Last week Universal Studios CityWalk reopened with new health and safety procedures in place.
Now, Disney Springs is officially reopening. And we’re here live to report on all of the restaurant, retail, and new procedures.
We will be updating this post throughout the day, so be sure to check back for new information and details. And if you have any questions about the opening of Disney Springs or the new procedures, please let us know and we will do our best to pass the information along.
Today, select third-party locations are opening. You can see a complete list of the restaurants opening today — here. And you can check out the full list of retail locations reopening today — here.
It is important to note that Disney-owned locations will be opening May 27th. You can read all of the details about those locations — here. We will be reporting live from Disney Springs that day as well, so be sure to check the blog for all the need-to-know news.
Now, let’s get into the reopening of Disney Springs!
Guests are able to self-park in the Orange and Lime garages and all surface parking lots are closed at this time. Valet parking is unavailable at this time as well.
This morning we were told that Orange garage would be filled first. When we arrived it was self-park, meaning we weren’t directed by a Cast Member and we could park anywhere.
Cast Members with mics were waiving and welcoming us back.
Markers are located throughout the garage to remind people to stay 6ft apart.
Warning signs are spread out throughout the garage as well.
Hand sanitizer locations are also available throughout the garage.
Due to capacity restrictions at Disney Springs, once the parking garages are full, guests will no longer be able to park and visit Disney Springs. This includes guests who have booked a dining reservation. If a guest is unable to make their reservation because Disney Springs is closed due to capacity, the dining guarantee charge will be waived.
Rideshare drop-offs are allowed and take place in the Marketplace lot.
Masks and Temperature Checks
When guests arrive at Disney Springs, they undergo a temperature check at one of the four open entrances. Temperatures are being checked at 4 locations: Orange and Lime garages, along with the Hotel Plaza Boulevard Pedestrian Bridge and the rideshare location.
Markers have been placed on the ground to assist with social distancing.
Advent Health employees use a touchless forehead thermometer for each guest. If you are wearing a hat, you will be asked to remove it.
Those with a temperature above 100.4 F or above are directed to an additional location (which is a large white tent) for rescreening and assistance. Guests can go here to sit and cool off. After cooling off, they can try to screen their temp one more time. After the additional screening, those with a temp that is still 100.4 F or higher will not be allowed into Disney Springs and their party is not allowed entry either.
These temperature checks are required for anyone going to Disney Springs, including guests, Cast Members, vendors, and other employees.
Face coverings are required for everyone (except for guests 2 and under). The only time guests are permitted to remove their face coverings is when they are dining. [Editor’s UPDATE: As of May 28th Disney has updated their mask policy; this post now reflects the current policy that face coverings will be required for all Guests ages 2 and up.]
If you want to learn more about the health measures being taken in Disney Springs, click here.
Entering/ Walking Around Disney Springs
There were a few guests, but crowds this morning have been pretty low.
The official Springs hours are 10AM – 10PM for the time being.
Handwash stations, like the ones that had been placed throughout the parks and hotels before the closures are readily available around Disney Springs.
And although yesterday it was reported that water fountains would be turned off today, these were still functioning.
In fact, we found multiple working water fountains around Disney Springs.
Additional signage and hand sanitizer locations can be found around Springs.
A few public areas remain closed for the time being like the Carousel.
The train is also currently closed.
We noticed some bridges were marked with one-way arrows on the ground to direct traffic flow.
This even continued on some narrower walkways.
The wider bridge in the Marketplace was not marked with arrows.
Stroller and Wheelchair rentals were closed on reopening day, but plexiglass barriers have been installed.
We spotted Mickey Balloons! These cuties are once again being sold in Disney Springs.
Click here to learn more about the Mickey Balloons in Disney Springs today!
The Disney Ambassadors were on hand today greeting guests!
And Guest Relations Cast Members were available to answer questions or provide assistance.
We asked if masks were being sold anywhere for guests like we saw at Universal. So far, the only spot we’ve heard is carrying masks is Vera Bradley.
They’re $8 each. You can learn more here!
Click here to see more of our coverage on masks in Disney Springs
Signs reminding people to keep their distance are located outside of the restrooms.
Inside we found no additional signage.
At another restroom, we found plenty of stickers indicating where to stand when waiting for the restroom.
Inside, we found no new signage in this location as well. Note that soap pumps are not touch-free.
Hand drying options are paper towels or Dyson hand dryers.
