May 18, 2020
The Walt Disney Company’s Disney Springs in Orlando, Fla., retail center and Elvis Presley’s Graceland home in Memphis, Tenn., are set to re-open to the public this week following lengthy closure due to the coronavirus.
Disney, which has re-opened Shanghai Disneyland and Disneytown retail in China, will re-open Disney Springs to the public on May 20 while attempting to limit its liability to COVID-19 infections. The retail and restaurant attraction has been shuttered for two months.
On the Disney World website, the media giant says that while it is taking “enhanced health and safety measures” consumers are cautioned that entering the facility is at their own risk.
“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,” the company said on its website. “By visiting Walt Disney World Resort, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.”
Further north in Tennessee, operators of Graceland are slightly less draconian welcoming the public back on May 21.
In addition to reduced capacities, the 100+ acre Presley home has instituted new health and safety protocols, which include all associates wearing masks (guests are encouraged to wear masks, as well), temperature checks for both guests and associates, six-feet social distancing markers placed throughout the property, enhanced sanitization procedures featuring commercial-grade continuous cleaning, hand sanitization stations and touchless payment options.
During the re-opening phase, restaurant capacities will be reduced by 50% and outdoor patio seating will also be available. Due to reduced tour capacities, the facility is encouraging visitors to reserve their tour tickets in advance.
“We are helping Memphis and Tennessee to get back to some sense of normality,” Joel Weinshanker, managing partner of Graceland Holdings, said in a statement. “We’re doing this in a safe manner and in the best interest for our community, our employees and our guests. Together, we will succeed.”
Weinshanker is no stranger to home entertainment, acquiring Hastings Entertainment and MovieStop in early 2000. Both retail outlets filed for bankruptcy in 2016, with the combined 150 stores ceasing operations in July.