Universal Studios has announced they will remain closed until at least the end of May. Both the California and Florida parks have been closed since March 14th. The theme parks previously announced they would remain closed until the end of March, but less than two weeks later, another statement was released alerting possible guests that the parks would remain closed until at least April 19th. With the world's current state of affairs still kicking up uncertainty, Universal Studios has extended the aforementioned closures until May 31st.

In addition to the park closures, Universal City Walk and the Universal Orland Resorts will remain closed too. Universal Studios has also revealed they will be suspending payments on annual passes, while extending their expiration dates. Disneyland and Disney World are implicating the same strategies in terms of closures and annual passes. However, Walt Disney Studios has not revealed when they will be opening their doors again, though guests can currently make reservations for June 1st. It is unclear if the parks will be able to open on that date at this time.

Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor in Valencia, along with Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park are currently closed until the middle of May. However, that will likely change in the coming days and weeks. Starting on April 20th, Universal Studios employees will receive 80% of their pay, while a small group of theme park workers will make 100% of their earnings until May 3rd. From there, all part-time hourly workers will be furloughed starting May 3rd. Health benefits will be extended to current workers who receive benefits, including hourly workers who are furloughed.

Disney has revealed that park employees will continue to receive payments until April 19th. After that, the furlough process will begin, with the same healthcare extensions. It is unclear how many employees will be affected by the change. For now, states are taking matters into their own hands and telling people to remain indoors and ordering non-essential businesses to stay closed. It is hurting millions of workers across the globe and putting a massive strain on the economy. It is believed Walt Disney Studios is losing millions per day as the parks remain closed, while employees will stop earning paychecks soon.

Now that Universal Studios and the rest of the theme parks across North America remain closed, it's a good time to think about what the future will hold for them and their visitors. Are people going to want to even go to Universal or Disneyland this summer? Movie theaters might not even open up again until later this summer and big studios are already vacating prime blockbuster release dates in favor of the winter, just in case things don't go according to whatever plan may be in place. It's going to be very interesting to see how these things all change in the coming months. Deadline was the first to report on the Universal Studios news.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick