Disneyland is closing its doors for the first time since 9/11. This marks the fourth time in history that the theme park has shut down. The closure will go into effect on March 14th and will go through the rest of this month, according to representatives. The news comes after the park had largely been silent on the coronavirus epidemic. They had announced they were taking extra precaution, but cast members were not briefed on a long-term detailed plan.
The other three times in history that Disneyland closed were the September 11th attacks, the morning after JFK's assassination, and the Northridge earthquake. The cast members who will be out of a job for the rest of the month will be paid during the extended break, according to Disney. As of this writing, the Florida park will remain open. You can read the statement below.
"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 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."
As for families who had trips planned for this month, "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 hotels will be open until the 16th to make sure other plans can be made. The theme park was relatively slow to close its doors after the NBA, NHL, NCAA, NSL, and others started to take precautions before completely shutting down. Coachella and Stagecoach announced their postponement plans earlier this week after rumblings late last week.
The news comes after Comic-Con International decided to postpone WonderCon 2020. The annual event, which is held in Anaheim, California, is directly across the street from Disneyland. As for San Diego Comic-Con, the event is still scheduled to go as planned, though that could really change at any minute due to the coronavirus as it continues to spread. Disneyland can see crowds hit close to 85,000, while WonderCon averages about 60,000 throughout an entire weekend.
Disneyland will reassess the situation after the month of March has come to a close. But for now, the park will close on March 14th and remain closed until the end of the month, which is huge. Even in periods of rain, which are a pretty rare occurrence in Southern California, Disneyland remains open. The theme park has not announced if they will be offering a deal to annual passholders who pay for an entire year of visits up front. Variety was the first to report on the Disneyland closure.