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Entertainment & Arts

No, you should not expect Disneyland to reopen on April 1

Media preview of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Media Preview at the Disneyland Resort
Before the coronavirus-forced shutdowns, Disneyland had recently opened Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, a high-tech attraction that quickly became popular with park-goers.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Southern California’s Disneyland Resort closed its gates on March 14, shortly after Gov. Gavin Newsom stated that large gatherings of people should be canceled to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Disneyland at the time said that the park would be shuttered until at least March 31.

But do not think that means that Disneyland is scheduled to open April 1.

While the park has not announced an extension for its downtime — and a spokesperson for the company said they did not have an update at this time — it would be inaccurate to read the lack of a new statement to mean that the park is planning to open in a few days. At this time, it’s unclear how long shelter-in-place regulations will be extended.

Restrictions in Los Angeles are active through April 19, although Mayor Eric Garcetti said on Wednesday that residents should be prepared to stay at home until May. In Disneyland’s Anaheim home, the city is, of course, abiding by California’s stay-at-home directives, which will prevent the park from opening until further notice.

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The Happiest Place on Earth shut its gates Friday night due to the coronavirus crisis. A full non-weather-related closure of Disneyland has happened just three times in the park’s 65-year history. But this time is different.

Other theme parks, however, have already noted that they will continue to be closed past March 31, which has shifted the spotlight to Disney and raised the question of when the company will do the same. Disney has been relatively quiet in recent weeks, although the company did release a charming video with its Main Street, USA, singers the Dapper Dans performing in their homes, and has rushed “Frozen 2" to its streaming service Disney+, in addition to making “Onward” available for purchase (“Onward” arrives on Disney+ on April 3).

Earlier, it was revealed that Universal Studios Hollywood and the Universal Orlando Resort will remain closed because of the coronavirus outbreak until April 19, three weeks longer than previously planned. Knott’s Berry Farm, meanwhile, has stated it hopes to open in mid-May. Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia closed March 13 with plans to remain closed until the end of March. No update from Six Flags Magic Mountain has been announced.

The move comes one week after Disney closed its domestic theme parks and pulled a high-profile movie release. The economic effects of the novel coronavirus have been devastating.

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Across the country at Walt Disney World in Florida, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the park is under county restrictions that would prevent it from opening before April 9 at the earliest.

Internationally, Disney’s Asian parks, and Disneyland Paris, also remain closed. While Shanghai Disneyland did open some shopping and dining locales with limited operations on March 9, the park itself has been shuttered since January, an indication of how lengthy and unpredictable our lives and businesses will be under this health crisis.

Disney’s parks fall under the company’s consumer products group, which is its largest business segment with multiple moving parts and operations around the globe. The division employs more than 170,000 employees, and in Disney’s initial announcement the company stated its Anaheim staff would be paid at least through March 31.


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