Walt Disney World has begun phased reopening of Disney Springs, its shopping, dining & entertainment complex. Here we’ll compile a running list of which restaurants will open, when, and some procedures they’ll utilize to ensure guest safety. (Updated May 20, 2020.)
Since this was first announced, a ton of dining and shopping locations have opted to reopen during the initial phase. In total, there are over 40 restaurants and stores that will immediately welcome guests–that’s a good portion of Disney Springs. Other venues will reopen at the end of May or in early June.
Then there are others that will probably take a wait and see approach, keeping a close watch on other restaurants to see how things go. This will allow them to determine whether operating at a reduced capacity is viable, and which approaches work best…
There’s also “Know Before You Go” Info for Disney Springs, which includes details about the 6 key practices and health safety measures that will temporarily be undertaken by Walt Disney World during the phased reopening of Disney Springs.
In addition to third parties, there’s also the matter of the Walt Disney World owned restaurants and stores. Per the original announcement, only select third parties are reopening during the initial phase. The following week, three Disney-owned venues (World of Disney, D-Luxe Burger, and Marketplace Co-Op) will reopen, while others will remain closed.
These closed locatins include AristoCrêpes, B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co, Amorette’s Patisserie, and Daily Poutine, several food trucks, and stores in the Marketplace. It’s understandable that these wouldn’t reopen right away given both their locations and style–none are exactly “destination dining.” It’ll be interesting to see when Walt Disney World reopens these locations.
Then there’s that other theme park operator up the road. Universal Orlando just released info about CityWalk…
We wouldn’t normally share this info in a Walt Disney World planning post, but since this is exclusively targeted at Orlando area locals, it’s relevant. Universal Orlando’s CityWalk is now open from 4 pm to 10 pm daily, with free self-parking, mobile ordering at select locations, and new safety guidelines.
Universal has already shared CityWalk’s new/temporary policies for distancing and health screening, which will likely overlap significantly with Disney Springs. They’ve also released a list of restaurants that’ll be open: Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Red Oven Pizza Bakery, and Voodoo Doughnuts.
As for Disney Springs, here are lists of the restaurants that have thus far announced that they’ll be reopening in May and June…
Disney Springs Restaurants Reopening May 20, 2020
4 Rivers Cantina Food Truck – The bright red food truck tucked away by World of Disney will be opening on May 20, joining the other 4 Rivers locations around Orlando that have been operating on a carry-out basis only for the last couple of months.
On a side note, if you’re reading this from a ‘planning perspective’ (rather than out of passing curiosity), you presumably live in Central Florida. In which case, we’d highly recommend one of the “real” 4 Rivers Smokehouse locations. The only restaurant meal we’ve done in the last two months is pick-up from 4 Rivers Smokehouse and it was fantastic. (Order the Signature Angus Brisket + Burnt Ends and eat them together for the perfect mix of flavor and texture. Use coupon code HICKORY25 for 25% off online or phone orders.)
The Boathouse – The #1 restaurant on our List of the Top Disney Springs Table Service Dining, the Boathouse is a true standout. We really hope the Dockside Bar is open, because the mix of open air plus the waterfront scenery sounds about perfect to us right now.
Plus, we probably owe you a new Boathouse review…right?!?! 😉
Polite Pig – The other local chain boasting barbecue and smoked specialities will also be reopening on May 20.
We’ve started to come around on Polite Pig, but still think it has nothing on 4 Rivers Smokehouse. A good pick if you’re using the Disney Dining Plan or are a captive audience on vacation at Walt Disney World, but if you’re reading this from a planning perspective right now, neither apply to you…
STK – One of the last restaurants to close is also among the first to reopen, as STK is now accepting reservations for May 20 and beyond. I could make a joke about how filling 25% of tables would be a nice boost for STK. That’s low-hanging fruit and we played that out the first couple years STK was open.
The fact is, we’ve come to love STK, dining here for their lunch and happy hour specials with frequency of late. In fact, STK is the Disney Springs restaurant at which we’ve dined most in the last two years.
Wine Bar George – This was the first Disney Springs to announce it would reopen (on May 20 at noon), and has additionally released an entire page on its website devote to Wine Bar George’s Health & Safety Promises. This comprehensive plan includes basics like sanitization and social distancing, plus contactless menus and payment.
Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill – While the restaurant itself has not released an official statement, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill does have availability via OpenTable for dinner on May 20, 2020 and beyond.
Other Restaurants – Other establishments that have confirmed they’re reopening include:
Earl of Sandwich
Erin McKenna’s Bakery
Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream Kiosk
Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
Retail – Here are the stores and shopping options that have confirmed they’ll be reopening:
Edward Beiner Purveyor of Fine Eyewear
Luxury of Time
Ron Jon Surf Shop
Savannah Bee Company
Sosa Family Cigars
Sugarboo & Co.
All of these will operate on May 20, but exact hours are unknown at present.
Disney Springs Restaurants Reopening May 22, 2020
The following Patina Restaurant Group-operated venues in Disney Springs are resuming operations on May 22, 2020 with limited menus for lunch and or dinner service. Their tentative accompanying hours that are subject to change include the following:
Vivoli il Gelato (Carry Out) – Open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Morimoto Asia (Main Dining – Room Dinner Service) – Open from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Morimoto Asia Street Food (Outdoor Dining Lunch & Dinner Service) – Open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Pizza Ponte (Indoor/Outdoor Dining Lunch & Dinner Service) – Open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
These and all other Patina venues will implement the “Dine Safe” program, which is a comprehensive set of reengineered operating procedures to minimize contact risk and bolster hygiene protocol that meet or exceed the best-practice guidelines recommended by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are the program’s key components…
The Dining Room and Guest Experience:
To enhance health and safety measures, guests will be required to wear face coverings at all times except while eating and drinking.
Ensuring current social distancing procedures are upheld via the redesign of table layouts for seating guests as directed by local and state regulators and in compliance with the CDC.
Enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols, including hourly disinfecting as needed for all high-touch surfaces.
Multiple hand-sanitizing stations strategically placed throughout our facilities.
Controlled access to the facility to carefully monitor incoming and outgoing patrons and employees through clearly designated entrances and exits.
Using single-use menus to limit contact.
Team Member Safety Measures:
Undergo a health check when they report to work.
Sanitize their hands when they report to work and are required to wash and sanitize their hands every 20 minutes throughout the shift.
Wear masks while on duty.
Undergo a comprehensive “Dine Safe” Training Program.
The remaining Patina restaurants at Disney Springs, including Maria & Enzo’s, Enzo’s Hideaway, and the Edison, will also resume operations soon.
We’ll keep you posted as to which other restaurants announce they’re reopening (or not) at Disney Springs. On a personal note, we’re taking a “wait and see” approach (like some of these restaurants!) on returning to both Disney Springs and Universal’s CityWalk. We’re a bit concerned the first few days (at least) are going to be crowded beyond belief due to pent-up demand.
With that said, we’re not staying away due to the health safety or screening measures, nor are we judging anyone who does return on opening day. As eager as we are to get out of the house, we’d prefer to err on the side of caution and mitigate our risk a bit, avoiding the initial days likely to see the biggest crowds. Nevertheless, we’ll be back to Disney Springs soon, and will have more ‘on-the-ground’ photo updates for you once we do!
Will you visit Disney Springs once it reopens, or will you take a similar ‘wait & see’ approach? Anywhere you’re excited to eat first? Will you check out CityWalk at Universal Orlando? Thoughts on the health protocol and safety measures? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!