Walt Disney World in Florida, and Disneyland in California, are both closing temporarily because of COVID-19, or the new coronavirus.
The parks, especially Disneyland, will close the gates but still be in operation due to reaching capacity on busy days, but it is rare for the parks to shut down completely to all guests.
The parks have closed due to emergencies on a handful of occasions and only for a day or two.
Annually, Walt Disney World brings in about 93 million people each year. It will close down Sunday and will remain closed until the end of the month, The New York Times reported.
But while the theme parks will go dark, the hotels and the Disney Springs shopping and entertainment district will remain in operation, according to the Times.
The closure of the Orlando-area Disney parks has only happened seven times before now, according to media reports:
- Hurricane Floyd, 1999
- Hurricane Charley, 2004
- Hurricane Frances, 2004
- Hurricane Jeanne, 2004
- Hurricane Matthew, 2016
- Hurricane Irma, 2017
- Sept. 11, 2001, where it was evacuated 30 minutes after the attacks on America, CNBC reported
For Disneyland, the two parks, Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, will close at midnight tonight and will stay closed until next month. Those staying in hotels on the property can stay until Monday as they make travel arrangements, Los Angeles Magazine reported. Downtown Disney, the West Coast shopping and entertainment area will remain open.
The park has closed for emergencies only a few times in its 65-year history, the magazine reported:
- Pres. John F. Kennedy assassination, 1963
- “Yippies” protest on Tom Sawyer’s Island, 1970
- Sept. 11, 2001