- Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, is one of the most visited theme parks in the world. It gets about 93 million visitors annually.
- On March 15, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended cancelling gatherings of 50 or more people to stop the coronavirus from spreading.
- As of March 18, the US had 4,661 confirmed cases with 114 deaths.
- To stop the virus from spreading Disney World closed its doors on March 16 and won’t reopen until March 31.
- These before-and-after photos show how different the amusement park looks from one day to the next.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
On March 15, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recommended avoiding gatherings of 50 or more people. That evening, hundreds of people went to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, to watch fireworks before the park closed.
Walt Disney World closed on March 16 and won’t reopen until March 31. According to Disney World, the closures were taken as “an abundance of caution.” The following aerial photos show the difference from March 15 to March 16.
BEFORE: Each year more than 93 million people visit the six parks within Walt Disney World, including the Magic Kingdom, Hollywood studios, and Epcot. Here’s the car park on March 15. It was nearly full.
Source: The New York Times
AFTER: By March 16, the Magic Kingdom theme park was nearly empty.
BEFORE: Of the six theme parks in Disney World, Magic Kingdom is the most popular. In 2018, it had 20.8 million visitors.
Source: USA Today
AFTER: Main Street, which leads to Cinderella Castle, was deserted on March 16.
BEFORE: On March 15, people were swimming and enjoying Disney World’s Blizzard Beach Water Park.
AFTER: The next day, the water was empty, and the beach umbrellas were down. This isn’t the first time Disney World has closed. It also closed in 1999, 2004, and 2016, due to hurricanes.
Source: The New York Times
BEFORE: A large crowd milled about Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on March 15.
AFTER: The next day, it was empty streets in Toy Story Land. Disney World employs 75,000 people and said they would continue to get paid while the parks were closed.
BEFORE: The space in front of Cinderella Castle on Main Street in Disney’s Magic Kingdom was teeming on March 15.
AFTER: The space was clear on March 16.
BEFORE: The Star Wars-themed section of Hollywood Studios was still busy on March 15.
AFTER: On March 16, the Millennium Falcon, a ship from the Star Wars films, sat amid empty streets.
BEFORE: In Disney’s Epcot theme park, people walked between a Mesoamerican pyramid and the Mexico Pavilion on March 15.
AFTER: The next day the streets in Disney’s Epcot theme park were empty. Despite the closures Walt Disney’s executive Chairman Robert Iger remained positive. On Twitter, he said: “We’ve been through a lot over the years. We’ve always bounced back. Be strong. Stay healthy.”