Update 2: Disney has announced that their theme parks “will remain closed until further notice.” You can read the full statement below:
While there is still much uncertainty with respect to the impacts of COVD-19, the safety and well-being of our guests and employees remains The Walt Disney Company’s top priority.
As a result of this unprecedented pandemic and in line with direction provided by health experts and government officials, Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed until further notice.
The Walt Disney Company has been paying its cast members since the closure of the parks, and in light of this ongoing and increasingly complex crisis, we have made the decision to extend paying hourly parks and resorts cast members through April 18.
— Disney Parks News (@DisneyParksNews) March 27, 2020
Update: Hours after Disneyland announced its closures due to the coronavirus, Disney has announced (via WDWMagic) that Disneyland Paris and Florida’s Walt Disney World theme park are closing their doors from March 15 until April 1, 2020.
In an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are 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.
Our original article follows.
For just the fourth time in history, Disneyland will fully suspend its operations. The closures, which also apply to the neighboring Disney California Adventure park, will begin the morning of March 14 and last for the rest of the month, due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. But it seems as if Knott’s Berry Farm is staying open for business…at least for now.
Earlier today, Governor Gavin Newsom suggested that all gatherings of more than 250 people should be postponed or canceled to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus (aka COVID-19). But he quickly clarified that Southern California theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios would be exempt from that recommendation “because of the complexity of their unique circumstances,” in what many viewed as a decision kowtowing to corporate interests over public safety.
But New York Times reporter Brooks Barnes reports that Disneyland will shut down anyway, for only the fourth time in the company’s history:
JUST IN: Disneyland in CA closing as of Friday because of coronavirus. Only 4th time in history that operations have been fully suspended: 9/11, Northridge quake, nat'l day of mourning after JFK assassination
— Brooks Barnes (@brooksbarnesNYT) March 12, 2020
Here’s an announcement from the official Disney Parks News Twitter account with more details:
— Disney Parks News (@DisneyParksNews) March 12, 2020
The closures start on March 14, but the hotels will remain open through March 16 “to give guests the ability to make necessary travel arrangements.” I’m sure guests of those hotels who made reservations long ago and traveled long distances to stay there for days on end appreciate that extra amount of wiggle room before they’re booted out, and while it’s an unfortunate situation, it seems like the best decision possible right now for the public good.
The Downtown Disney shopping district will remain open, joining other businesses like movie theaters, shopping malls, and casinos as establishments that seemingly aren’t being pressured to comply with the governor’s recommendation (yet). There’s no word yet on whether Universal Studios Hollywood will follow suit and shut down, or whether Disney and Universal theme parks in Florida will close their doors, but it seems like only a matter of time until all theme parks in the United States are temporarily shuttered.
But Knott’s Berry Farm seems like it might holding out for as long as possible. Cedar Fair Entertainment, the park’s corporate parent, sent out a letter detailing the steps it was taking to prevent the spread of the virus while staying open, and issued a statement to Variety saying that they are “aware of the new guidance issued by the State of California last night,” and that the park “is open today as we understand and evaluate what this means for our park, our guests and our associates.”
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