Tomorrow, Disney Springs will officially reopen in a very limited capacity, as a number of third-party shopping and dining locations like Chicken Guy!, Blaze Pizza, Planet Hollywood, Earl of Sandwich, The Polite Pig, Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill, STK Orlando, Wine Bar George, and other favorites will begin welcoming guests once again for the first time since March. And in an effort to make the opening as smooth as possible, Disney has updated their website in a few key ways, updating official policies
1. Guests now agree to risk of "Illness and Death" from COVID-19 by visiting Disney Springs
Liability statements are nothing new. By visiting a theme park, you assume certain risks, which are often spelled out in the fine print that no one reads on their theme park tickets. However, while most language in liability statements are designed in such a way to prevent frivolous lawsuits, there are instances where serious incidents have happened inside Disney parks. And now it looks like, thanks to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Disney has updated their liability statement to include MUCH stronger language:
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. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. By visiting Walt Disney World Resort, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.
This is some pretty strong wording, but is unfortunately necessary as it doesn't seem to be a matter of if, but when, we see COVID-19 transmissions at Walt Disney World (either at Disney Springs or at the theme parks once they open), and Disney definitely needs to protect themselves from any kind of legal action.