Disney Springs May Be Ready For Me, But I’m Not Ready


Just in time for the Memorial Day weekend, Disney Springs opened for shopping and dining. This would ordinarily get a “two mouse-ears up” from me, but I balked. Then I was surprised that I balked.

Last month, with COVID Cabin Fever raging, I assumed I would enthusiastically fan the flames of any little glowing ember offered by the Disney empire by immediately jumping into my car and heading over there. But I found I just couldn’t do it. Not yet.

It’s not that Disney wasn’t being cautious. They had implemented reduced hours, limited parking, fewer entrances, physical distancing, increased sanitation, temperature screenings and the requirement of masks for anyone age 3 or over. They listed these very unmagical rules in the “Before You Go” section of the web site and added the disclaimer: “By visiting Disney Springs, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.”

Actually, by interacting with any human at all, you’re voluntarily assuming all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. So, we must choose our battles, and Disney Springs didn’t make my short list. Not yet.

It’s not that I don’t think Disney’s newly imposed cautionary measures might protect me; they might. It’s more that I know people.

I know there are always going to be people who are angry over having any restrictions placed on them and who are then going to allow their anger to lop over into my world.

I know there are people who just cannot physically distance themselves from others because they’re gregarious and trusting.

I know that a person’s temperature can be 98.6 in the morning and 100.6 a few hours later.

I know there are people who are not going to wash their hands, period.

And, above all else, I know that no 3-year-old is going to keep their mask on when they can barely be convinced to wear shoes!

How Disney is going to enforce these rules is beyond me. I am sure that, at the entrance, people will be lined up like they’re approaching the Pearly Gates. The halos over their heads will practically be visible as they demurely don their masks and keep their distance.

Once inside, however, all bets are off. It’s Disney! The happiest place on earth!

And who gets to play enforcer? Bright, shiny college kids who thought working at Disney would be a fun way to spend the summer? It’s never going to work!

And, if management is expecting Disney Springs to serve as a model for opening the theme parks, I think they are going to be aghast at what they see. “Non-compliance” would be the polite word for it.

No, the only solution I see it to postpone these openings until we’re all sure that everyone is going to follow every rule; when mouse-eared enforcers sit in gun turrets placed atop Cinderella’s castle and radio down to armed Disney villains when someone needs to be taken out. Then it’ll be safe for the rest of us.

So, I guess I’ll wait.