Hong Kong Disneyland Closed
Hong Kong’s Disneyland is now closed until further notice due to the deadly coronavirus outbreak in mainland China, which also caused the indefinite closure of Shanghai Disneyland. This comes a day after authorities classified the crisis as an emergency.
For those unfamiliar with the region, this would also be the rough equivalent of Walt Disney World closing because of a virus outbreak in Brazil. In both cases, it’d be more about visitor demographics than proximity. Hong Kong is not part of mainland China, just as Brazil is not part of the United States. Both are separated by long flights, and northern Brazil to Orlando is nearly the same average trip duration as Wuhan to Hong Kong Disneyland.
To continue the WDW analogy, this would also be the equivalent of Walt Disney World not being open during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The HKDL closure comes during the heart of the Lunar New Year holiday, which is one of Hong Kong Disneyland’s busiest weeks of the year…
As of right now, Hong Kong Disneyland has not set a date to reopen. However, the resort has released a statement on its website about the closures and refund policy:
“As a precautionary measure in line with prevention efforts taking place across Hong Kong, we are temporarily closing Hong Kong Disneyland Park starting from January 26, 2020 out of consideration for the health and safety of our Guests and Cast Members. The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort hotels will remain open. We are in close contact with health authorities and the government about the situation and will announce a reopening date once they determine it is advisable.
The Standard Park Ticket is valid for six months from the purchase date. If needed, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will assist in the refund for Guests who have purchased tickets for admission to Hong Kong Disneyland park or have booked a resort hotel. For additional details, please click here or email to [email protected]”
The coronavirus originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in the Hubei province late last year and has spread to Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as to the United States, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Australia, France and Canada.
The virus has infected at least 1,975 people and killed 56 people in mainland China, according to that nation’s National Health Commission. Chinese authorities have locked down Wuhan, shut down public transportation, and indefinitely closed many state-owned or sponsored businesses (including Shanghai Disneyland) in an unprecedented effort to contain the virus during the busy Lunar New Year travel period.
The United States has closed its consulate in Wuhan and was pulling out its diplomats. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed a third case, and says more U.S. patients are likely. However, the CDC also states that the current risk of local transmission is low.
Because of this, there is no cause for panic at this time. While it’s possible that China is not being fully transparent with the scope and scale of the coronavirus, the World Health Organization has declined to categorize the coronavirus as a global health emergency, as there is no evidence of human-to-human infection outside China.
On a semi-related note, don’t be concerned when you see Asian guests in the U.S. parks wearing surgical masks. For the most part, this is simply a precaution and is an incredibly common practice to protect the wearer from environmental viruses and everyone else from their mouth-borne germs.
These are common in all Asian countries we’ve visited, but they’re ubiquitous in Japan. Among the Japanese, these masks are viewed as a social courtesy. (If you have a cough or cold while visiting Japan, you should likewise consider wearing one.) In other words, there’s a good chance the guests you’re seeing are simply polite Japanese visitors.
Back in Hong Kong, Ocean Park also announced it would be closing indefinitely. This is the other top-tier theme park in Hong Kong located on the main island, which has something of a friendly rivalry with HKDL. This is another big blow for both parks, and to Hong Kong in general. Tourism is down over 40% year over year, with retail sales slumping by roughly 25%, per CNBC.
As popular tourist destinations, both Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland have faced attendance woes over the last year-plus. Tensions with mainland China and the prodemocracy movement have taken a significant toll, especially as most mainland Chinese tour groups–a lucrative demographic for all Asian nations–are staying away from Hong Kong.
Ultimately, we would not let the coronavirus dissuade you from visiting Hong Kong Disneyland at some point later in 2020. Obviously, we would not visit in the immediate future, and would likely cancel any planned trip between now and at least mid-February 2020. At this point, the coronavirus situation only appears to be getting worse.
We’re planning on visiting Hong Kong Disneyland later this year when the new “Castle of Magical Dreams” is finished. We’re eager to see how this ‘biggified’ castle works (or doesn’t) in person, and also looking forward to seeing Mystic Point and Grizzly Gulch, plus the latest additions to the Marvel Land (we still haven’t done Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle!) and construction progress on Frozen Land.
We absolutely love this charming park, which is also home to two of our Top 10 New Disney Attractions of the Last Decade. We recommend Hong Kong Disneyland to anyone looking for a more intimate and laid back Disney theme park experience. (Plus some truly great hotels.)
We’ll likely split our time between the outlying Lantau Island (where Hong Kong Disneyland and Tian Tan Buddha are located) and Hong Kong Island or Kowloon. Exploring the city of Hong Kong is also high on our list. It’s a beautiful, ultra-modern city that also is brimming with traditional culture, great food, and welcoming people.
We love the street vendors, public parks, waterfront, and more. While we would not visit until the coronavirus is no longer an issue, we have zero hesitations about visiting due to the ongoing demonstrations in the city; we were in the city a few years ago during the Umbrella Movement and never felt unsafe or concerned. Suffice to say, we’re very excited to go back to Hong Kong.
