask. That’s unfortunate. I am one of those people and my family who will not show up at Disney until this wearing mask is not required. I can assure you that many people do in fact think like my family does. We are die heart supporters of Disney but wearing a mask takes away the fun and excitement while worrying about your mask. For those who like the idea of Disney Springs not being crowded because people do not want to wear mask, I would bet if it stayed that way Disney would not survive. So be careful for what you wish for. Finally no matter how great your mask is, I can assure you, the heat will get to people wearing them and trying to keep them on kids, Good Luck!! This will not be fun no matter how much you try,

    Hope this policy does not last long. When it changes, I will be back.

  • Thank you Disney for putting in to place requirements that will protect your Cast Members, and guests. I know you all want to get back to work, and we all want to get back to visiting … but we have to do this right for the long term success. In order for this to be a successful opening, you have to enforce these requirements – or those guests who are not complying are putting everyone at risk. They are the ones who don’t understand asymptomatic. We don’t want to see things close again so please, have guests who do not comply leave property. There are some cool masks out there (our Star Wars ones are getting compliments) and even my child who is disabled has adjusted to wearing one.

    “A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” — Eeyore

  • I can’t believe some of the comments here about wearing masks…bottom line is, if you don’t wear one, you won’t be let in…if you can’t or don’t want to wear one, then stay home…I’ve been in for 9 weeks now, a senior but it’s folks like these that keep me home and not venturing out….
    It’s selfish you wouldn’t wear one for your fellow disney lovers….Life will not go back to where it was…you can’t just pick up where you left off…it’s a new world…and adapting to new things to keep people safe is a reality…..

  • Masks = NO WAY!

  • We are looking forward to Disneyworld opening the parks as well. We will be there in a minute. If proper social distancing is observed,wearing masks a prerogative, disinfecting high touch surface practiced, opening up the park will foster mental health balance . Being cooped up for a long time has detrimental outcomes. Essential and health care workers will appreciate some needed break. Safely opening the parks compliant with government and medical guidelines will benefit both the park goers and Disney as well

  • For anyone who wants to visit I want to advise you I’m not wearing a mask, I’m not sick, therefore if you don’t like that, stay home.

  • We are so happy to hear this! Thank you Disney company. And thank you for being concerned about health and safety! I am certain that you will handle things beautifully. As locals and annual passholders we hope that fewer crowds will allow us to enjoy things for a change without being pushed and shoved and exposed to illness. Some people forget that they have to share the world with others and it is not all about them. For those who don’t like masks, you can find someplace else to visit. You will not be missed!!!And by the way- simple logic – you take off the mask to eat!

  • Everyone asking how you wear a mask in the Central Florida heat obviously doesn’t live here, because we’re already doing it in crowded public spaces, and most of us are surviving. It’s a discomfort, not a death sentence.

    If you’re “unable to breathe” in your mask under any circumstances, your mask is failing to perform its most basic function. Toss your prized Etsy purchase in the garbage and make your own, or find one with more breathable materials. There is an internet full of articles and research about the best materials.

    Mask policies are to be expected of any company at this time, as it not only protects customers and employees, but also their liability. So, to those of you who somehow take offense to a company acting in the interest of those on property as well as shareholders, I strongly recommend that you look into subsistence farming until a treatment or vaccine is widely available; you’ll be unlikely to find businesses opening without similar restrictions.

    That said, I do think that Disney needs to address the potential moisture buildup that comes with an outdoor venue as large as Springs. A wet mask is virtually ineffective at curbing transmission, and people spend longer at Springs than most venues that have reopened. There, one can easily work up a sweat without a face covering. I really think that Disney should provide disposable masks, or even multiple reusable ones at no cost, to help prevent this.

  • Thank you, Disney for doing the right thing and keeping your cast members and guests safe!

  • Very grateful for this. Will definitely be nice to get out of the house. Already have several comfortable masks at the ready. I am seeing in the comments people’s disdain with the required masks. Until there is a vaccine AND a significant amount of people vaccinated, masks are part of our new normal. So if it keeps myself and people around me safe, I will gladly wear one. Also, for those saying “how do you eat with a mask?” And other complaints about it, use common sense for a second, Disney obviously knows you can’t eat with a mask on. To better understand how Disney is handling the mask situation, watch the video they put out with the Shanghai opening. They are being perfectly reasonable.

