Walt Disney world to stay closed
By Brian George | March 13th 2020
Walt Disney World’s theme park in Orlando Florida is closing because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the latest sign of the tourism industry in freefall. The closure could affect the company’s revenue that recorded US$ 26 billion in 2019, from the sales at the parks alone.
All new departures with the Disney cruise line have been suspended and Disneyland Paris will also stay shut.
There are more than 1,300 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, and extreme precautions are being taken to contain the spread as that number is expected to rise.
"In an abundance of caution and the best interest of our guests and employees, we are 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 the month," a Disney spokesperson said in a statement.
In the announcement, Disney added that its hotels at Disney World and Disneyland Paris will remain open until further notice.
Disney’s cast member situation is unique. Cast members were assured they will be paid during the closure period. Many of the cast members live together in apartments near the park. However, the living arrangements is a reason to worry as it may aid in the spread of the virus.
The company also said that it will suspend all new departures with the Disney Cruise Line starting Saturday through the end of the month.
The worldwide spread of the virus has now led to the closure of the doors of all the other eleven Disney theme parks across North America, Asia, and Europe, among them the iconic Disneyland Resort of Anaheim, California. This announcement was made on Thursday.
The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World recorded 20 million visits in 2018, making it the most visited theme park in the world.
The company has invested billions in its theme park division, opening two new Star Wars lands in Florida and California last year. A brand new ride, "Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway" debuted at Disney's Hollywood Studios just last week.
The company urged its domestic employees at Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Television, ESPN and at its direct-to-consumer, parks and product divisions to work from home.
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