For the rest of your planning needs, consult our Hong Kong Disneyland Trip Planning Guide. It covers everything you need to know for a visit to HKDL, including reviews, strategy, packing, and more. If you’re visiting the city as well, please consult our Hong Kong City Guide on TravelCaffeine, our non-Disney planning site.
What do you think of this news? Will the coronavirus cause you to postpone a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland, or elsewhere in Asia? Are you hesitant to visit Hong Kong given the protests, or does the prodemocracy movement make you want to visit more? If you’ve visited the park, what do you like most about Hong Kong Disneyland? If you’ve never been to Hong Kong, what interests you most about the park? Anything else to add? Any questions? Hearing from you is half the fun, so please share your questions and thoughts in the comments!
The news that Hong Kong Disneyland hotels are being mooted as Coronavirus quarantine centres seems pretty extreme, but unsurprising considering they are a supply of endless empty rooms. Also noticed that HKDL has protected its Twitter account. From what I’ve read, the hotels that are remaining open don’t sound like much fun either, which I can fully believe (in Janauey. On the plus side, they’ve promised to extend annual passes by the length of the closure (selfishly it would suit me for it to be closed as long as possible… but actually I truly hope it reopens soon, I find the whole situation incredibly sad).
As for what I did – as airlines, travel operators and countries implement increasingly prejudiced policies that lump HK indiscriminately in with China, I determined that the risk of being stranded in HK, encountering coronavirus-related unrest, or having future travel to other countries disrupted was too great. I ended up changing destinations to Singapore and doing Universal there. As it happens, I’m really glad I did – I hadn’t given it the time of day before, and while it’s a small park it’s one with remarkably few direct clones. Stand-outs for me were Lights Camera Action, Sesame Street: Space Chase and Madagascar: Crate Adventure (a dark boat ride approaching Disney quality). I highly recommend it (as well as Singapore itself).
Am due to return to HK in May, after a great trip to HK in October (we managed to have a brilliant time regardless of the protests} and was just planning on doing HKDL.
Whilst Coronavirus has yet to hit its peak, am not cancelling my trip just yet – am really hoping that things will improve and slow down by then plus, of course, the HKDL re-opens. Have concerns that it may not re-open after the inevitable financial loss that must have occurred last year coupled with it closing now. Whilst this was a good move as far as health and welfare go, have to hope that myself and cdd89 will not be the only nutcases there!
Hi, we are in the same boat. First week in May we have flights to Shanghai and Singapore after going to Tokyo.
I looked into cancelling and I can cancel and rebook flights to Japan return at any point and avoid China and Hong but for now just happy to hope for the best and wait it out.
May 1st seems like a reasonable date for reopening 😉
So we cancelled the whole escapade. Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong all cancelled flights and hotels fully refunded.
Have booked a Disney cruise from San Diago to Vancouver on a deal that they have at the moment.
Disappointed but we prefer to do all three Asia parks another time and we have never been to Disneyland Anaheim.
We got some good deals 6 months back based on the principles of Tom’s three Asia parks post with stopovers and for about Â£650pp from London to Tokyo via Shanghai and HK.
The only thing, other than the flight that we have booked is 6 nights at the Sheraton near Disney Tokyo which is non-refundable.
Really trying to weight this up at the moment. Tokyo is late April, HK is May 1st and Shanghai a few days after that for 6 days. We fly with East China Air which now feels kind of scary.
So probably going to to try and cancel the flights today, see if we can get flights direct into Tokyo and out again at a later date, but a bit worried that Tokyo Disney will close as a precaution.
I am kind of worried that once the dust settles we will have given up the opportunity of a lifetime to visit these three parks!
I feel the exact same way. We can only hope for the best. <3
We have decided to leave our flight bookings as they are. We have two weeks in Japan which we can do anyway and I feel that this situation could be reversed.
If not we can stay in Japan an extra week and pay for an extra flight into Shanghai Airport to meet up our connection back to London.
If Tokyo Disney closes we will have to rethink the trip. Three park closures probably means we will leave it for another year.
Oh, Tom, sometimes your naivete is too much. And you are trained as a lawyer. This situation is bad. Very bad. Anyone who has a trip planned in the next 30-90 days should be cancelling it to save themselves the hassle and worry as the situation gets worse daily. … BTW, some have suggested this might have been a bio weapon release, either accidentally or purposefully. I don’t think that’s a great leap judging by the actions of the CCP, which is attempting to put the world’s most populous nation on lockdown.
Again, I often make fun at your expense, but here … well, I think your advice is beyond misguided right now. No one in their right mind should be making any travel plans that involve China and HK China … in the near term. So sorry you didn’t ride that Ant Man deal. I don’t think you missed much.
