US Coronavirus: Disney announces the closure of California parks
Walt Disney Co said Thursday it was closing its parks in California due to the coronavirus pandemic as its stocks continue to decline following a change of management announcement in February.
Disney shares fell 13% on Thursday alone when the closure was announced.
Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure will both close from Saturday morning and will remain closed at least until the end of the month, the company said.
The move comes as the change in leadership leaves investors unsure of the company’s long-term potential. After 15 years, Bob Iger announced the decision to step back and ceded the reins to Bob Chapek.
Its stock has fallen 28% since the change in leadership was announced.
Disneyland will temporarily close the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim in response to the growing threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic, it was announced Thursday
The closure takes effect on Saturday and lasts until the end of March
Disney shares fell 13% on Thursday alone as the shutdown was announced
Disney said no cases of the coronavirus have been reported at Disneyland Resort, but the parks are closed under an executive order from California Governor Gavin Newsom banning large public gatherings.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are next to each other in the Los Angeles suburb of Anaheim.
This will only be the sixth time in history that Disneyland Park has made an unscheduled closure.
The resort said hotels will remain open until Monday so guests can make travel arrangements.
Previous unplanned Disneyland closures
Disneyland has only experienced five unplanned closures before:
- In 1963, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
- August 7, 1970, due to an anti-Vietnam riot started by the Youth International Party.
- December 16, 1987 due to a winter storm.
- In 1994, for inspection after the Northridge earthquake.
- In 2001, after the September 11 attacks.
California joined Washington and Oregon on Thursday in banning non-essential public gatherings of more than 250 people.
Newsom said smaller events could take place, but only if attendees distance themselves at least six feet from each other.
âChanging our actions for a short time will save the life of one or more people you know,â Newsom said.
“The people in our lives who are most at risk – the elderly and those with underlying health problems – depend on all of us to make the right choice.”
More than 1,770 cases of the coronavirus were reported in the United States as of Thursday morning, leading to the cancellation of festivals, conferences, political rallies and other events across the country.
Disney’s move was just the latest high-profile shutdown as authorities race against time to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
It also marked another big challenge for its new CEO Chapek.
The coronavirus was already a problem when Chapek took over, but has since grown into a pandemic as cases worldwide surpass 120,000.
“We are always very aware of the disruptive, socio-economic and social elements that could arise at any time and disrupt our business,” Chapek said when he took office.
âBut I think when you have the core assets that we have, these franchises, the Disney brand, again, we’ll see our way through all of these disruptive elements. That doesn’t mean we won’t be surprised tomorrow, but we have the strength to overcome them all.
The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s underwater adventure is seen in a file photo at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim
Latest US figures at midnight Friday morning stand at 1,758 cases and 41 deaths
Across the country, the entertainment industry braced for an unprecedented shutdown, canceling upcoming films, suspending all Broadway performances, and eliminating live audiences from TV shows until they are. sure to accommodate large crowds.
To answer calls for social distancing, Hollywood has decided to suspend the normal buzz of TV productions and the hustle and bustle of movie premieres on the red carpet.
After New York Governor Andrew Cuomo banned gatherings of more than 500 people, Broadway theaters announced they would close immediately and stay dark until April 12.
The closures amount to a near complete shutdown of industry, from Lincoln Center to Hollywood, and the larger-scale shutdowns of many of the nation’s major cultural arteries.
The upcoming âA Quiet Place 2â and the latest âFast & Furiousâ movie have joined the many postponements that have erased much of the upcoming film’s release schedule. The Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center, the New York Philharmonic, and Carnegie Hall have all canceled events until March 31.
Emerging awareness of the scope of the virus had already forced the cancellation or postponement of all impending big events on the calendar, including the sprawling South by Southwest conference and festival in Austin, Texas and the annual movie show. Hollywood CinemaCon, Las Vegas.
This month’s Kids Choice Awards in Los Angeles have also been closed; the sunny California Coachella music festival, which was postponed to October; and big televised events like the NBA season, which was put on hold after a player tested positive for the virus. The NHL has also suspended its season.