Quick Service Dining Locations
We noticed many dining locations around Disney Springs were displaying their sanitization certification.
And all locations that were open had some form of distancing identifiers on the ground to remind guests to maintain 6 feet of space.
Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC and Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza were utilizing colored tape to instruct guests where to stand.
A couple of locations that weren’t yet open, like House of Blues and The Smokehouse, displayed signs assuring guests they’d be back soon.
Let’s take a look at a few locations we visited today to see how they were doing on this first day back.
Starbucks is open and cranking out drinks for customers.
Note that while they’re still selling reusable cups, they’re not refilling guests’ reusable cups at this time.
Standard payments are accepted or touchless payment is available by downloading the Starbucks app. Once you place your order, you’ll step away from the counter and a barista will bring your drink to you.
We even tried their new “Welcome Back” drink! Click here for the review!
Want to see more of our experience back at Starbucks? Click here!
Meanwhile, over at Joffrey’s, we learned guests are allowed to walk around with their food or drinks in Disney Springs.
We were also told that guests are asked to keep their masks on at all times, but may lower them to take a bite or sip, then recover their faces.
Inside, guests are asked to remain one family per coffee bean marker on the ground.
Employees were on hand to ensure customers were following their distancing guidelines.
Click here to see more of our experience at Joffrey’s!
There has been a line at Chicken Guy! most of the times we’ve walked past today! We popped in for a milkshake to go and noted that plexiglass barriers have been installed and soft drinks are no longer self-serve.
An employee is roped off in the area to fill cups for guests. We saw this same thing over at Earl of Sandwich.
Check out our full look at Chicken Guy! here
The Polite Pig
Speaking of The Polite Pig, we checked out their new procedures as well. We noticed lots of plexiglass barriers at the ordering area.
And the self-serve Sauce Bar was roped off and unavailable to guests!
And if you happen to go looking for the Disney Springs food trucks, they weren’t in their normal home.
But we did find still find the 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck in its usual spot over near World of Disney! You now place your order at a table in front of the truck rather than walk right up to it.
Click here to see more about our experience at 4 Rivers Cantina’s Food truck!
We spotted some of the pop-up cocktail carts around Disney Springs today with distancing markers in front of them. These were still closed.
We pulled together a list of where you CAN get a drink to-go you can check out right here!
Click here to see where you can get a drink in Disney Springs right now
We’ve compiled all of our experiences at quick-service locations today in one spot! Click the link below!
For more coverage of the fast-food spots in Disney Springs, click here
Table Service Dining Locations
We grabbed a quick bite at Rick Bayless’ Frontera Cocina. This location is using disposable menus with the option to view a menu via a QR Code.
Our food and drinks were served on real plates and glassware. Hand sanitizer was provided at the entrance.
Click here for our full review of Frontera Cocina
We popped over to The BOATHOUSE to see how things were going there. Signage is up asking guests to wear their masks at all times, aside from when seated at their table.
When our food was delivered, our runner informed us they change their gloves after serving each table. The BOATHOUSE is also using disposable dated menus that are changed out each day.
Our items were served on real plates and glasses and we were given metal cutlery and cloth napkins. Later in the day, The Boathouse opened up a pop-up bar outside as well, serving to-go drinks.
Click here for our full review of The BOATHOUSE on opening day!
Wine Bar George
We had a special celebrity appearance at Wine Bar George — George Miliotes himself! The namesake of the restaurant was on hand greeting guests.
We ordered a favorite here — the Saganaki on Fire (FIRE CHEESE!) to see how that would be prepared tableside. It was the same cheese we’ve enjoyed in the past, and our server did light it tableside with gloves on.
The only change to the presentation was we were asked to squeeze our own lemon on top instead of our server.
Click here to see our full review of Wine Bar George (and more Fire Cheese!)
We had a quick bite dining outside at STK Orlando today as well. Guests can only dine outside at this time. This spot is also using paper disposable menus.
They also had a new form of payment — when you’re ready to checkout you’re given your own credit card scanner book to complete your payment.
Employees were gloved when serving food here and changed their gloves after each table was served as well.
Check out our meal at newly reopened STK here!
Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill
We stopped by Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill for some incredible Bruschetta.
This location had markers on tables letting guests and employees know that those tables were unavailable to maintain distancing. We also spotted employees sanitizing the tables as well.
Want to see our full coverage of ALL the table service restaurants we explored today? Click the link below.
Click here to see our full review of Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill and their to-go counter too!
