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Dismal Springs: It’s Going to be a Long Road to Reopening

Written By Scott Joseph On June 10, 2020

Springs reopening temp check

Took a trip to check out Disney Spings, the dining and retail complex that was the first part of the resort to reopen, and found it a shell of its former self. It appeared that there are more venues that remain closed than are open.

Few guests, too, which was fine by me. I didn’t relish finding myself in scrum of people jostling about, even in a place that requires everyone to wear a mask. (More on masks in a moment.) People seemed to just wander. There was little to look at and the mood seemed depressing. Yes, dismal.

But I was anxious to see how Disney was handling the reopening; maybe it would give an insight into how the theme parks will be put back into play. And I was determined to have my first dine-in experience – more like a dine-at experience because I was determined to sit outside – since March 12.

South Steel SJO March AD copy

Getting to Disney Springs is a bit of a circuitous route. Those of you who, like me, take the off ramp from I-4 and glide up the Disney Springs exit directly into the Orange Garage will find that level blocked off. Instead, you must take the ramp down to Buena Vista Drive towards the Lime Garage.

But when you take the required U-turn at the light there, you’ll discover that the Lime Garage is blocked off. So you continue back up Buena Vista Drive to…the Orange Garage. Can’t imagine why we can’t enter the garage without the long loop, but I’m sure people smarter than I have figured this out.

And by the way, surface parking is closed, which I find counterintuitive. You’d think that it would be desirable to have people in the open air rather than the relative closed-in space of a parking garage. But I assume it has to do with limiting entrance points.

And that’s because all people entering Disney Springs must first subject their foreheads for a fever check, which is facilitated by people wearing AdventHealth t-shirts at the Orange Garage’s second-level access point to the Springs.

Also at this point, Disney cast members make sure everyone is wearing a face mask. Seeing a guest approach wearing a mask with a broken strap, a cast member pulled him aside and offered him a new one.

(I noticed that there is a small tent off to the side where the temperature-takers are taking temperatures. Is this for people whose temperature is above 98.6? Lord knows what happens in there.)

Given the strictures about wearing a mask – at all times except when eating or drinking – I was surprised how many people were walking around without one. But I was heartened when a cast member approached two men whose masks were around their necks and told them they would have to cover up. And did anyone think of the loophole that allows people to keep the mask off if they’re walking around with a beer?

Springs reopening cleaning

There was a lot of cleaning going on, and plenty of places to resquirt your hands with sanitizer. The fellow in the photo above had a nice job cleaning the handrails on the escalators. He just had to stand in one place and the work came to him.

As I said above, I was interested in finding a place to sit outside and have a bite to eat. Several of my first choices weren’t open, including Jaleo, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, Edison’s, Maria & Enzo’s, Raglan Road and City Works. (Raglan Road’s quick-serve operation, Cooke’s of Dublin, was open and the main restaurant was opening Wednesday, June 10. City Works was the last place I dined at before the closure, which occurred before I could publish my review.)

Springs reopening morimoto

Springs reopening morimoto2

Morimoto Asia was open but apparently wasn’t utilizing its second level outdoor seating. (Indeed the entire second floor was closed.) The bar area had most of its furniture removed.

Springs reopening cashless

A sign of the times, literally. More and more places are refusing to accept cash, also known as filthy lucre. The Glass Knife was ahead of the times when it opened with a credit card only payment system. Some places still haven’t figured out how to complete the transaction without having the customers pick up a pen or use the touch screen to sign their name.

Boathouse had one of the more desirable venues with plenty of outdoor space overlooking the lagoon. I’d have chosen it if my last experience there hadn’t been one of overpriced mediocre food.

Instead, my companion and I chose Terralina Crafted Italian for our dinner.

I’ll have my review for you tomorrow.

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