Disney Springs opened its doors again on May 20, with 44 shops and restaurants ready to go. Slowly since then more and more of Disney is coming alive again, including the Disney Store! So let’s take a look around at what you can expect on your next trip to Disney Springs.
Entering Disney Springs
Once you make your way down Buena Vista Drive you are directed to park as normal in the Lime or Orange garage. After you park and make your way to one of the few entrances open you are greeted by an abundance of happy cast members welcoming you back. Following around in basically a circle path made for social distancing you are then presented signs of “COVID-19 WARNING” all over before you enter. These signs are just put up to make it abundantly clear Walt Disney World is doing everything they can to make it safe and clean to welcome you back and to do your part as well, they go into detail about risks of entering with certain underlying health conditions.
After you make your way to the front of the line, you are met by an Avenna health care worker who takes your temperature via an infared laser thermometer. These thermometers do not touch your head, they are held about two inches away from your forehead and take 3 seconds to respond.
Disney announced they are accepting all guests with temperatures under 100.3. If anyone in your party is over 100.3 no one will be allowed to enter. It’s highly recommended that you check your temperature at home BEFORE you leave for Disney as they WILL turn you away.
When I made my way around 9:30 am I found myself lost in the purest of Disney magic. I basically had the entire place to myself.
New Disney Springs Rules
Upon your return to Disney Springs, you will notice that they have implemented a number of new safety measures based on guidance from health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and appropriate government agencies. Here are the key changes you need to know about before you make a trip to Disney Springs.
- Parking and Entrances: During this initial phase, you will be directed to self-park in the Orange and Lime Garages. All surface lots will be closed. We will also reduce the number of entrances for Disney Springs to four locations: Orange and Lime Garages, along with the Hotel Plaza Boulevard pedestrian bridge and rideshare location.
- Appropriate Face Coverings: All guests 3 years of age and older, along with cast members and third-party operating-participant employees, will be required to wear an appropriate face covering while visiting Disney Springs. This is an important part of protecting both our guests and our cast. Please be sure you have an ample amount of face coverings for yourself and your party before you arrive, as you’ll need to wear them over your nose and mouth at all times (except when sitting at a dining table). You can buy some adorable Disney masks here and here.
- Temperature Screenings: Once you arrive at Disney Springs, you and your party will be required to undergo temperature screenings. Based on guidance from health authorities, anyone displaying a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will be directed to an additional location for rescreening and assistance; those who again measure 100.4 degrees or higher will not be allowed entry, nor will those in their party. I encourage you to check temperatures of yourself and your party prior to leaving home, as an extra layer of precaution.
- Physical Distancing and Capacity Measures: To maintain appropriate physical distancing throughout Disney Springs during this initial phase, we will limit the number of guests visiting the property, as well as within each location. In addition, ground markings will help promote proper distancing when queuing is necessary. We will also add physical barriers in select places where it’s difficult to maintain physical distancing.
- Cleanliness: We’ve increased cleaning and disinfection procedures in high-traffic areas such as elevators and escalators, handrails, benches, tables, handles, restrooms, and more. We will also have hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer available, and encourage you to use these frequently.
- Cashless Transactions: We’re recommending you use cashless payment options whenever possible during your visit to Disney Springs, including debit cards, credit cards, Disney gift cards, etc. You can also opt for contactless payment options or use cash to purchase a Disney gift card at the Welcome Center and select merchandise locations.
I’d say about 50% of the stores opened at 10 am and the other half opened at 11 am. All the stores located on property have three sticker-like warnings located on the ground reminding you of social distancing and helping create a line outside the store. I found that each store was able to operate differently when it came to customer count inside, payment methods, and restrictions.
This made shopping easy, the most I had to wait was 10 minutes outside the Pandora Jewelry store due to their strict protocols. Overall, I felt at home, shopping was not something to be worried about, I believe everyone knows generally how to conduct themselves, and stores are also doing a GREAT job at enforcing measures to keep us all safe.
Another fun note is to be sure to check out all the shops. Some of them like Vera Bradley have some new additions to their shop in our changing times. We spotted two face mask prints. Great price too at just $8.00 per face mask. Of course, they also stock up their fun Disney inspired prints for their bags and accessories in this store too!
List of Stores Open at Disney Springs
- The Art Corner by Artistic Talent Group
- Chapel Hats
- Columbia Sportswear
- Crystal Arts by Arribas Brothers
- Edward Beiner Purveyor of Fine Eyewear
- Free People
- Happy Hound
- Lucky Brand
- Luxury of Time by Diamonds International
- Pandora® Jewelry
- Pelé Soccer
- Pop Gallery
- Ron Jon Surf Shop®
- Royally Yours by Arribas Brothers
- Savannah Bee Company
- Sosa Family Cigars
- Sugarboo & Co.
- Vera Bradley
Like most places around the world right now, dining rooms are slowly opening, Florida is at a 50% capacity including workers. On this trip I chose to stop in at Blaze for lunch. It seemed like they spaced out the tables pretty well. On every other table they had two signs exclaiming that no one may sit here to keep 6 feet away from others.
Also after you ordered they gave you a tiny cute paper bag with the Blaze logo to put your mask in while you ate. One more amazing thing they did was instead of letting you get refills with cups that touched your mouth they provided new cups for people needing refills. I do know a lot of places around Disney Springs are keeping with this idea and just creating enough distance between two parties to let the guests best enjoy their visit.
List of Dining Open at Disney Springs
- 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck
- Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza
- The BOATHOUSE®
- Chicken Guy!
- Earl of Sandwich®
- Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC
- Frontera Cocina
- Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company®
- Paradiso 37 Entertainment
- Planet Hollywood
- The Polite Pig
- STK Orlando
- Sunshine Churros at Disney Springs Marketplace
- Sunshine Churros at Disney Springs West Side
- Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill
- Wine Bar George – A Restaurant & Bar
- YeSake Kiosk
Overall Conclusion on New Changes
As my day progressed I saw a good amount of negativity surrounding the idea of visiting Disney Springs. In my personal opinion, you can 110% go to Disney Springs and be completely confident you are in a safe environment. I believe the changes and actions taken by the Disney Company are some of the best things that have come out of the Coronavirus. We all strive to protect ourselves from any germs whenever we visit Walt Disney World, while the marks are not the “best” or most comfortable things in the world they are more than likely going to be the new normal around Walt Disney World for a while.
I have been visiting the parks annually since my parents first brought me at just a year old. Recently I was able to fulfill my life long dream of being a Florida local and moved from the wintery Northeast to the sunshine and fun of central Florida. Now I am hoping to share my Disney knowledge with you so you can have the best vacation possible!