Florida’s Disney Springs will reopen on May 20, but the rest of the Orlando resort will remain closed.
The first wave of Walt Disney World employees will be back at the park on Saturday to get a portion of the Florida resort ready for its partial reopening on May 20.
“Some are anxious to get back…
…because the unemployment system [in Florida] is completely broken,” said Eric Clinton, president of UNITE HERE, Local 362
On May 20, only sub-contracted shops will be open in the Disney Springs shopping and dining complex.
The next phase will start seven days later
Disney retail shops, such as World of Disney Store, and Disney eateries reopen. Disney is treating the safety of both guests and employees with the utmost seriousness.
All guests and employees will be required to wear masks.
Disney will provide employees with three washable masks. Guests will have their temperatures checked, and plexiglass dividers have been installed at registers. Guests will swipe their own payments cards, as they will no longer be handled by employees. And custodians will be retrained for high-touch areas.
Also, park employees will do self-assessments at home for symptoms of the virus before their shift, the company providing thermometers. No discipline will take place if employees miss work due to possible illness.
Any park employee who contracts the virus will be paid up to two weeks to quarantine, Clinton said.
Monday’s reopening of Shanghai Disneyland Park, “what you see there is a lot of what you’ll see here.” The sprawling China park requires all guests and staff wear masks, has line queues and rides marked for one-meter social distancing and is allowing far fewer guests daily (below 24,000) than the maximum capacity, which is 80,000.
Disney has also developed new global training for park employees to inform them about health and safety amid the pandemic, Clinton said.
For now, there have been no announcements about any part of Disneyland in Anaheim reopening. Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Chapek on Monday said it was still unsure when the domestic parks would reopen, as the decision would rely on state and local restrictions being lifted.
“We want to open up as soon as we can across the world…
…but we are going to do so in a responsible way,” said the exec. “We want to get our cast back to work as soon as possible.”
NBCUniversal announced that Universal Studios Orlando would partially reopen later this week. The Florida destination, along with the Hollywood theme park, has, like Disney, been shuttered since mid-March.
The CityWalk portion will reopen on Thursday, with select venues operating from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily. There, all visitors will be required to wear masks and are subject to temperature checks, the company said. The Universal Studios park and Islands of Adventure will remain closed at least through May 31. Universal Studios Hollywood is also closed through that time.