World of Disney reopened on Wednesday at Disney Springs. The shopping location was the first Disney-owned store to reopen at Walt Disney World since the parks closed back in mid-March. The reopening of World of Disney is part of a methodical, phased reopening of Disney-owned locations at Disney Springs, which opened just over a week ago.
Disney is hoping to bring the learnings of Disney Springs into the theme parks when they reopen on July 11th. We took a tour of Disney Springs earlier today to find low crowds and plenty of space on the second day of operation. Here are some of the modified operations that we observed that will likely become implemented at the parks.
Limited Capacity/Virtual Queue
The large crowds seen on day one of World of Disney reopening were likely an anomaly judging by what we’ve seen so far. We already know that Disney will be significantly limiting capacity to the theme parks when they reopen, but it’s possible that they could also limit capacity to some of the popular shops like The Emporium or MouseGear too during high traffic times or new product releases.
This morning, we were asked to join a virtual queue for World of Disney, but that proved to be unnecessary as we received a notification to enter the store just two minutes after signing up. We returned again around noon to find that they still didn’t reach any capacity limits, which we were told was 300 guests today.
In our experience, it was incredibly easy to social distance while inside.
In the parks, we can expect the use of virtual queues to be significant, possibly even at some of the stores. If that’s the case, the process was as easy as providing a name and phone number to get a text to return.
World of Disney is currently only using one entrance right now, with the rest of the doorways marked as exits. If there are capacity restrictions put in place for individual shops, we can expect to see this in place in the parks.
Socially Distanced Checkout
It’s a near certainty that we’ll see social distancing in place at every transaction point in the theme parks. At Disney Springs, Disney has marked where it is safe to stand. They’ve also spaced the switchback queue to leave an empty row between rows used by guests.
At the point of transaction, Disney has installed large plexiglass barriers to add a layer of safety.
Just like the spacing in the queue, every other register is in use, leaving space between transaction spaces.
Disney is also encouraging the use of cashless payment systems.
There is plenty of signage around World of Disney reminding guests to social distance while shopping. One sign that we really liked was the one encouraging guests not to touch everything unless you plan on buying it.
No Fitting Room
Finally, we noticed that the fitting room was closed. Not many shopping locations have fitting rooms in the park, so this probably isn’t too big of a deal.
Overall, our experience today was beyond pleasant and the reported 6-hour wait to enter World of Disney yesterday seemed to be an anomaly. We anticipate seeing all of these safety measures implemented in the parks when they reopen.
As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com for the latest Disney Parks news and photos. We’ll continue to bring you news and photos, where possible, through the Disney Parks closure due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and will resume our normal coverage once the parks reopen to guests on July 11th!