The Disney group decided on Thursday to close its famous theme parks in California, Florida and near Paris this weekend until the end of March “as a precautionary measure” against the coronavirus epidemic. Disney World, in Orlando (Florida) is the first leisure park in the world in terms of attendance (nearly 21 million visitors in 2018 according to professionals) followed by Disneyland in Anaheim, near Los Angeles (18.7 million).
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Disney began by announcing the closure of its California park starting March 14, “although no cases of Covid-19” have been reported there. The 40-hectare amusement park was to act “in the interest of our visitors and employees” and in accordance with the recommendations of the governor of California, said a Disney spokesperson. Governor Gavin Newsom has been recommending since Thursday the suspension of all “non-essential” rallies of more than 250 people.
The hotels on the California site will remain open until Monday, March 16, to give tourists time to plan their departure. “We will monitor the situation and follow the advice and recommendations of the federal and local authorities as well as health agencies. Disney will continue to pay its employees” during the suspension of its activities, said the spokesman for Disneyland.
Until April 15 to postpone or cancel free of charge in Paris
The world’s number one entertainment company a few hours later announced the closure of Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland Paris, near the French capital, from Sunday evening until the end of the month. “The Disney hotels remain open until further notice to allow our visitors to organize their departure. The shops and restaurants of the Disney Village (public site accessible without entry ticket, editor’s note) remain open”, specifies the park of Marne-la-Vallée on its website Friday.
“If you have booked a stay in a Disney hotel for an arrival until June 1, 2020, you have until April 15, 2020 to postpone or cancel it at no cost. If you wish to postpone your stay for a date arrived before October 15, 2020, we offer you the possibility to book at the same price (excluding transport) “, specifies Disneyland Paris which has not communicated its number of visitors since 2015, the year in which it welcomed 14.8 million people.
The park – Europe’s number one private tourist destination – says that “due to the large number of calls expected in the coming days”, it strives to “respond to all requests as quickly as possible and thank you for your patience”. Disney has also decided to suspend all of its cruises around the world for the month of March, the group said in a statement. In Asia, Disney closed its amusement parks for weeks because of the epidemic, but the Shanghai complex in China was able to partially reopen this week. In Japan, on the other hand, the closure of Disneyland and DisneySea in Tokyo has been extended for two weeks, until early April.
Mulan’s release postponed to the cinema
The Universal Studios amusement park in Hollywood, which is also very popular with tourists, will also close its doors from Saturday for two weeks. “We anticipate a reopening on March 28 and continue to monitor the situation,” said Universal Studios in a statement.
Disney has also decided to postpone the release of its film “Mulan”, a remake of real shots of its famous 1998 cartoon. The feature film was presented on Monday in Los Angeles and was to be released on North American screens in two weeks. The release of several other big-budget movies has also been delayed due to the impact of the coronavirus on the entertainment industry. The Disney group thus postponed sine die “Affamés” (“Antlers”) and “Les Nouveaux Mutants”, while Universal decided to postpone by one year, in April 2021, the ninth episode of the series “Fast and Furious “.
Many cultural events have already been canceled or postponed in California, including the famous Coachella music festival, the Beverly Hills film festival and the WonderCon pop culture gathering. Many matches and sporting events are also canceled. The United States had about 1,700 cases of infection with the new coronavirus on Wednesday, and 40 people died, according to statistics from the American University Johns Hopkins.