To see our full coverage of the table-service locations we visited in Disney Springs today, click the link below.
Click here to see our full coverage of dining at table-service restaurants n Disney Springs
Most retail locations with multiple entrances have a dedicated entrance and exit door. The exits are marked on the ground outside like we spotted at the Ugg Store.
The entrance is around the corner with distancing markers placed along the ground.
Every store we’ve encountered has had some form of social distancing stickers on the ground indicating where guests should stand.
Over at the Lego Store, we spotted the photo op still available to guests.
Some stores, like Ron Jon Surf Shop, are not accepting cash payments currently.
Arribas Brothers has signs on display inside asking guests to limit contact with merchandise.
For a full look at all of the open retail locations in Disney Springs, click here
World of Disney
Though World of Disney won’t be opening until next week, they have added a significant amount of stickers on the ground outside the store to prepare for accepting guests.
While most locations seem to be using stickers indicating where guests should stand, these are meant to show where NOT to stand.
We were curious to see if Basin would still allow guests to sample products (one of the big appeals of the store!) when they reopened. We can now answer YES, you can still test out many of the products.
The sinks in the store are touchless and disposable sticks are used per guest to scoop up a sample.
Basin also had packs of hand sanitizer on sale.
This is the first sanitizer available for purchase we’ve encountered at Disney Springs, though the Purell dispensers are readily available as you walk around.
Click here for our full look at the newly reopened Basin!
As we said earlier, we will be updating this post throughout the day, so be sure to check back for more information.
Oh boy, planning a Disney trip can be quite the adventure, and we totally get it! But fear not, dear friends, we compiled EVERYTHING you need (and the things to avoid!) to plan the ULTIMATE Disney vacation. Whether you're a rookie or a seasoned pro, our insider tips and tricks will have you exploring the parks like never before. So come along with us, and get planning your most magical vacation ever! Save 25% on the 2023 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining with code WDW2023.
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WE KNOW DISNEY.
YOU CAN, TOO.
Oh boy, planning a Disney trip can be quite the adventure, and we totally get it! But fear not, dear friends, we compiled EVERYTHING you need (and the things to avoid!) to plan the ULTIMATE Disney vacation.
Whether you're a rookie or a seasoned pro, our insider tips and tricks will have you exploring the parks like never before. So come along with us, and get planning your most magical vacation ever!
Save 25% on the 2023 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining with code WDW2023.
Are you planning to visit Disney Springs soon? Let us know in the comments below.
I think this is all AWESOME – if everyone/all businesses followed these types of precautions, I’d feel much more comfortable upon reopening the world! Great job, DFB team. Stay safe and healthy.
Wow. This looks like a miserable experience. I can’t believe anyone would subject themselves to this madness to shop and dine out. Wait until the Orlando heat and humidity kick in.
Steven S in NJ says
I remember the first time I went to Florida when indoor smoking was banned. I’m not a smoker, but going to a night club in Orlando and not walking around a cloud of toxic tobacco smoke made that experience so much better. We had a great time and didn’t come back to our hotel smelling like a chimney. Living in NJ, we were used to smoke-free dining and bars. What’s this have to do with Disney Springs’ reopening? People at Disney Springs today were most likely locals, who visit there often. By the time I arrive in Orlando in October, the locals will be used to this (if it’s still the new normal). Living in NJ, we are used to this “new normal” as my state was the 2nd hardest hit with COVID-19 in the nation, so we’re used to social distancing, wearing masks in public, and washing our hands 30 times/day. We’ll have more fun on vacation because we’ll be used to these new procedures in place and less resistant to all of this.
Jodi W says
WOW this is all a germaphobe’s dream (like me!)…while it looks so empty right now, I just wonder how it will be when they allow more guests in as more opens. I just can’t see many people following some of the 6 ft apart decals, etc after a while, however I am hoping they will (they certainly don’t at our local grocery stores (in Central FL!)) Yes, hot, hot, hot with a mask on all day especially in 95 degree weather. Hope there’s lots of health officials on standby to help people who have heat stroke because of overheating with a mask on. Other than that, I love the all the sanitizer everywhere and would love if people really would follow the 6ft apart rule because it’s always been the total opposite with no personal space whatsoever all over the parks and the Springs. I would love being able to navigate Disney without having to “dodge” people all day long, but we’ll see how this goes in the long run…
Great news! Can’t wait to redo or originally planned March vacation in Oct. Thanks for preparing us for what might still be in place then.