  • Disney should offer masks to guests free of charge when they enter the property if they are going to require guests to war masks. Guests will need to replace their masks after wearing them for a couple of hours in our Florida heat.

  • Will not be there unfortunately due to I would rather not pass out because of heat exhaustion & lack of oxygen due to wearing a mask in central Florida heat. Expected this of Disney but still very upsetting.

  • What is the point of reopening this location if Masks are going to be required? How do you enjoy yourself for several hours in the heat with a mask on? There would be no greater joy for me then to revisit Disneyworld and their many fine attractions, however, if face masks will be required I don’t see how anyone could fully enjoy the Disney experience. Since some restaurants will be open, how is it even feasible to where a mask to eat? If the mask is only required for walking outside, again, what is the point of being outside to get some fresh air and breath through a hot sweaty face cover.

  • I was excited to hear that Disney Springs is opening, but will visit other local restaurants and shops that aren’t requiring a mask. I’m not even sure how one would go out to eat with a mask. ? Could someone in charge explain that ?

  • This is great news! Very exciting!

    Could you forgo all guests from wearing masks, and leave it as optional?

    It would be impractical to eat at the restaurants with them, those who wear them will already be able to protect themselves anyways, the OC Mayor has not made it mandatory for everyone to wear them.

    Thank You!

  • We are very excited to hear about Disney Springs re-opening. Thank you for this information and thank you for safe guarding the health of your cast members and guests.

  • Very excited to see Disney returning.

  • This is amazing news! We have a DC scheduled for the end of sept and this gives me hope!

  • Thank you for doing this in a safe and responsible way! I’m happy to hear that people will be using masks. That way, everyone is safer as they experience the Disney Magic. It’s great that you’re giving these wonderful shops and restaurants a chance to open and us Floridians a chance to visit them again.

  • Can’t wait!! We are locals/passholders & are super excited to see this! Summer is the safest time, because cold & flu season wanes. We hope to have a great summer at Disney. We are cautiously optimistic.

  • What happens to Annual Pass holders?…are we getting a refund, or extensions?
    Michael- Ormond Beach, FL

  • We are set to arrive at Coronado Springs on June 8th. I’m trying to hold onto hope that the parks will be operational but this news of a “partial” reopening of DS, 2.5 weeks before our arrival, doesn’t offer much comfort. I just wish we knew the tentative dates for phase 2 because regardless of what happens during phase 2, if it’s after June 8th, I know to cancel our reservations and make some for the beach.

  • We are huge fans of Disney World and longtime DVC members. We had to reschedule our March trip to mid September and now we’re thinking about just writing off this year entirely. We’d have to fly and currently that is of zero interest due to virus concerns. Florida seems to be moving way to quickly to reopen things and we feel it’s going to backfire in a very negative way.

  • I am looking anxious to see how this goes. We will be at Boardwalk at the end of June and are hoping everything will be somewhat normal by then.

  • This seems way too soon.

  • Given the restrictions, the fact that bars and actual Disney stores won’t be open, and the international travel restrictions, and general disinterest in travel to begin with, I’m pretty sure it’s mostly going to just be Florida residents only. They’ll have no problem staying under 25 percent. I want to go but the relative lack of Disney presence makes me want to hold off.

  • Hooray! We miss going to Disney Springs. Glad there will be a limited opening. Thank you!

  • Welcome to the blog Mr. Matt!

  • I miss the Christmas store.

  • Seems like third party operating participants means none of the actual Disney stores, like WOD or the Pantry or Pin Traders.

  • Hmm. The rules say do this. The statistics say “Are you really sure about this?”

    I’m sure I want to go. But with as many access points as this venue has, I’m going to be really curious about how they’ll limit capacity to 25%.

    Still, this is a sign of some return to normalcy – like the first leaves of a new plant popping up.

  • Thank you for the update! My family and I are looking forward to visiting Walt Disney World again soon. It’s our favorite vacation spot 💕 Wishing you all the best in reopening!

  • I’m so excited to see this ! We look forward to going and experiencing the Disney Magic we all Cherish and love! Stay safe !

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