The world goes viral: Monday's Covid-19 theme park and travel news

March 16, 2020, 7:16 PM · Here are your latest updates on travel and theme parks in the time of coronavirus.

Universal Orlando is closing its CityWalk shopping district tonight and will close all of its hotels by 5pm Friday. Earlier, the Disneyland Resort announced that it is not just closing its own stores at Downtown Disney but will close the entire complex. That leaves nothing open at the Disneyland Resort, making it the first of the "big three" multi-park resorts in the United States to close entirely. Universal Orlando will be closed completely by Friday, while it's not yet clear if all the independent tenants at Disney Springs will close or not. All of Disney's owned and operated locations at Disney Springs will close tomorrow.

Elsewhere, Hersheypark announced today that it will push its planned opening date back to May 1. Update: Universal Studios Hollywood announced that its owned and operated locations inside CityWalk will close tomorrow.

Beyond the parks, several movie chains have announced that they will close nationwide, as cities such as New York and Los Angeles order the close of theaters, bars, and restaurants, unless they offer take-away. That has helped prompt Universal to announce that it will break the theatrical window and release several new titles to home rental upon their planned theatrical opening, including Trolls World Tour, which drops April 10. Universal also is moving its current slate of films, including The Invisible Man and The Hunt, to streaming rental on March 20.

As for global travel - of the impending lack of it - the European Union is closing its borders, as is Canada, though Canada will continue to allow American citizens to enter. France also ordered its residents to stay at home for 15 days to help stop the spread of the SARS-CoV2 virus.

Nearly 7 million residents in California's San Francisco Bay Area are being ordered to "shelter in place" until April 7. People should leave their homes only to go to the grocery, pharmacy, laundry, doctor, or for essential work or exercise. When outside, people should practice safe social distancing, remaining six feet away from others. Nationally, the federal government is now urging people to stop all gatherings of 10 people or more.

If you're dreaming of a little theme park magic in the midst of all this, we launched our new "social distancing kitchen" video feature today, in which I will be showing you how to make some of your favorite theme park food at home. I started today with how to make Disneyland's Monte Cristo, if you'd like to give that one a look.

As always, thank you for your continued readership and support of Theme Park Insider.

Previous "world goes viral" round-up reports: Weekend, Friday, Thursday. And here's why all of this is important: This wasn't the 'going viral' that anyone wanted.

Replies (1)

March 16, 2020 at 10:31 PM

I was at Busch Gardens Tampa yesterday and it was somewhat surreal. I have been a member for years and have been there through all sorts of weather and events and days of the week but it was extremely low attendance on Sunday.

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