The World of Disney store reopened at Disney Springs to a six-hour wait yesterday, via a virtual queue. As the current largest operating Disney-owned store in the United States, we went to see how social distancing and safety procedures affected operations.
Upon arriving at World of Disney or the Marketplace Co-op, guests will be placed in a virtual queue. Guests do so by talking to a cast member, stating their name and phone number, and saying how many guests are in their party.
Guests will receive a text much like the one above, and will receive two texts per virtual queue they enter. The first text will verify they are in the virtual queue, and the second will notify them to come back to the store. Cast members told us that guests will have 30 minutes to return when they receive the second text. If they don’t return in that time slot, they’ll have to restart their wait time in the virtual queue.
There are specific entry and exit points to each store. Guests will come to the entry point with their text to be allowed inside. A cast member will verify the text and allow them to enter. Cast members are also at each exit to note when guests leave to update the system. There is a limit on how many guests can be in the store at once, but Disney has not posted what the limit is.
Inside, the store was significantly less crowded than normal. While there was a six-hour wait earlier today, the wait time had dropped to 85 minutes when we came back at 7 p.m. We expect the wait times to continually be at or lower than 100 minutes, with today’s first-day reopening being unusually higher.
The busiest parts of the stores were the registers. Markings are placed in the queues, which were already extended to allow for more room.
As expected, social distancing reminders are scattered throughout the store. The only place that markers on the ground are used is in register queues.
Disney also has signage recommending contactless payments. Guests can use cash to purchase a Disney Gift Card at the Welcome Center and at select merchandise locations if they wish.
Every register has a plastic barrier installed. Cast members can also be seen around the store sanitizing high-touch, areas, such as doors and clothing racks. There is also free hand sanitizer offered in the store and at each exit.
We also noticed this signage about limiting the amount of merchandise that guests touch. While we didn’t see a guest ask for a cast member to grab an item, it’s good to know that this is an option.
While perusing World of Disney, we also noticed these new Mickey ears. We spoke about these new ears, as well as many other new Summer Disney products, in an article that you can check out here.
We are happy to say that today, we paid close attention, and 100-percent of guests in the store were obeying the rule to keep masks on. Guests were also very conscious of the six-feet of social distancing rule and did a good job overall. While we can’t verify that happened all day, it was nice to see it while we were there.
You can read more about Disney Springs’ reopening procedures here.