Just a day after the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 Coronavirus a pandemic, Disney announced that popular theme parks Disneyland and California Adventure in Anaheim, CA would be shutting down. This came hot on the heels of the closure of Disneyland in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo due to the virus.
It looks like the company is doing all they can then to ensure the safety of the public, and as the Coronavirus continues to spread rapidly, they’ve now made another big decision, revealing tonight that Walt Disney World will be closing its doors as well. The park will shut down on March 15th and there’s currently no word on when it may reopen. But it will obviously be dependent on how things play out with the virus.
Here’s the Mouse House’s official word on the closure:
“In an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we proceeding with the closure of our theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Paris Resort, beginning at the close of business on Sunday, March 15, through the end of the month. Disney Cruise Line will suspend all new departures beginning Saturday, March 14, through the end of the month. The Walt Disney Company will pay its cast members during that closure period. The hotels at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris will remain open until further notice. The retail and dining complexes, Disney Springs at Walt Disney World and Disney Village at Disneyland Paris, will remain open. Domestic Walt Disney Company employees who are able to work from home are being asked to do so, including those at The Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Direct-to-Consumer, and Parks, Experiences, and Products. We will continue to stay in close contact with appropriate officials and health experts.”
Of course, Disney are far from the only ones being impacted by the rapid spread of the Coronavirus, with delays to Fast & Furious 9, Mulan and A Quiet Place II, among others, all being announced today and the shocking news last night that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have been infected. Throw in the cancellation/delay of numerous other events, festivals, sporting leagues and more, and it’s clear that panic has gripped the globe.
Unfortunately, it looks like things will only be getting better before they get worse, too, and though this decision was no doubt a tough one for Disney to make, it’s undoubtedly the right one. As mentioned above, there’s no news yet on when the company expects to reopen the park, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted as soon as they announce further details, so stay tuned.