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Face masks and temperature checks are in and cash payments are out when Walt Disney World begins the first phase of its comeback plan Wednesday with the partial reopening of Disney Springs, the large shopping, dining and entertainment complex located on the eastern side of the Orlando, Florida, park.

"While our theme parks and resort hotels remain temporarily closed, the phased reopening of Disney Springs is a welcome milestone as we navigate through this unprecedented time together as responsibly as we can," Matt Simon, vice president of Disney Spring wrote in a post on the Disney Parks Blog Saturday. 

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"Rest assured, there is plenty of magic awaiting you at Disney Springs – it just may feel a bit different than before," Simon wrote.

Disney is implementing new health and safety precautions as coronavirus continues to spread around the world, having infected nearly 1.5 million people across the U.S. killing more than 88,200 people according to Johns Hopkins data.

As the park reopens, it will institute the new policies in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health authorities and government agencies.

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The changes include:

  • Face masks: All visitors, employees and cast members over the age of 3 will be required to wear a "face covering" of some sort at all times except when dining.
  • Temperature screenings: All visitors' temperatures will be taken upon arrival. Any person that has a temperature of 100.4℉ or higher will be retested in an additional facility if their temp is at or higher than 100.4 twice, they will not be allowed in and neither will their group.
  • Physical distancing and capacity control: Disney will limit the number of people allowed in and in certain areas- there will be markings for lines and other additions to ensure social distancing is upheld.
  • Cleanliness: Disney is making an effort to add more disinfection as they take care of their facilities. They also have hand washing and sanitation stations which they encourage visitors to use.
  • Cashless transactions: Disney is discouraging the use of cash.
  • Parking garages and entrances: In the first phase of reopening visitors will be directed to park in two garages: the orange garage and the lime garage- all surface lots will be closed and entrances will be limited.

Simon noted that as time goes on, the measures they take at Disney Springs may change as circumstances evolve over time.

"We want to deliver all the Disney magic you know and love with safety, as always, our top priority," he said. 

The next phase begins a week later on Wednesday, May 27, with the reopening of three Disney owned and operated locations: D-Luxe Burger (for mobile orders), World of Disney and the Marketplace Co-Op. 

During Disney's first-quarter earnings call on May 5, CEO Bob Chapek wasn't ready to speculate as to when the rest of Walt Disney World might reopen. Instead, he announced the the reopening of the company's first park since the pandemic began: Shanghai Disney Resort. The Chinese park, which had been closed since late January, reopened to a sold-out – albeit lower-capacity crowd Monday.

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