The Disney family under happier circumstances.
The Disney family under happier circumstances.
Photo: Disney Parks

It’s official. Disneyland in Anaheim, California is shutting down due to the new coronavirus. Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida is also closing as is Disneyland Paris in, well, Paris.

“While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort, after carefully reviewing the guidelines of the Governor of California’s executive order and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, beginning the morning of March 14 through the end of the month,” Disney said in a statement.

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“The Hotels of Disneyland Resort will remain open until Monday, March 16 to give guests the ability to make necessary travel arrangements; Downtown Disney will remain open. We will monitor the ongoing situation and follow the advice and guidance of federal and state officials and health agencies. Disney will continue to pay cast members during this time.”

The news came after California Governor Gavin Newsom recommended gatherings of over 250 people be canceled to slow down the spread of the new coronavirus, which has over 1,000 cases in the United States and rising. With cancelations to other major festivals and events (such as SXSW, Coachella, CinemaCon) as well as sporting events (NBA, NCAA, MLS), as well as the delays of major movies (No Time to Die, F9, A Quiet Place Part II) this move seemed not just smart, but inevitable.

Earlier this week Disney health officials seemed optimistic about the parks staying open but obviously with all that the past 72 hours have brought, the company had little choice.

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This is the fourth time in history Disneyland has completely shut down. The others were after the September 11th attacks, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the Northridge earthquake.

Update: March 12 8:15 p.m.

Several hours after the news of Disneyland in California closing, Disney went ahead and closed Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris as well.

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“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,” read a statement released by Disney. Read it in full here.

Hotels at both parks will remain open for guests and employees will be paid.

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Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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