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Disney will begin a phased reopening on May 20. Third party establishments will begin to open with restrictions following an extended closure due to Covid-19. Last week, Disney announced that Disney owned establishments will open on May 27 as the second phase of the reopening.
In a Disney Parks Blog post this weekend, titled, “Welcome Back! Here’s what you need to know about the phased reopening of Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort,” the complex’s vice president Matt Simon said, “rest assured, there is plenty of magic awaiting you at Disney Springs – it just may feel a bit different than before.”
Disney Springs will look and operate differently for a while as this reopening beings. Only two parking garages will be openend, orange and lime. All surface parking lots will be closed. There will be only four entrances to Disney Springs that are open; the Orange and Lime Garages, the Hotel Plaza Boulevard pedestrian bridge and the ride-share location.
ALL guests 3 years of age and up, cast members and third-party employees “will be required to wear an approptiate face covering while visiting Disney Springs.” This requirement will be in place for all guests except when sitting at a dining table. All guests will be also temperature screened upon entry to Disney Springs, any guest with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will be denied entry and any guests that they are with will also be denied entry.
Let’s get this out of the way quickly before we move on. (Disclaimer, this post does not in any way, reflect the personal views of For Love of the Mouse. We are simply relaying facts to better inform those looking to visit Disney property.)
Disney has the right to deny service or entry to anyone as Disney property is private property and Disney has the right of refusal to anyone. That means that Disney has every right to protect the patrons and their castmembers by refusing to serve or refusing entry to anyone not complying with their regulations.
Furthermore, yes, there was a law in the state of Florida prohibiting people from wearing masks. That law stated,
“No person or persons over 16 years of age shall, while wearing any mask, hood, or device whereby any portion of the face is so hidden, concealed, or covered as to conceal the identity of the wearer, enter upon, or be or appear upon any lane, walk, alley, street, road, highway, or other public way in this state.”
However, decades later in 2011, a new law was passed that amended the above statue. Florida statute 876.155. The law now states that the previous statutes only apply to people who are wearing masks with the intent to intimidate others, deprive others of their civil rights or commit a crime. So, citing the Florida Statute 876.12 will not get you out of the mask requirement that is in effect.
In addition, those claiming that it is discrimination to require a mask even for those who claim they have a condition that does not allow them to wear a mask; state and local officials have the right to enforce rules in a health emergency, which this has been deemed. What that means is that if you cannot or will not comply with the rules put in place to protect the safety of the masses, you can be denied entry and action can be taken by law enforcement to remove you from the property for refusal of compliance.
If a business states that a mask is required for entry, that business has the right to refuse entry or service if that requirement is not followed and they reserve the right to deny you service and have you removed from their property regardless of your reason for not complying and without fear of retribution.
In addition, Disney Springs is likely being used as a test for reopening procedures for the much larger theme parks. If there is a large group of people refusing to comply or making a scene regarding the regulations, reopening of the theme parks could take longer and even more strict procedures and policies could be put in place for the theme parks and resorts in order for Disney to ensure safety and decrease their own liability.
Along the lines of liability, Disney released a statement that removes them from responsibility should guests who choose to visit their property become ill. “An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death,” reads a disclaimer on the Disney World website. “By visiting Walt Disney World Resort, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.”
So yes, masks are required and yes, Disney can enforce it and, if you become ill with COVID-19 following a visit to Disney property, that is not the fault or responsibilty of The Walt Disney company.
Further precautions were put in place that would limit the number of guests on property to help with social distancing. Social distancing will be further encouraged by markings and physical barriers. They’ve increased their cleaning and disinfecting procedures and are encouraging cashless transactions.
Disney owned businesses will open on May 27 with the same regulations and procedures in place.
On Friday, May 15, Florida Governor DeSantis announced that theme parks could begin submitting their reopening plans for theme parks. It’s happening friends, slowly but surely, with a lot of shared responsibility, patience and acceptance of these changes, the world will start to get to normal… and that includes Disney World.
“Today’s world is different, and it’s going to require a shared responsibility, with everyone doing their part.” Matt Simon said in his blog post.
Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.
(Source: Disney Parks Blog)