Disney Parks Are Shutting Down During the Pandemic — but for How Long?

Disney World, Disneyland, and all Disney Stores and cruises have been closed down due to COVID-19. How long will Disney World stay closed?

Abi Travis - Author

Mar. 19 2020, Updated 6:43 p.m. ET

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The hits just keep on coming. If you haven’t already heard the news, Disney World is closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Obviously, that makes lots of people very bummed out, even though most of us realize that it’s the smartest decision to make at this time. But don’t worry — Disney World won’t be closed forever! How long will Disney World stay closed? Read on to find out!

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Disney World is closed due to the coronavirus. But for how long?

On Thursday, March 12, Disney announced that the theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Paris Resort would be closing down at the end of the day on Sunday, March 15. At this time, the parks will definitely remain closed through the end of the month of March.

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However, while the initial plan is to stay closed through all of March, there’s a chance that Disney World may stay closed beyond that. We still don’t really know the extent of the damage that the virus will cause, and if it continues to spread at alarming rates, the closure could well be extended for several weeks beyond the initial timeline.

Disney announced that Disneyland would also close.

The closure information also came to the west coast. Disneyland Resort was closed beginning the morning of March 14, also through the end of the month (at this time, at least). Hotels at both Disney World and Disneyland remained open for a few more days to give people a chance to make other travel arrangements, but they will also remain closed through the end of March.

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The Disney Cruise Line is also suspending all departures through the end of March, and every single Disney Store in North America will close beginning on March 17. (You can still shop online at shopDisney.com, though.)

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Shanghai Disneyland has been closed since Jan. 25 and Hong Kong Disneyland has been closed since Jan. 26. Tokyo Disneyland has been closed since Feb. 29.

So far, Disney says it is committed to continuing to pay its cast members during the closures. Let’s hope they’re able to keep that up even if the pandemic causes Disney to extend the closures — goodness knows they should have plenty of money to cover those costs since they own basically every property in the world.

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Disney will be donating extra food to food banks during the park closures.

During the temporary park closures, both Walt Disney World and Disneyland will be donating excess food to local food banks. According to a press release, Disneyland will be “closely following food safety guidelines” in order to donate the “excess inventory of dairy, fruit, vegetables, packaged goods, and banquet meals” to Second Harvest Food Bank in Orange County.

Disney World’s donations will go to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. In fact, both parks regularly donate to these food shelters as part of the Disney Harvest Program. Walt Disney World Resort typically collects and distributes more than 823,000 pounds of prepared food every year! This year, they get to increase their donation during the park closures.

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Want Disney parks to open back up? Here’s what you can do!

While we wait for Disney World, Disneyland, and other fun locations to open back up to the public, the best thing we can all do is stay home as much as possible. Wash your hands, work from home if you can, and avoid spreading dangerous misinformation online. 

The best way to prevent contracting or spreading coronavirus is with thorough hand washing and social distancing. If you feel you may be experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, which include persistent cough (usually dry), fever, shortness of breath, and fatigue, please call your doctor before going to get tested. For comprehensive resources and updates, visit the CDC website. If you are experiencing anxiety about the virus, seek out mental health support from your provider or visit NAMI.org. Hopefully, you’ll be able to plan your next Disney getaway before too long.

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