Disney Has A Blunt Message For People Choosing To Visit Walt Disney World

Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World

In a couple of days Walt Disney World will begin its first step toward reopening when the first locations inside the Disney Springs marketplace will be able to open for business. There will, as one might expect, be some significant new safety procedures in place so that guests will at limited risk of infecting others. Social distancing will be in place, temperatures checks will be done upon entry to the area, and masks are required not only for the employees working the area but for all guests while they are inside it.

While Walt Disney World may be doing whatever is possible to make the experience safer for the limited number of guests who will be able to visit Disney Springs, that's not the same thing as the experience being completely safe, and Disney certainly isn't sugarcoating the situation. A statement on the resort's website spells it out, showing up to Walt Disney World could still lead to exposure, and that's on you...

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...By visiting Walt Disney World World Resort, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.

Walt Disney World is supposed to be a place where reality fades away to fantasy, but that won't be happening at Disney Springs when it open up on May 20. Reality is very much a concern and nobody can forget about it right now.

One can guess that identical messages will be placed at the entry points to Disney Springs, and probably all over the resort so that the notices can't be avoided and people can't claim they weren't properly warned. Certainly, while an outbreak on Disney property is a worst case scenario and the company is going to do everything within its power to prevent one from taking place, not everything can be controlled, and therefore people have to ultimately take responsibility.

Based on the first Disney park reopening in Shanghai, it seems like finding people willing to take that risk won't be too much of an issue. Shanghai's marketplace area, Disneytown, opened about a month before the park did in much the same way Disney Springs is now opening. The park opened last week and while it did so to a limited number of guests, every available ticket was still sold.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek had already expressed some concern about how Americans would handle a requirement to wear masks, as it's not as culturally accepted in the west as it is in many Asian nations. There has certainly been some vocal opposition to the idea online. But of course, anybody unwilling to wear a mask simply won't be entering Disney Springs this week, there are likely plenty of people willing to do so simply to recapture some small part of the Disney experience.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.