Disneyland in California is closing until April due to the spread of coronavirus.
The theme park will shut down as of Saturday morning (14 March) and will remain closed for the rest of the month.
This is only the fourth time in history that Disneyland, in Anaheim, has fully suspended operations. The other instances followed the 11 September attacks in 2001, JFK’s assassination in 1963 and the Northridge earthquake in 1994.
In a statement posted to the Disneyland Parks News Twitter feed, the company said: “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, beginning the morning of 14 March through the end of the month.
“The Hotels of Disneyland Resort will remain open until Monday, 16 March 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.
“Disneyland Resort will work with guests who wish to change or cancel their visits, and will provide refunds to those who have hotel bookings during this closure period.”
The closure seemed inevitable after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that gatherings of 250 people or more should be suspended until the end of the month.
However, Newsom then backtracked at a news conference this morning (Thursday 12 March), saying that his guidelines excluded large parks like Disneyland and places such as casinos and movie theatres because of ‘the complexity of their unique circumstances’, according to The New York Times.
Disney has already shut its parks in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo but is still hosting visitors at six US venues and its park in Paris.