Disney has announced an extension to the current closure of its Disneyland and California Adventure theme parks, plus the three official hotels in Anaheim and Downtown Disney, all of which are now closed indefinitely.
This follows the original closing announcement, and began with Disneyland and DCA temporarily pausing operations through the end of March 2020. With the entire state of California and much of the United States buckling down for extended self-quarantines and isolation, it’s no surprise that Disneyland Resort is extending its closure.
It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that this would occur, but it’s good to have confirmation and know a few more details. Speaking of which, we cover pretty much everything you need to know in our Disneyland Closure FAQ: Refunds, Cancellations & Annual Pass Extension. Here, we’ll offer some additional insight and thoughts on how long this closure will continue…
With this announcement, Disney has specifically stated that the company will continue to pay parks and resorts hourly Cast Members through April 18, 2020. This does not mean that Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will reopen after that date–we’re assuming it does mean the parks will remain closed until at least then, though. That means Easter and what’s left of remaining spring breaks are off the table, which is probably for the best in terms of containment.
On Disneyland.com’s updated notice, there are some new and modified details, along with the warning that Disneyland Resort anticipates heavy call volume over the next several days and appreciates guests’ patience as there will be delays in responding to inquiries. Please contact Walt Disney Travel Company for questions and modifications at (714) 520-5050.
The Walt Disney Company’s move to extend the closure of Disneyland Resort follows a stay-at-home order by California Governor Gavin Newsom last week that essentially puts the state’s ~40 million residents on lockdown until further notice. California was the first state to impose such a strict mandate on all residents, but several other states have since followed suit.
Due to the order, Californians are not allowed to leave home except for essential purposes. Residents are allowed to leave home to purchase groceries, prescriptions, health care, and for jobs that are deemed essential. All non-essential businesses in the state–including dine-in restaurants, theaters, and entertainment venues–have been ordered to close.
There are currently over 4,000 confirmed cases in California, with 1,230 in Los Angeles and 256 in Orange County–the main areas from which Disneyland draws guests. The concern remains that this number is below the actual number of people infected.
Moreover, it doesn’t even begin to reflect estimates of how many cases California will see once the pandemic peaks. The stricter measures are intended both to shield vulnerable residents and to maintain California’s health care systems’ capacity to handle an influx of new patients.
Prior to issuing the order, Newsom predicted that 56% of California’s population — roughly 25.5 million residents — could be infected over the next eight weeks in a worst-case scenario with no additional mitigation efforts. Even before the governor’s order, 21 of California’s 58 counties had already imposed enforceable shelter-in-place orders for all residents.
This might sound draconian, especially with terms like “lockdown” and “shelter-in-place” being used, but it’s not that extreme–and mirrors what many Americans are already practicing. Under California’s order, residents can still go outside and use parks and other open spaces. People can walk their dogs, pick up food at a restaurant or drive-thru, and go grocery shopping. The key is practicing common sense and social distancing.
While we’re on the topic, we also have an update from another revered Southern California institution: In-N-Out Burger.
This is good news for anyone willing to go for a drive to get some fresh air, but bad news for anyone wanting delivery. To our knowledge, In-N-Out does not work with any third party delivery services (to the contrary, they famously sued one a few years ago.) But we digress…
We should reiterate that the extension of Disneyland’s closure does not establish a reopening date. Do not expect the parks to reopen on April 19, 2020. In our view, that is simply the next date on which the Walt Disney Company will reevaluate the situation, and determine what to do next. By all accounts from California state officials, mid-May is realistically the earliest time that restrictions will start being lifted in the state.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned earlier this week that the worst is yet to come, and Californians should be “prepared for a couple months like this” with regard to stay at home orders. Of course, Disneyland is not in LA, but if a stay at home order is in place for the adjacent county, Orange County, or the entire state of California, then Disney will have no choice but to keep the parks closed.
Ultimately, that’s all we have right now. I really wish we had a definitive reopening date for Disneyland that we could share, a prediction that had any degree of credibility, or even a likely timeframe. Unfortunately, those are all over the place. Some firmly believe things will be back to normal by late April 2020, others are convinced this will continue through the summer.
As we’ve said before, this is an incredibly fluid and dynamic situation, with things evolving by the hour, and the extent of closures and shutdowns continuing to worsen rather than improve. We remain hopeful that Disneyland will reopen by sometime in May 2020, but we’re no longer optimistic of that actually happening. It’s important to prioritize public health and safety, and we’d rather Disneyland take its time reopening than rush to get back to business and risk another outbreak.
Are you surprised that Disneyland is extending its closure–or surprised that this announcement didn’t come earlier once counties in Southern California started going on lockdown? Will this impact your upcoming spring or summer vacation plans? Any predictions about when Disneyland and DCA will reopen? Will this impact your upcoming spring or summer vacation plans? Did you cancel your California trip prior to this announcement, or were you in ‘wait and see’ mode? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!