Disneyland Is Closing As California Bans Large Gatherings Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Disneyland Parks in California is temporarily closing due to the coronavirus pandemic. Officials initially said the parks planned to remain open, but updated in a press release that they will this weekend.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, Disney said there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. But the company announced plans to close Disneyland Park and Disney California adventure beginning the morning of March 14 through the end of the month as a precautionary measure.
Officials said that Disney's three hotels at Disneyland — the Disneyland Hotel, Paradise Pier and the Grand Californian — will remain open until Monday, March 16 to give current guests enough time to make travel arrangements. Additionally, 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," the company said. "Disney will continue to pay cast members at this time."
The company said it is working with guests to change and cancel upcoming visits and will provide refunds on hotel bookings for the closure period.
The decision to close the parks came after Governor Gavin Newsom banned all gatherings of more than 250 people across California to prevent the spread of the virus, which has now infected more than 127,000 people worldwide and killed at least 4,718. However, Newsom specified during a press conference that the ban would not apply to Disney parks or casinos, card rooms or theaters due to their "unique circumstance."
"Late last night, California put out a new policy on mass gatherings and engaged in deep conversations with Disney and other companies about how to meet it," Newsom said in a statement following news of the closures. "Using that policy, Disney made the right call in the interest of public health and agreed to shut down their California parks. Expect more announcements like this shortly."
According to The New York Times, Disneyland has only closed three other times in history: in 1963 following the assassination of President Kennedy, in 1994 after the Northridge Earthquake and in 2001 after the September 11 attacks.
Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland Paris have remained open. Walt Disney's Shanghai Disney Resort in China, Hong Kong Disney and Tokyo Disney all closed due to the virus.