Disney Parks already made the decision to shut down the Disneyland resort amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that continues to spread across the globe, and now they are ceasing operations of Walt Disney World as well. The theme park in Orlando has remained open despite numerous cases in Florida emerging over the last few weeks as the spread of coronavirus continues, and now they are making the decision to close their gates as more cases continue to be diagnosed. Walt Disney World has faced numerous issues in recent months, though the total shutdown of the parks, hotels, and other attractions on the site is a major move conducted in the interest of safety.
Walt Disney World is currently set to close its doors on March 15th, though there is no official word on plans to reopen as officials continue to monitor the threat of coronavirus. Here is the official statement from Disney Parks:
"In an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we proceeding with the closure of our theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and DIsneyland Paris Resort, beginning at the close of business on Sunday, March 15, through the end of yhe month. Disney Cruise Line will suspend all new departures beginning Saturday, March 14, through the end of the month. The Walt Disney Company will pay its cast members during that closure period. The hotels at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris will remain open until further notice. The retail and dining complexes, Disney Springs at Walt Disney World and Disney Village at Disneyland Paris, will remain open. Domestic Walt Disney Company employees who are able to work from home are being asked to do so, including those at The Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Direct-to-Consumer, and Parks, Experiences, and Products. We will continue to stay in close contact with appropriate officials and health experts."
When Disney Parks shut down Disneyland, they offered guests on site the option to stay at their hotels for a few extra days in order to figure out their travel schedules. The company also promised to pay employees who would be out of work as Disneyland keeps its doors closed.
Disney is expected to closely monitor the ongoing situation and could delay plans to reopen both parks should the situations in Anaheim and Orlando remain at risk. The coronavirus pandemic has caused numerous closures and event postponements, as well as the infection of thousands of people. As government officials and other organizations continue to determine the best way to tackle the pandemic, companies will continue to alter their plans based on the public response.