Disney World news: Disney Springs reopens in Florida

Forrest Brown, CNNUpdated 21st May 2020
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 23:  Disney Springs shopping areas remain closed to the public due to the Coronavirus threat on March 23, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. The United States has surpassed 43,000 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the death toll climbed to at least 514. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images)
(CNN) — While rides on Space Mountain and the Mad Tea Party are still on hold for now, Walt Disney World Resort's shopping, dining and entertainment complex, Disney Springs, began a phased reopening Wednesday.
It's an encouraging first step for Disney fans who are counting the days for the resort to fully reopen after shutting down in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday, numerous third-party shops not directly connected with Disney opened their doors. The complex will be open until 10 p.m. Not all stores and restaurants in the complex will be open, and they might have adjusted their usual hours of operation.
On May 27, Disney-owned shops such the World of Disney are scheduled to reopen.
Here's a brief Q&A guide to what you need to know:

What kinds of places will be open?

A sign near one of the entrances to Disney Springs is seen May 18, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
A sign near one of the entrances to Disney Springs is seen May 18, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
John Raoux/AP
In the restaurant realm, Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza, Chicken Guy!, Planet Hollywood and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill are some of the eateries set to open.
Have an itch to shop? Vera Bradley, Sugarboo & Co. and Happy Hound are among the offerings.
There's no plan to open standalone bars at this time. And entertainment venues such as the NBA Experience will not be reopened yet.
Click here and scroll to the bottom for the full list of shops, and you'll need to contact each store for its specific operating hours.

What can I expect when I arrive?

In the early phase of reopening, you'll be directed to self-park in the Orange and Lime garages. All other parking will be closed. Once these parking garages are full, the complex will be considered at capacity, Disney Springs said. Parking is free, and there's no admission fee to enter the Disney Springs complex.
Guests will also have their temperatures checked. If you register above 100.4 F, you will not be allowed to enter nor will members of your party.
Employees will be screened as well.

What about masks and face coverings?

All guests 3 and older and as well workers are required to wear an appropriate face covering.
Guests need to supply their own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining, Disney Springs said.
No mask or face covering? No entry.

What other protective measures are being taken?

Before the coronavirus pandemic, visitors walk past Coach and MAC stores at Disney Springs in October 2019.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, visitors walk past Coach and MAC stores at Disney Springs in October 2019.
Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP
You'll see many of the protective measures being used in other places opening up:
-- Cashless transactions: Guests will be highly encouraged to use credit cards, debit cards, Disney Gift Cards and mobile pay apps.
-- Signs and ground markings: They'll be visibly placed throughout Disney Springs to help visitors maintain social distancing.
-- Hand sanitizing and cleanings: Watch for numerous hand-sanitizing stations throughout the complex. Disney says there will be frequent "cleaning and disinfection in high-traffic areas such as public elevators and escalators, handrails, benches, tables, handles [and] restrooms."

What's this about a Covid-19 warning?

On its website, Disney Springs is issuing a health warning to visitors that it's not responsible if you get an infection during your visit:
"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.
"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), senior citizens and Guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.
"By visiting Disney Springs you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19."

Have any similar complexes opened back up?

Yes. Universal Orlando's CityWalk, which also features eateries, shops and entertainment spots, has recently reopened.
Its theme parks and hotels are set to be closed through the end of May at least.
It has implemented a similar set of safety precautions that Disney Springs is putting into place.

When will the rest of the Walt Disney World Resort reopen?

Ah, that's the question on everyone's minds. And Disney isn't saying at the moment.
Shanghai Disneyland in China made a cautious, phased reopening on May 11, but local and regional conditions and regulations dictate when individual parks might reopen.
Intriguingly, Walt Disney World Resort is taking reservations for travel July 1 and afterward. The park's website provides no further details.