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Universal Studios Expands Park Closures, Disneyland Remains Closed

It's just the fourth time in the park's 65-year history that it's closing for a significant period of time; Universal announces shut-down as well.


Update: On March 24, Universal Studios Hollywood and Orlando announced both parks would remain closed until April 19 at the earliest. In a press release, the company said, "We are extending the closure of Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood through April 19 as we continue to respond to current conditions and make the health and safety of team members and guests our top priority. This includes our theme parks and Universal CityWalk at both destinations. The Universal Orlando Resort hotels have also temporarily suspended operations. We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed, based on guidance from health agencies and government officials."

Disneyland in California is closing for the fourth time in its history, and the first time since the aftermath of 9/11, amid fears around the COVID-19 (coronavirus). Additionally, Universal Studios Hollywood has announced its closing in March as well.

Disneyland's parks in California will be closed from March 14 through the end of the month due to the outbreak of the virus, according to Variety. The closure comes in the wake of the virus' official designation by the WHO as a global pandemic.

This is just the fourth time since Disneyland opening in July 1955 that it's been closed for a significant amount of time. Disney also closed the park after the September 11 attacks in 2001, the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and back in 1963 after JFK was assassinated during a time of mourning.

Disney World in Orlando, Florida will remain open. Disneyland is not the first of Disney's parks to close, however, as Disney has also temporarily shut down some of its parks in Asia due to the virus.

In a statement, Disney said there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland in California. However, the company decided it was in the "best interest of our guests and employees" to close the park to keep people safe. Disney also confirmed that it will continue to pay its park employees--called cast members--during the the closure.

People who have booked trips to Disneyland in March during the closure can request refunds.

The closure of Disneyland in California comes after California governor Gavin Newsom announced new policies around mass gatherings of groups of 250 people or more, affecting places like theme parks and sporting events. Newsom said in his own statement that "Disney made the right call in the interest of public health" in shutting down its park for the time being. Newsom added that he expects more California theme parks to announce closures soon as well.

In fact, Universal Studios Hollywood also confirmed that it's closing until March 28. "The health and safety of our team members and guests is always our top priority," the company said, adding that it decided to temporarily close down in response to advisories from California's public health department.

In addition to Disneyland closing up temporarily, the NBA, NHL, and MLB have all canceled or suspended their seasons due to the coronavirus outbreak, while the NCAA has canceled March Madness.

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