Disney's theme parks in Tokyo have closed now, too

February 27, 2020, 9:18 PM · Last month, the emerging coronavirus outbreak caused Disney to close its Shanghai Disneyland theme park, followed by Hong Kong Disneyland. Now the growing epidemic has forced the closure of the Tokyo Disney theme parks in Japan, as well.

Tokyo Disney owner Oriental Land Company announced in a press release on its corporate website today that Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea will close from February 29 through March 15. The parks are scheduled to reopen on March 16.

On April 15, Tokyo Disneyland is scheduled to open several new attractions as part of a major expansion project, including a new Beauty and the Beast-themed trackless dark ride, a Big Hero 6 spinner ride, and a Broadway-style Fantasyland theater.

Yesterday, Japanese officials ordered the closing of schools in an effort to stop the spread of the virus, but there's little sense in making that effort if everyone is just going to spend their days off at Disneyland, is there? So the closure of the parks - along with other attractions around the area - seemed inevitable.

While Disney's Chinese parks remain closed indefinitely, at least the Japanese parks are announcing a planned reopening date. However, fears of the coronavirus spreading and further disrupting the global economy led to the US stock market suffering its biggest one-day point drop ever today, so long-range travel planning in the coronavirus era might better be described as long-range guessing at this point.

Update: Universal Studios Japan in Osaka has announced that it will close for the same, two-week period: Feb 29 through March 15.

Replies (8)

February 27, 2020 at 11:36 PM

Crazy. Hopefully all these closures will slow it down to the point things can get somewhat back to normal in the next few months.

February 28, 2020 at 7:05 AM

Seems like media fueled hysteria to me.
Global deaths attributed to Coronavirus deaths less than 3,000. Annual global deaths attributed to influenza 300,000 - 600,000 depending upon the dominant strain each year. And yet nobody is suggesting we close all theme parks each year during the influenza season.
People are probably more likey to die in an accident travelling to the theme park than from a coronavirus caught at the theme park.

February 28, 2020 at 7:33 AM

@Wizard

To be fair, influenza is far less lethal than that of coronavirus per the amount of people infected at this point...

Of the roughly 29 million people infected with the flu worldwide, the amount of fatalities is at about 69 thousand...Right about .05%...Coronavirus is estimated to be in the 80 thousand people infected range worldwide, hard to know the actual number since China was / is so tight lipped on the actual numbers since this thing got going...So far the amount of deaths attributed to the virus is a whopping 2,700 deaths...That’s a mortality rate of over 2% at this point...It’s not a far stretch to say that if coronavirus does in fact become as widespread as the yearly flu it will be more fatal to a great many more people who become infected...If the flu had a mortality rate of 2% we'd be looking b at deaths in excess of a million people worldwide...

Now we all have to go back to the China not releasing solid numbers on their end...Things could be far worse...It could also be a sky is falling type of scenario...That being said, wouldn’t it be better to do things like shut down schools / theme parks / non essential public business for a couple weeks to curb that spread? The business as usual, nothing to see here approach by China is what spread this thing worldwide as is...Doubling down on that move at this point could be catastrophic...

February 28, 2020 at 10:17 AM

Wizard: "Seems like media fueled hysteria to me."

I Respond: So Disney's decision to close the parks is the result of hysteria? Really?

February 28, 2020 at 10:29 AM

I know the Coronavirus is scary. But it’s not a death sentence, like most people think it is. Years ago, before we knew about HIV/AIDS, is was considered to be a death sentence. It wasn’t until we studied the virus that we learned it was passed mainly through unprotected sex. The media does throw people into mass hysteria, like they did with HIV/AIDS, as well as other viruses and diseases.

It’s obviously a world health concern. But the likelihood of becoming exposed is still low. Even if somehow you did get it, it doesn’t mean you’re going to die in a matter of days. There have been deadlier viruses, such as Ebola in the past.

February 28, 2020 at 11:53 AM

This makes me wonder how quickly they would close a park in the US. It's being reported that Disney Cast Members returning from Italy are being told to stay home.

February 28, 2020 at 2:42 PM

It is a media-fueled frenzy because the media needs a new health scare every year. In the 2000s we have been frightened by ebola, swine flu, bird flu, SARS, MERS, flesh-eating bacteria, Zika, etc. etc. etc. I'm sure I'm missing a few in there. It's hard to tell what really is something we should worry about because the new media thrives on worry. The more people are worried, the more they will tune in and log on, and that means more money through ad revenue for media companies.

Was it Disney's decision to close the Tokyo parks (and Universal's decision as well) or was it the decision of the Japanese government much like the Chinese government forced the closures of Disney parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong?

March 1, 2020 at 10:06 AM

Comments about hysteria are ridiculuous. New viruses that quickly spread worldwide are not a joke, and if business lose a little money by temoporarily closing down, that is a relatively small price to pay.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Shop Discounted Tickets

Theme Park Guides

Get Our Newsletter