Walt Disney’s theme parks are being shut for the rest of the month due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Disneyland Resort in California is being closed from today (Friday).
Walt Disney World in Florida will be shut from Monday.
Disneyland Paris will be closed from Sunday.
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The theme park giant said the temporary closures were taking place “in an abundance of caution” and in the best interests of holidaymakers and staff.
Disneyland Resort said: “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 [banning large public gatherings] 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.”
Disney Cruise Line suspension
Disney Cruise Line is also suspending operations across its four-ship fleet.
The cruise line said: “Disney Cruise Line has decided to suspend all new departures beginning Saturday, March 14, 2020, through the end of the month.
“This precautionary measure applies to all four of Disney’s cruise ships.
“While we know this decision may be disappointing, the health and wellbeing of our guests is of the greatest importance.
“We are equally committed to the wellbeing of our incredible crew members who live and work aboard our ships and on Castaway Cay.
“During the suspended operations, Disney Cruise Line will continue to compensate our crew members and shoreside cast members.”
Disney Dream will depart on a three-night cruise from Port Canaveral as scheduled today Friday.
Disney Fantasy and Disney Magic will return to port on Saturday.
Disney Wonder, which is on a westbound Panama Canal cruise, will continue on its scheduled itinerary, with passengers disembarking in San Diego on March 20.
“Disney Cruise Line will offer guests affected by this decision a future cruise credit or a full refund, the details of which will be provided directly to them,” the line added.
Simon Llanos, marketing director at travel booking platform Klook, said: “As with the cancellation of any event or gathering right now, closing all Disney parks would have been a difficult decision and not one that would have been taken lightly.
“It’s incredibly rare for Disney to close their parks, along with suspending new departures from its cruise line, and will not just impact anyone who had plans to attend the parks but also the merchant, making it a challenging call to make.
“The number of closures being announced, from high profile sporting events to festivals and gigs, shows the seriousness of the situation the world is in.”
He added: “We have been impressed with how the travel industry has rallied around the world to have positive steps to help offer greater flexibility and reassurance to travellers, given the uncertainty we’re in.
“EasyJet dropping their change fee from today for both existing and new bookings is a welcome decision and will be widely appreciated.”
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