Disney World in Florida reopens but just a little

Miami (AFP) –


Disney World opened its doors a bit on Wednesday, offering dining and shopping to masked customers in its main commercial area but the park's beloved attractions stayed closed.

Indeed, as the park welcomed people to some of its outlets on the Disney Springs shopping strip as part of Florida's gradual reopening after weeks of lockdown, the new reality of life with COVID-19 screamed out everywhere.

Parking was limited, barriers have been erected to encourage social distancing, visiting hours have been reduced and staffers walk around disinfecting things constantly.

People have their temperatures taken as they come in and have to wear a face mask -- all pretty grim stuff for a fun-loving place that likes to say it turns adults back into kids for a day.

Also posted on the Disney Springs website is this warning: "COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death."

"By visiting Disney Springs you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19," the warning adds.

As part of its phased reopening following the state's economic shutdown in mid-March, more restaurants and bars will open up next Wednesday.

But there is no date set yet for the reopening of the Sunshine State's wildly popular amusement parks.

"Today’s world is different, and it’s going to require a shared responsibility, with everyone doing their part," Disney Springs vice president Matt Simon wrote in a blog post.