7:30 pm EDT, March 27, 2020

Disney, Universal extend U.S. theme park closures due to coronavirus fears

Disney will be keeping its parks closed for a bit longer than originally expected in light of continuing coronavirus concerns.

On Friday (March 27), The Walt Disney Company gave fans an update with regards to the closures of Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, and Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.

Both theme park destinations, in addition to Disneyland Paris Resort, announced that they would temporarily be closing two weeks ago on March 12 in an effort to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

At the time, The Walt Disney Company said they planned to shut down the parks through tomorrow (Saturday, March 28). Now the company has revealed that they’re opting to extend their temporary closure.

The biggest difference this time is that the company has chosen not to specify a date with regards to when fans can expect the theme parks to reopen.

“While there is still much uncertainty with respect to the impacts of COVID-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,” reads the company’s official statement according to Deadline.

In addition, Disney also revealed that they will continue to pay its hourly parks and resorts cast members through April 18.

Word that Disney has opted to extend its temporary closure of parks comes just days after NBCUniversal announced on Tuesday that it had also planned to extend its temporary closures of Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Orlando Resort, and both of its CityWalks.

Currently, NBCUniversal is hoping to be back up and running by April 19.

Original Story (3/12/2020):

UPDATE (9:26 p.m., ET): Universal has just announced that it will also temporarily close its Universal Orlando Resort theme parks through the end of the month due to the Coronavirus.

News of the closure comes hot on the heels of Disney announcing plans to extend its closure of theme parks to include Walt Disney World resort in Florida as well as Disneyland Paris.

Earlier today, Disneyland Resort in California announced that both of its Anaheim parks would also remain closed through the end of March. Shortly after, Universal Studios Hollywood also announced plans to close through March 28 in an effort to combat the spread of the Coronavirus.

Per InsideUniversal.net, Universal Orlando Result will temporarily close its theme parks beginning at the end of the business day on Sunday, March 15. As with their Southern California counterpart, Universal CityWalk will remain open amid the closure, as will Universal Orlando’s hotels.

“We have created flexible programs for those guests who have booked travel packages or tickets with us. Guests can call this number for more information:  877-801-9720.   A core group of team members will continue to work on site.  Hourly team members will be paid for any work scheduled through the end of March,” reads the statement from the company.

Overseas, Universal Studios Japan is temporarily closed through Sunday, March 22, 2020, at which time the company will reassess things and see if an extension is necessary.

Meanwhile, Universal Studios Singapore remains open and in operation.

UPDATE (7:54 p.m. ET): In addition to their temporary closure of Disneyland Resort in California, Disney has just announced plans to close Walt Disney World Resort as well as Disneyland Paris Resort due to the coronavirus.

Word of the additional park closures comes just a few hours after the Walt Disney Company announced plans to close Disneyland Resort.

In an official statement from the company obtained by CNN media reporter, Frank Pallotta, Disney says that they’ve chosen to go forward with temporary park closures “in an abundance of caution.”

“In the best interest of our guests and employees , we are proceeding with the closures of our 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,” reads the statement.

In addition, the statement also announces plans to suspend new departures of the Disney Cruise Line one day prior on Saturday, March 14.

“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.”

Read the full statement below:

 

Original Story (3/12/2020):

Disneyland and Universal Studio Hollywood are both gearing up to shut down amidst the current Coronavirus outbreak.

The Walt Disney company took to its Disney Parks Twitter account to share the news with the masses. In their statement, the company revealed that while there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) at Disneyland Resort, they’ve voluntarily decided to close both of its Anaheim parks for the time being.

“In the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of Disneyland Parks and Disney California Adventure, beginning the morning of March 14 through the end of the month,” reads the statement.

“The Hotels of the Disneyland Resort will remain open until Monday, March 16 to give guests the ability to make necessary travel arrangements; 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.”

In addition, the company also announced that it would be working with guests looking to either change or cancel their visits, in addition to providing refunds to anyone who had already booked a hotel stay during its forthcoming closure.

 

Related: ‘Mulan,’ ‘New Mutants,’ ‘A Quiet Place Part II,’ ‘Fast and Furious 9’ delayed due to coronavirus

Meanwhile, Universal Studios Hollywood followed suit a few hours later, providing the following statement via their social accounts:

“The health and safety of our team members and guests is always our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution and in response to the guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health, Universal Studios Hollywood will temporarily close beginning Saturday, March 14. The theme park anticipates reopening on March 28 as we continue to monitor the situation. Universal CityWalk will remain open. We will provide timely update as conditions evolve.”

 

News of the Southern California theme park closures comes as total confirmed cases of the Coronavirus continues to rise both worldwide and in the United States.

It also comes hot on the heels of an earlier announcement made by California governor, Gavin Newsom ordering a state-wide ban collation of all gatherings over 250 people in an effort to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. Theme parks were notably exempt from the statewide order, so the news that both resorts are looking to shut down for the time being comes as a bit of a shock.

Currently, there’s still no word with regards to whether Disney and Universal will opt to temporarily close their Orlando counterparts. We’ll keep you updated if in the event that they do.

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