Disney World Officially Closes Amid Coronavirus Fears

Hours after Disney announced plans to close the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California due to coronavirus fears, the company did the same for the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Disneyland Paris in France will also close. Both resorts will not allow in new guests beginning at the close of business on Sunday, March 15 through the end of the month. Disney Cruise Line is suspending all new departures starting Saturday, March 14 through the end of the month as well.

The hotels at Disney World and Disneyland Paris will be open until "further notice," as will the shopping and dining complexes Disney Springs in Orlando and Disney Village in Paris.

The new statement adds that all U.S. Walt Disney Company employees who can work from home are being asked to do so. This includes employees at Disney Studios, Disney Television, ESPN, Direct-to-Consumer, and Parks, Experiences and Products. Cast members will continue to be paid while the parks are closed.

"We will continue to stay in close contact with appropriate officials and health experts," the new statement concludes.

Earlier Thursday, Disney announced the Disneyland Resort, which includes the main Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, will be closed beginning on Saturday. The Hotel of Disneyland Resort will remain open through Monday to give guests more time to make travel arrangements. That decision was made after California Governor Gavin Newsom advised against hosting gatherings of more than 250 people due to the highly contagious nature of the coronavirus.

"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," the company said. "We anticipate heavy call volume over the next several days and appreciate guests' patience as we work hard to respond to all inquiries."

With the latest decision to close Disneyland Paris and Disney World, this means all Disney parks around the world will be closed at the same time. Shanghai Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, and Hong Kong Disneyland were closed in January, as the coronavirus outbreak began in Asia.

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There are more than 128,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University research. There are more than 4,720 total deaths, including 40 in the U.S.

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