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When a small portion of Walt Disney World opened on Wednesday morning, within minutes there were lines.
The Disney Springs shopping and dining complex opened at 10 a.m. ET, and businesses had customers waiting shortly thereafter, according to photos and videos posted to social media.
Days ago, Disney issued a blunt warning that would-be guests assume all risk visiting Disney Springs amid the pandemic. It appears that did not deter customers.
Walt Disney World and Disneyland have been closed since mid-March. Disney Springs is the first portion of either destination to once again welcome guests but with strict measures in place, such as a mask and temperature check requirement.
For now, only subcontracted shops will be open in the Disney Springs complex. The next phase will start seven days later when Disney retail shops, such as World of Disney Store, and Disney eateries reopen.
As for the rest of the resort, namely the theme park, it remains unclear when that might reopen, but the ball is likely rolling, as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday gave Disney and Universal Orlando the green light to submit their reopening plans, which would include a date.
“We want to open up as soon as we can across the world, but we are going to do so in a responsible way,” Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Chapek said last week during an earnings call. “We want to get our cast back to work as soon as possible.”
Line for Joffrey’s!! One of the only places open now!! #WaltDisneyWorld #DisneyWorld #DisneySprings #Disney #Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/G4CrfvpK25
— Geo Z (@GeoZaroff) May 20, 2020
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