Mar 12, 2020 - Health

Disneyland and Disney World to close due to coronavirus outbreak

Disneytown in Shanghai on March 10. Photo: Hector Retama/AFP via Getty Images

California's Disneyland and Florida's Disney World announced they will close this weekend and through the rest of the month, as the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the U.S.

Why it matters: There are currently 198 positive COVID-19 cases in California as of Thursday and four reported deaths. There are 35 coronavirus cases in Florida and two deaths reported as of Thursday. The heaviest concentrations of the virus in the U.S. are in California, Washington and New York.

The big picture: Disney closed its parks in Japan and China last month in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, though its Shanghai location reopened this week at limited capacity, the Wall Street Journal reports.

  • Disney Cruise Lines have implemented precautionary restrictions and will suspend all new departures beginning Saturday and through the end of the month, the company announced Thursday.
  • Disney World in Florida announced it will close business on Sunday through the end of the month, as well as its Disneyland Paris resort.
  • Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan have already experienced temporary closures.
  • Disney will pay its cast members during closure periods for its cruise line, Florida and Paris parks, the company said on Thursday.

Of note: Universal Studios Hollywood announced its own shutdown on Thursday. It expects to reopen on March 28, per Variety.

What they're saying:

"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, beginning the morning of March 14 through the end of the month.
The Hotels of 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.
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. We anticipate heavy call volume over the next several days and appreciate guests’ patience as we work hard to respond to all inquiries."
— Disney's statement on Thursday

The bottom line: Disney's theme parks generated about $21.6 billion in the 2019 fiscal year, per WSJ.

Go deeper: Movie industry braces for major hit due to coronavirus

Editor's note: This story has been updated with Disney World's closure announcement and additional details.

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