Disney Parks announced on Thursday that both Disneyland and Walt Disney World would be closing their doors due to the spreading coronavirus outbreak. Following advice from the California Governor's office, any gatherings over 250 people should be postponed or cancelled, and a full Disneyland park certainly fits that bill. California's popular theme park is set to close on Saturday, which gives guests one more chance to attend Disneyland for the foreseeable future, and they're taking full advantage of that fact.
There were substantial lines outside of Disneyland when the park was ready to open at 8 am PT on Friday morning. Many of those folks were likely trying to get in early and grab a spot in the queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, the newest and most popular attraction at the park. Some of the other popular rides, like Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run, are seeing waits of 45 minutes or more. Not quite as bad as the usual wait times, but it's clear that people are trying to get in as much Disney as they can before the park is off-limits.
"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 and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, beginning the morning of March 14 through the end of the month," Disney said in a statement on Thursday.
Ahead of Thursday's major shutdowns, Disney Parks attempted to remain open throughout the crisis. A statement from Disney Parks chief medical officer Dr. Pamela Hymel said that the company was taking extra precautions at the parks to keep guests safe.
“As part of our commitment to the health and well-being of our cast, guests and the larger community, we are carefully monitoring the evolving coronavirus situation and are in regular contact with health agencies for information and guidance,” Hymel said on Tuesday. "Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, are welcoming guests as usual and we continue to implement preventive measures in line with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health agencies."
Once the National Basketball Association suspended its season on Wednesday night, it was only a matter of time before most other organizations followed suit. The current plan is for Disney Parks to be reopened in April, but that could obviously change.
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