The effect of the coronavirus is becoming increasingly serious, with many events and public attractions being shut down, not to mention movie releases being pushed back. The latest casualties of COVID-19 are Anaheim’s Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, which have now been closed in a bid to combat the virus. Given that this is only the fourth time in Disneyland’s history that they’ve been shut down, the decision demonstrates what is becoming a depressing trend across the United States and worldwide.
Below’s the full statement from Disney Parks about the closures:
“While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort, after carefully reviewing the guidelines of the Governor of California’s executive order and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, beginning the morning of March 14 through the end of the month.
The Hotels of Disneyland Resort will remain open until Monday, March 16 to give guests the ability to make necessary travel arrangements; Downtown Disney will remain open. We will monitor the ongoing situation and follow the advice and guidance of federal and state officials and health agencies. Disney will continue to pay cast members during this time.”
In addition, Disney have confirmed their refund policy for guests who’ve already planned a visit.
“Disneyland Resort will work with guests who wish to change or cancel their visits, and will provide refunds to those who have hotel bookings during this closure period. We anticipate heavy call volume over the next several days and appreciate guests’ patience as we work hard to respond to all inquiries. Please contact The Walt Disney Travel Company for questions and cancellations at 714-520-5050.”
The spread of coronavirus in California is the main reason for the shutdown, which will reportedly last until April 1st, depending on where things are with the coronavirus by then. At present, there’s been no official statement regarding Orlando’s Walt Disney World, although we’d expect there to be a similar closure soon. The only other times Disneyland has been closed have been for the assassination of JFK, 9/11, and the Northridge earthquake.
The Disney news comes on top of a wave of stories about how the coronavirus is affecting the entertainment industry, from delays to Fast & Furious 9, to Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson announcing they’ve been infected (but are in a good condition). We may even see the pandemic affect Baby Yoda merchandise, while release dates across the industry are being pushed back as the nation and world appear to be preparing for containment.
While this could be a good time for Netflix and other streaming services, the coronavirus will almost certainly have a major impact on Disney and the entertainment industry as a whole, in the same way that it’s disrupting the economy, public transport, and many other parts of public life. We’re hoping that things will improve soon, and life can return to (almost) normal, although it now seems likely that there’ll be more cancellations, park closures, and delays to much-anticipated movies on the horizon.