CityWalk at Universal Orlando began a phased reopening on May 14th, and we were there to report back.
There were a number of new health and safety measures implemented including temperature checks, limited hours, and social distancing protocols. Overall, we thought the reopening of CityWalk went pretty smoothly, but there were a few things that we hope NOT to see when Disney Springs begins its own phased reopening on May 20th.
Let’s check ’em out.
Use of Paper Menus Instead Of Digital Menus
When dining at Margaritaville, we were given disposable paper menus which our server informed us are thrown away after each use. This adheres to sanitary standards, but if this practice is maintained for long, it’s costing a TON of money and creating significant waste.
If we’re gonna go to the effort of implementing a new system, let’s do it in a sustainable, inexpensive, and even more sanitary way by using digital menus that can be scanned with your smartphone.
I imagine we’re going to be in this “new normal” for a while, so if restaurant guests get used to digital menus, it can be the wave of the future.
PLUS it will be WAY easier for restaurants to change their menus if they run out of a dish, highlighting a new special menu item, or offering a short-term discount (you know, to get rid of the stuff that’s NOT selling). Just changing the code on a website vs. re-printing hundreds of menus week after week? That could save SO MUCH MONEY, which is something restaurants definitely need to be thinking about right now.
Wine Bar George at Disney Springs has announced that they will be using digital menus upon reopening. And we recently visited Plancha Restaurant at Four Seasons Orlando, where guests could scan a QR code in order to view the menu.
We’re keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll see more digital menus at Disney Springs restaurants — and everywhere else — instead of disposable ones!
Limited To-Go Food Options
We also noticed there were few to-go food options at CityWalk. We were able to mobile order at Voodoo Doughnut and Red Oven Pizza Bakery, plus Auntie Ann’s Pretzels offered their standard grab-and-go service. But the carry out service at Margaritaville was unavailable — to order any food or drinks, we had to put in our name and wait for a table.
We would have liked to have had more to-go options so we could get a substantial meal to carry out with us instead of having to wait the 2.5 hours to dine-in!
Limited Access to Masks Outside of the Entrance
All guests are required to wear masks at CityWalk as part of the additional health and safety measures. And this same requirement will be implemented at Disney Springs. But we did find some confusion about the availability of masks outside of the CityWalk entrance in case a guest forgets theirs.
According to the Universal website, masks are available for sale outside of the entrance to CityWalk, but we weren’t able to find any there on our visit. There were plenty stocked at the Universal Studios Store, but since guests wouldn’t be able to get that far without a mask, that wouldn’t help in an emergency.
We hope that Disney Springs either offers masks for sale outside of the entrance or has a large stock of disposable masks for guests who may have forgotten theirs!
Overall, we were impressed with Universal’s handling of the CityWalk reopening. But, we did notice a few not-so-great processes that we hope Disney doesn’t replicate at Disney Springs!
What protocol do you want to see when Disney Springs reopens? Let us know in the comments!