From naÃ¯vety to conspiracy theory…
Not sure what map you looked at, but Hong Kong is only about 500 miles from Wuhan. Much much much closer than brazil is to florida. It’s even closer than the distance between Washington DC and orlando.
500 miles is close. It’s about the same as the distance between Orlando and Charlotte, North Carolina. That’s close.
And many chinese go to hong kong.
There is no way the disease is going to be successfully kept inside wuhan.
It’s highly contagious and no doubt has already made its way to the rest of the country, which includes Hong Kong.
I was going by common flight routes via Google Flights.
I felt it was an apt comparison because they’re two different countries (which many Americans don’t realize), and also because many Brazilian guests also visit Walt Disney World. Nevertheless, I realize it’s an imperfect comparison.
the situation is very unclear, but seems much worse than the authorities are letting on. We have business associates located in various locations around China, and they say that their highways have also been closed. Even in places that are far away from Wuhan. They admit to being very frightened. And again, they’re very far away. They say their streets look like ghost towns. To make matters worse, the Chinese government has extended the Chinese new year shut down until the 10th of February. Meaning factories and businesses are closed. Hopefully, they’ll get things under control quickly, but who knows.
The government is only releasing misinformation, so there’s no way to really know what’s going on.
FYI, the geography would be more like Cancun, MX than northern Brazil. The distance between WDW/Cancun and HKDL/Wuhan is ~600 miles, with 2 hour flights when Wuhan flights are normal. Northern Brazil and WDW are ~2900 miles apart.
We have our first Asian DL planned in April. My daughter was adopted from China (Wuhan specifically!) and the trip to SDL was to conclude a 2 week trip to China…. her first time back to China since she was adopted in 2014. I sure hope it gets all cleared up by April!!
Hi Tom! My boyfriend and I have a trip planned that will takes us to HKDL (we will not be visiting the city of Hong Kong because of the protest, although as I am typing this after reading what you just said about them, I think that may have been a wrong decision), TDL, TDS and the city of Tokyo and DLS. The latter park we have already visited a few months ago, but since we bought AP’s then and we turned out to have a layover in Shanghai when we return to Belgium, we decided to that park again. We will be travelling for 4 weeks in total and everything has been paid for (flights, hotels, tickets – except for those to TDL and TDS). Needless to say we spent a LOT of euros on this dream trip. But now we’re not sure what to do, since 2 out of those 3 parks are closed and the situation seems to get worse.. To be completely honest, we have been worrying sick about this all weekend.
That really stinks, but I’d still caution against worrying too much. Make lemonade out of lemons to the extent that you can!
If HKDL is still closed when you visit, I’d just go into the city of Hong Kong. I assume you’re probably staying near the airport or HKDL, and it’s fairly easy to take the MTR into downtown.
If SDL is still closed, since it’s only a layover, I’m not sure what I’d do. Probably just stay at the hotel?
I spent over a week in Hong Kong, and didn’t see any signs of visible active protest, though I didn’t go to the main island. (Precautions are a different matter, and I found that quite sad). The MTR was also fully operational. It’s a great city and you can choose the level of risk you’re comfortable exposing yourself to.
I am in the same boat with a trip there in early February, and note that the HKDL hotels are remaining open. I’m considering staying at Explorers’ Lodge for a day or two instead. It’ll be a bummer not to do the park (and a waste of an annual pass… even though those are dirt cheap!) but the hotels are really nice.
I think it’s worth noting that the level of paranoia at Tokyo Disney Resort is pretty high. Mandatory hand washing has been introduced at the entrance to buffets (which all buffets should have all the time actually! – but this is recent), and while face masks may have always been prevalent there are many more of them than normal.
I somewhat doubt HKDL will reopen soon. I don’t see how, reputationally, the parks can reopen until the virus shows signs of improving rather than “accelerating”. Also, apart from the fact this situation seems to be getting worse, the park is clearly not making a profit – a tiny bit of me wondered if they weren’t quite pleased to have a face-saving reason to close. I hope I’m wrong though.
Thanks for the report from TDR!
As for HKDL closing as a face-saving measure…I doubt it. While the park isn’t profitable over the course of an entire year, that doesn’t mean it’s unprofitable every week. Lunar New Year is one of the biggest weeks of the year, and it’s undoubtedly profitable during this stretch.
You may be right that it all blows over quickly. But China has now cancelled all sporting events until April. The longer a place sits around “temporarily” closed, the more likely it is to remain closed – e.g. Six Flags New Orleans. I’m obviously not suggesting that it won’t ever reopen(!), but I think we could be looking at a far longer closure than predicted, and possibly winding down of maintenance and staffing in settling in for a longer term closure, especially if there is no immediate profit motive to get it open again once Lunar Week ends. I particularly wonder who (apart from nutcases like me) will be staying in the remaining-open HKDL hotels – they already had 2/3rds of the rooms eerily boarded off as of a couple of weeks ago – at some point it will surely make sense to close them too.
I really hope I’m wrong – for all sorts of reasons.