• Disney Springs reopens with only 44 subcontracted shops allowed to operate
  • Face masks, temperature checking, and physical distancing norms to be followed
  • No definite date yet when the theme parks will reopen

Disney reopens part of its Florida complex Wednesday (May 20) amid the coronavirus pandemic, imposing new rules for public health and safety.

Disney Springs is a large shopping, dining, and entertainment complex located on the eastern side of Orlando, Florida.

Few days before the opening, Disney posted a blunt disclaimer to would-be guests. The company has made it clear that "enhanced health and safety measures" will be of utmost importance. The disclaimer also warned "By visiting Walt Disney World Resort, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19," per Hollywood Reporter.

"An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death," reads another disclaimer on the Disney World website.

Only 44 subcontracted shops will be allowed to operate during the reopening. More restaurants and concessionaires are expected to reopen in the coming weeks.

Safety protocols such as temperature checks, physical distancing, wearing of face masks for anyone age 3 and older, and cash payments will also be imposed upon reopening.

According to a USA Today report, Matt Simon, vice president of Disney Spring wrote in a post on the Disney Parks Blog Saturday that "While our theme parks and resort hotels remain temporarily closed, the phased reopening of Disney Springs is a welcome milestone as we navigate through this unprecedented time together as responsibly as we can."

However, some Disney fans opposed the reopening decision as the restrictions released by the company do not keep anyone safe, an Instagram user said in a reply to a post per Washington Post.

Disney Springs' first phase reopening key protocols include limited parking spaces and reduced entrances; temporary operation modification which includes reduced hours select locations and no scheduled entertainment offerings or high-touch interactive areas; and increased focus on disinfecting and sanitation.

The company will also provide handwashing stations and hand sanitizers in key areas.

So far, Disney has not yet announced when theme parks will reopen, but Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Friday (May 15) gave Disney and Universal Orlando the green light to submit their reopening plans, which would include a date.

Shanghai Disneyland went back to operation last week after being closed since late January because of the virus outbreak. The park opened with limited attendance, temperature checks, mask requirement, and other health safety protocols.

Disney Springs
Disney Springs reopens Wednesday (May 20) with new set of rules of public health and safety. Nick Bayes / Flickr