Disney Closes Its Theme Parks In California, Florida & Paris
There have not been any reported cases on COVID-19 at any of the American Disney parks or ships. The closures serve as a precautionary measure to slow the spread of the virus, according to officials. A maintenance worker at Disneyland Paris tested positive for the disease.
Disneyland announced its closure Thursday morning, and stated that the park’s closure begins March 14. Disneyland’s three hotels (Disneyland Hotel, Paradise Pier and the Grand Californian) will remain open until March 16 to allow guests time to make travel plans.
Disney World and Disneyland Paris announced their plans to close hours after Disneyland. Disney World and Disneyland Paris will be closed March 16 through the end of the month. Their hotels will remain open indefinitely.
Retail and dining complexes associated with the parks, like Downtown Disney at Disneyland, will remain open.
Disney Cruises have suspended voyages starting March 14 through the end of the month, resulting in eight canceled cruises.
Disney has said it will continue to pay its cast members, and urged those who can work from home to do so.
Universal Studios followed in Disney’s footsteps with Universal Studios Hollywood closing March 14 through 28 and Universal Orlando closing March 16 through 31. They will also keep their CitiWalk and shopping centers surrounding the parks open.
Other theme parks that have announced closures: Sea World, Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags.
These park shutdowns come after the governor of California, (where most of these companies have large parks) banned gatherings of more than 250 people. Gov. Gavin Newsom specified that this did not have to apply to theme parks due to their “unique circumstances,” but Disneyland officials decided to shut their park down anyways.
This is the third unscheduled closure of Disneyland in California since it opened in 1955. The first closure was in 1963 after President John Kennedy was assassinated, and the second was after 9/11.