Todd Wawrychuk/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images
UPDATE (3/13/20, 9:00 a.m. ET): Since this story was originally published, Walt Disney World announced on its official website that its theme parks in Orlando, Florida, will also be closed beginning on March 16 through the rest of the month. Disney Springs and Disney World Resort hotels will remain open until further notice. Original story below.
Disneyland, otherwise known as "The Happiest Place on Earth," is temporarily closing its doors amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. The company revealed via the official Disneyland website that both of its California parks will not operate starting Saturday, March 14 through the rest of the month. Disneyland resorts will close the following Monday, March 16.
"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 statement reads.
(David McNew/Getty Images)
Despite the alarming number of closures and event cancellations happening in response to the pandemic, the announcement still comes as somewhat of a shock. Disneyland has only closed its doors three times since opening in 1955, including a national day of mourning after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and the attacks on September 11, 2001.
For travelers relying on Disneyland Resort hotels, the company has devised a plan. "The Hotels of Disneyland Resort will remain open until Monday, March 16 to give guests the ability to make necessary travel arrangements," the statement continues. Additionally, the company says that "Downtown Disney will remain open."
Looking forward, Disneyland plans to keep close tabs on the COVID-19 outbreak while also looking out for current Disneyland employees. "We will monitor the ongoing situation and follow the advice and guidance of federal and state officials and health agencies," the statement says. "Disney will continue to pay cast members during this time."
Disneyland closed out its statement by saying that they 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." However, customers should expect long wait times, as the company anticipates "heavy call volume over the next several days." Your patience, of course, is appreciated during this less-than-magical time.
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