It happened: Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, Disneyland Paris, and Disney Cruise Lines will shut down temporarily due to coronavirus concerns, according to USA Today. The news follows the just-announced closure of Disney's two parks in Southern California, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
The closures of Disney World and Disneyland Paris will begin 15th March. They are planned to reopen at the end of the month.
This post was originally published at 6:35 pm.
Beginning on 14th March through the end of the month, Disneyland and its sister theme park Disney California Adventure will close in order to help cease the spread of the novel coronavirus.
A statement from Disney confirmed there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort, but that “after carefully reviewing the guidelines of the Governor of California’s executive order and in the best interest of our guests and employees” they are proceeding with the closure.
Disneyland’s “cast members,” as employees working in the parks are called, will continue to be compensated for scheduled shifts during their (at least) two weeks without work. In 2018, Disneyland workers recently fought for better pay and benefits.
Not everything under the Disneyland Resort umbrella will shutter when the theme parks close. Downtown Disney, the shopping district outside the park, will remain open, while the hotels of Disneyland will be kept running until Monday 16th March, for guests who need to figure out their travel plans.
Walt Disney World in Florida will remain open for now. Disney previously shut down its theme parks in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo over coronavirus concerns.
The news of Disneyland’s closure comes after multiple reports expressed a need for “social distancing” in order to stop the spread of the disease. Many offices have enforced a work from home policy, while some universities have officially gone online-only. Large public gatherings of all kinds are discouraged.
It seemed inevitable that eventually, Disneyland, a major tourist attraction that brings in people from around the globe, would close under these new guidelines. Still, it’s extremely rare for Disneyland to shut its doors. It has only closed three times before: In 1963 for a national day of mourning after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, during the Northridge earthquake in 1994, and on the day of the September 11 attacks in 2001.