Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

Disneyland theme parks to close due to Covid-19

March 12, 2020, 3:28 PM · The Disneyland Resort's theme parks will close to guests, effective Saturday, March 14, Disney announced today. The hotels will remain open to guests through Monday morning. Downtown Disney, however, will remain open.

Here is the statement issued by the park:

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.

Please contact The Walt Disney Travel Company for questions and cancellations at 714-520-5050.

With the theme parks closed through at least the end of the month, this will be the longest theme park closure in Disneyland history. Kudos to Disney for continuing to pay its cast members during the closure, as that loss of income to so many employees could have by itself be devastating to the local economy. Of course, the loss of tourism spending will create a challenge of its own.

Disneyland now joins Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Shanghai Disneyland is being closed due to Covid-19. Please follow our daily blog for more updates on coronavirus-related travel news.

Replies (8)

March 12, 2020 at 3:48 PM

Do you think WDW will close at some point? I know it’s much harder to close those parks because people make plans months in advance to go while people take a couple days to plan to go to DL, but I wonder if Disney will take that risk.

March 12, 2020 at 3:55 PM

I believe (again, personal opinion here) that the optics of the Disneyland Resort getting an exemption to Gov. Newsom's order were just too difficult for Disney management to accept. Especially after all the political battles that Disney has been engaged in with the City of Anaheim and the local unions.

Josh D'Amaro had worked hard to mend a lot of busted relationships, and all that work was at risk if the parks stayed open when the NBA, Major League Baseball, the MLS, and NCAA tournaments were closing. So Disney did the right thing - politically and environmentally - and closed the parks.

Walt Disney World is also facing a similar order from Florida's governor. Given that D'Amaro is now in charge there, I expect (again, personal opinion) that a closure will be forthcoming, though the timing is very much in doubt.

March 12, 2020 at 4:25 PM

It's great that Disney will continue to pay their employees during this closure.

And thanks Robert for all the updates, this is unprecedented territory for the theme par industry (and pretty much all industries), so the new info is certainly appreciated!

March 12, 2020 at 4:27 PM

I'm seconding Jay here. I'm glad Disneyland is paying its employees and taking precautions.

March 12, 2020 at 5:11 PM

So much for our first trip. We bought tickets through the agency Ares that is referred to from this site. Are there going to be any possibilities for refunds? Our tickets have to be used by next January 21 and it's very unlikely we'll be able to go before then. I support Disney in taking this precaution, but hope refunds will be given due to these unusual circumstances.

March 12, 2020 at 5:50 PM

Wow... Can't believe how fast the Domino effect is proceeding through all this. Appreciate the updates, Robert. I also saw the Universal Hollywood announcement. Makes me wonder when Six Flags MM will make a similar decision. Or our local Six Flags park here in Atlanta. The email they sent out regarding their efforts to deal with the virus did not necessarily reassure me.

As I mentioned earlier, we had plans to visit Universal Orlando 2nd week in April. Maybe we will luck out and they will only close for remainder of March. I am not fearful or stressed about going there. Just practice good hygiene habits and be mindful of surroundings and circumstances. I have extremely robust health, but also realize that nobody is entirely "bulletproof".

Keep up the good work Robert !! Thanks

March 14, 2020 at 12:25 PM

As a former cast member at Disneyland, the decision to continue paying cast members is a HUGE plus. We'll see how long that lasts, though, as nobody knows how long the closures will last. But I do think that it's absolutely the right thing to do under the circumstances. This is unprecedented, and the long-term affects need to be assessed before we go back to "business as usual."

I now work in a casino, and we're still open, but other casinos in the area have shut down. And last night was my first night back after my "weekend" (which doesn't fall on a weekend), and the vibe was just...strange. No panic that I saw, but people are taking this seriously.

I'm going to keep going to work (as "work from home" isn't an option in this industry, as it is not an option for Disney park cast members -- you can't say "How many? Row 3" from home). And I'm in a demographic that is very likely to survive if I catch COVID-19. But we have a LOT of senior citizen guests. And I'd hate to find out that I passed it onto one of them before showing symptoms.

Disney made the right call here, unprecedented as it is. But I do feel for those whose vacation time plans just took a hit. Not a much as I feel for people who could genuinely suffer and/or die as a result of this virus, but I do understand their disappointment.

March 14, 2020 at 12:27 PM

This is just the sort of time where we have to take things as they come, be VERY patient with our own disappointment, and wash our hands often (and keep about six feet from other nearby people whenever possible, per the CDC). We are living in interesting times, so we've all got to have some understanding and patience when things aren't as they usually are.

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