U.S. theme parks will be closed starting on March 14 into at least April amid concerns over the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19.
Disney, Universal Studios, Six Flags, Cedar Fair, SeaWorld (starting March 16), and Legoland have announced that they will be temporarily suspending operations at all their parks nationwide.
COVID-19 Park Closures FAQs
Which theme parks are closed?
Just about every theme park in the U.S. will be temporarily closed. If a theme park was scheduled to open for the season this month, the opening day has been pushed back to April or May.
Why are the parks closing?
While there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any U.S. theme parks, all large public gatherings and events have been cancelled or postponed out of an abundance of caution and at the guidance of public health officials.
When will the parks reopen?
UPDATE: Closures are expected to extend into at least April at all theme parks. Disneyland will now be closed “until further notice,” according to Disney. Universal Studios Hollywood has announced that it expects to reopen on April 20, 2020. Six Flags and Cedar Fair parks (Knott’s Berry Farm, Cedar Point, Kings Island, etc.) are now expecting to reopen in mid-May.
Keep in mind though that there is no fixed reopening date, as the coronavirus pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation. All the major theme park companies maintain that they will continue to monitor the situation during the closure and follow the guidance of local and national health officials.
Will the parks be crowded when they reopen?
It’s still too early to say how COVID-19 will impact theme park attendance going forward. A total shutdown of every theme park in the country for an extended period of time is truly unprecedented. If a reopening happens in early April, many theme parks may catch the tail-end of the Spring Break season—it’s only a question of if the crowds will show up.
Original post covering Disney’s announcement below…
Disney released the following statement: “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 Park, beginning the morning of March 14 through the end of the month.”
The unprecedented shutdown of the parks comes after coronavirus had seemingly no impact on deterring visitors this week, as the Spring Break season crowds swarmed Disneyland—even on rainy days.
This marks just the third unscheduled closure in Disneyland history:
- In 1963, following the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
- In 2001, after the September 11 attacks.
- In 2020, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Disneyland Crowd Calendar has been updated to reflect the park closures, which extend to peak Spring Break season at the end of March. There’s no official word yet on when the parks will reopen (although other nearby theme parks anticipate reopening on April 1). The shutdown will also affect all three Disneyland Resort hotel properties.
According to Disney, “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,” the company said in a statement.
The coronavirus pandemic was already impacting tourism in and around the Disneyland Resort area. A growing number of travelers had been cancelling their hotel reservations and vacation plans prior to Disney’s announcement, as conventions and public events got scrapped. Disney and other area hotels are now bracing for even more cancellations.
“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 said.