LAKE MARY, Fla. - Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is suspending operations due to coronavirus concerns. Disney says it is proceeding with the closure of theme parks at Disneyland Paris Resort as well.
"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 Walt 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," the company said in a statement.
Disney Cruise Line will also suspend all new departures beginning Saturday, March 14, through the end of the month.
The Walt Disney Company said it will pay its cast members during that closure period.
The hotels at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris will remain open until further notice. The retail and dining complexes, Disney Springs at Walt Disney World and Disney Village at Disneyland Paris, will remain open, the company said.
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Domestic Walt Disney Company employees who are able to work from home are being asked to do so, including those at The Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Direct-to-Consumer, and Parks, Experiences and Products.
Disney says it has taken stringent measures to protect guests at its parks, including additional hand sanitizers, increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of high-guest contact areas, and new training for cast members with reinforcement on a regular basis.
In addition, park officials said they implemented quick response to spills, trash, and other situations and end-of-the-day sanitation procedures for restrooms, kitchens, and other facilities.
Disney is advising guests to follow preventative actions established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, like washing your hands often, staying home when sick, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Guests wanting to know about refunds and other information, including whether passholders get their days extended, can CLICK HERE.
Within minutes of Disney's announcement about the closure of Walt Disney World parks, Universal Orlando Resort said it would be taking similar measures.
Universal said it too would suspend operations at its parks at the close of business on Sunday, March 15. Universal Orlando’s hotels and Universal CityWalk will remain open. In a statement, the park said it was taking these measures "out of an abundance of caution and to assist with our nation’s preventive efforts," in battling the COVID-19 virus.
Universal Orlando Resort said the closure would be temporary but indicated it would likely extend through the end of March. Park officials said they would continue to evaluate the situation.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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