Disney Plans Rare Closures

All Disney and Universal theme parks will close
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2020 6:14 PM CDT
Updated Mar 12, 2020 9:33 PM CDT
Disneyland Plans Rare Closure
People crowd Main Street at Disneyland in Anaheim, California in 2015.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

For just the fourth time ever, Disneyland is closing its gates. The California theme park will close Saturday morning and will be shut down for the rest of the month because of the coronavirus outbreak. Disneyland's resort hotels in Anaheim will stay open until Monday to give visitors time to make other arrangements, Variety reports. The adjoining Disney California Adventure also will be shuttered, but Downtown Disney is staying open. The company will refund hotel bookings, per the Los Angeles Times. The only previous Disneyland closings were after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, after California's Northridge earthquake, and the morning after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Later Thursday, the company announced Walt Disney World in Florida would also close. In fact, by evening, it had been announced that all Disney and Universal parks would close for some length of time, Variety reports.

No cases of a person infected with the coronavirus have been reported at Disneyland, and the Disney Co. had just said the parks would stay open. But on Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom and California health officials called for canceling gatherings of 250 people or more. And the social distancing recommendation—to stay at least six feet from other people—would be difficult for customers to follow at the theme park. Although Disney decided to close, Newsom said Thursday he was exempting Disneyland, casinos, theaters and the like from the recommendation for now to allow for discussion of their specific concerns. "Disneyland, I think, has a thousand people on a ride every hour, and concerts and theaters," Newsom said, per the Times. "They have parades. That’s a nation-state campus environment. I mean, that’s a whole different thing." (More coronavirus stories.)

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