- Disney World announced on Thursday that amid coronavirus concerns its Orlando, Florida theme parks will close until the end of the month beginning Sunday, March 15.
- Other Disney World properties, however, are remaining open for the time being – likely to accommodate travellers who are already on-site.
- People are now urging Disney World to shut down places like the Disney Springs shopping centre out of concern for stranded guests and employees.
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Disney World in Orlando, Florida, is closing for the time being.
On Thursday, the theme park announced that it would shut down between Sunday and the end of the month as a precautionary measure to help stop the spread of coronavirus. However, this plan does not include all Disney properties – places such as hotels and the Disney Springs shopping centre remain open at the time of writing.
Now, people are urging Disney to close all of its properties, not just its theme parks, to protect stranded guests and employees from infection.
People seem particularly concerned that the Disney Springs shopping centre could be at risk of coronavirus contamination
On Twitter, many Disney fans and employees expressed concerns that stranded parkgoers would now flock to Disney Springs, an outdoor shopping and dining facility on Disney property.
According to their tweets, this could essentially stop stranded parkgoers from practicing social distancing, while also putting Disney employees at high risk of contracting the virus.
@WaltDisneyWorld I understand from a business aspect as to why certain locations such as DisneySprings will remain open. But due to the high volume of traffic W.O.D experiences daily, are you not afraid that an increase of traffic will put your cast members health at risk?
— erica. (@erynyre_) March 13, 2020
disney can’t close disney springs but they can close disney operated stores and restaurants. let your cast members go home and be with their families if they chose
— logan⁷ (@dahyunbbys) March 14, 2020
Me: Can we PLEASE shut down Disney Springs too?!?!
Disney: Yes, we WILL release Frozen 2 on Disney+
— Keeks (@Karina_Nic05) March 14, 2020
What I'm confused about is that Disney is keeping Disney Springs, the hotels, and the restaurants all open. Does COVID-19 not spread in restaurants? pic.twitter.com/5vXGOlF1AZ
— Jose Castillo (@Kryptonlogic) March 13, 2020
It’s currently unclear if Disney World has plans to close Disney Springs and other Florida properties in the coming days and weeks. Insider has reached out to representatives for the theme park and will update this story when we hear back.
Despite health concerns, Disney Springs seems to be busy as ever
According to people in Orlando, Florida, Disney Springs was bustling with shoppers as late as Friday night. One person shared a video of the crowds on Twitter, while others posted stories about restaurants filled to the brim with diners.
Except for everyone that came here to go to Disney will now be packed into Disney springs. So no, it will not be “easier to practice social distancing.” My girlfriend works at DS and she says it’s already a mad house. Not good.
— Dari Lamastus (@DariLamastus) March 14, 2020
Disney Springs is likely remaining open for travellers who can’t yet leave Disney property
Disney World’s closing announcement came as a surprise to many parkgoers. After all, the theme park has only shut down a few times in its 48-year history, and usually as a result of hurricanes, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
As a result, it’s likely that some travellers are stuck on Disney property, unable to complete their vacations or find a flight home.
I’d imagine the hotels remain open (as well as Disney Springs) to give people time to leave. Not everyone can be on flights the next day unexpectedly. They won’t accept any check ins then they disinfect each room after check out.
I imagine the hotels will close mid-next week.
— Summerfied Paulie (@YoPaulieNJ) March 13, 2020
Other theme parks are taking similar measures to protect travellers
In addition to its Florida theme parks, Disney has temporarily shut down its locations in California, France, and Asia. For the time being, Disney cruises are also being halted.
“In an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of our theme parks at 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,” representatives for Disney World said in a statement.
As Insider’s Samantha Grindell reported, Universal Studios in Hollywood and Orlando have also closed amid coronavirus concerns. In a statement previously sent to Insider, representatives for the theme park said:
“The health and safety of our team members and guests is always our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution and in response to the guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health, Universal Studios Hollywood will temporarily close beginning Saturday, March 14. The theme park anticipates reopening on March 28 as we continue to monitor the situation.”
- Read more:
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- Every tour, concert, and music festival that’s been cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak
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- Here’s what Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are doing in coronavirus quarantine, from sharing selfies to making a Spotify playlist called ‘Quarantunes’