The first taste of Walt Disney World’s post-coronavirus reopening will come at Disney Springs in Florida, where “a limited number of shopping and dining experiences” will begin to return to service on May 20.
Disney Springs Vice President Matt Simon made the announcement on the company’s blog Thursday.
“Disney Springs will begin to reopen in a way that incorporates enhanced safety measures,” he wrote.
Those measures will include enhanced cleaning, face coverings for employees and guests, “limited-contact guest services” and more safety training. The company will also place new limits on capacity, parking and operating hours.
The initial step will involve third-party operators at Disney Springs, according to Simon. The rest of the Walt Disney World Resort, including the theme park and hotels, will still be closed at that time.
“Given this unprecedented situation, we appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we navigate through this process as responsibly as we can,” Simon wrote.
In a separate post on the Disney Parks Blog, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pamela Hymel explained in further detail some of the new safety measures the company would implement during its gradual reopening.
She said the company had added hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations to its resorts and is preparing for increased disinfection and cleaning. Disney is also following guidance from the government and medical experts regarding the screening of visitors and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Earlier this week, Shanghai Disneyland announced it would reopen on Monday, also implementing health precautions such as face masks and limits on guest density. Sticking to the company’s plan for a phased reopening, Shanghai also began with its nearby shopping center, dubbed Disneytown, in March.
“We continue to learn from these experiences and will carry these lessons into reopening and beyond,” Dr. Hymel wrote.
Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida temporarily closed on March 14 and 15, respectively, in response to the growing coronavirus outbreak in the United States. Their closures followed those of Disney’s parks in Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Disney executives on Tuesday also estimated that, so far, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Parks, Experiences and Product segment of its operations lost out on $1 billion in revenue, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Fox News’ Michael Hollan and Michael Bartiromo contributed to this report.