The Disney Company is closing its flagship theme park in California, Disneyland, due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19.
And Disney World in Florida and Disneyland Paris Resort will be closing on March 15. Disney Cruise Line will suspend all departures starting March 14.
The closure at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park will come into effect as of March 14 and last until the end of the month. It will become just the fourth time in history that the park closed its doors to the public for an unplanned reason.
Update: Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will be closed beginning March 14 through the end of the month. We will monitor the situation and follow the advice and guidance of federal and state officials and health agencies. For details, visit: https://t.co/CsRdJqYD6Z.
— Disneyland Today (@DisneylandToday) March 12, 2020
“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 Park” reads a statement on Disneyland’s website.
According to the company, all hotels on the Disneyland Resort property will remain open for an additional two days to allow for guests to make necessary travel arrangements. While the hotels and the parks will close, the shopping sector known as 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,” said Disney.
An advisory has also been made by Disneyland Resort that they are expecting heavy call volume due to the sudden change and are asking for guests to be patient in the meantime.
‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ has built a reputation of staying open 365 days of the year, including holidays, as well as through difficult local and global situations. Prior to the announcement, the company has only closed its doors to the public three times since opening back on July 17, 1955.
Those three previous closures included the national day of mourning after JFK was killed, after the Northridge Earthquake hit in 1994, and following the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
Disneyland employs nearly 30,000 ‘cast members’ or staff and saw over 150 million people visit the park back in 2018.
Meanwhile, Disney World in Orlando, Florida, will remain open – a site that employs more than 75,000 people, making it the largest single-site employer in the United States.