Dis­ney Springs to re­open in phases

Stores and restau­rants to re­sume busi­ness be­gin­ning on May 20

Orlando Sentinel - - Front Page - By De­wayne Bevil

Walt Dis­ney World will be­gin its much-an­tic­i­pated re­open­ing on May 20 with a phased open­ing of Dis­ney Springs, its re­tail-restau­rant-en­ter­tain­ment com­plex, the com­pany an­nounced late Thurs­day af­ter­noon. The re­sort, in­clud­ing its theme parks, has been shut down since mid-March 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,” Matt Si­mon, vice pres­i­dent for Dis­ney Springs, wrote in a post on the of­fi­cial Dis­ney Parks Blog.

The rest of Dis­ney World — in­clud­ing the ho­tels, wa­ter parks and theme parks — will re­main shut­tered at that time, the post says.

Dis­ney did not spec­ify which busi­nesses would open 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,” Si­mon said.

There will be new lim­i­ta­tions at Dis­ney Springs on ca­pac­ity, hours of op­er­a­tion and park­ing, Si­mon wrote with­out giv­ing de­tails. He said more in­for­ma­tion would be re­leased closer to the May 20 re­open­ing date.

This re­open­ing step is sim­i­lar to the process used at Shang­hai Dis­ney­land, which re­opened its shop­ping district, which is dubbed Dis­ney­town, in early March. More of that re­sort is sched­uled to be open to the pub­lic start­ing Mon­day.

Dis­ney Springs, which was once known as Down­town Dis­ney, fea­tures a va­ri­ety of restau­rants and bars along­side na­tional and Dis­ney-owned re­tail out­lets and a movie the­ater. Last year, the NBA Experience opened in the West Side neigh­bor­hood of the com­plex, near the Cirque du Soleil the­ater. Cirque was sched­uled to de­but its new “Drawn to Life” pro­duc­tion there in April, but that was post­poned by the pan­demic. Email me at dbevil@or­lando sen­tinel.com. Want more theme park news? Sub­scribe to the Theme Park Rangers news­let­ter at or­lan­dosen­tinel.com/news­let­ters or the Theme Park Rangers pod­cast at or­lan­dosen­tinel

.com/ travel/at­trac­tions/theme -park-rangers-pod­cast.

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