Walt Disney World announces closures starting Monday

Posted Thursday, March 12, 2020 9:37 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Walt Disney World will close its doors to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The closure announcement comes on the heels of a similar announcement from the park’s California counterpart, Disneyland. Disney World will be closed March 16, and stay closed through the end of the month.

Read more from WESH/Orlando.

Thursday, March 12, 2020 10:04 PM

Not surprised at this. Attendance is going to be down anyways.

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Friday, March 13, 2020 9:02 AM

I don't get why they are waiting a few days, honestly. I mean, if you are trying to prevent the spread it's best to take action immediately, no?

Still good they are being proactive and will be shutting down for a few weeks, but not sure I get the few day grace period at such a critical time. IMO, should be effective starting tomorrow. There is a lot of "spreading" that can occur in those few days at a place like Disney (or any heavily populated area, obviously).


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Friday, March 13, 2020 9:48 AM
Jeff's avatar

I imagine it's a practical matter. Monday I believe is the biggest day of people coming or going. They can't just dismiss 100,000 people early and get them on planes. They're gonna be stuck here and need to eat, and that infrastructure is in the parks.

You're right, that probably involves more risk, I'm just not sure there's an alternative. It reminds me a lot of hurricane prep, but the timing of this is more sudden, and the hurricane makes people sick.

You can bet they'll have a well-thought out plan after this.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Friday, March 13, 2020 11:28 AM

I agree with Jeff. It's not that easy to just shut down an operation of that scale and tell tens of thousands of guests "see ya" and to shut off the lights on the way out.

I also would guess that weekends are big turnover days for the resorts so this would make the transitions a bit easier for guests coming and going.

I was joking earlier in the week that everything is fine until Disney World closes.....

Last edited by Hanging n' Banging, Friday, March 13, 2020 11:30 AM
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Friday, March 13, 2020 12:13 PM

One wonders if closing for a couple of weeks will actually help anything. The Covid-19 situation isn't likely to improve a whole lot in 2-3 weeks time.

Last edited by Texas Thrillseeker #1, Friday, March 13, 2020 12:14 PM
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Friday, March 13, 2020 12:52 PM

Texas Thrillseeker #1 said:

One wonders if closing for a couple of weeks will actually help anything. The Covid-19 situation isn't likely to improve a whole lot in 2-3 weeks time.

It's a combined effort. It's not just Disney but the airlines, cruise lines, concerts, sporting events, businesses, etc... It's purpose is to curb a spike in the coming weeks that would overwhelm hospitals across the US.

No, it's not going to improve more months most likely. But trying to be proactive to curb the virus from spreading as much as possible is a good thing.


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Friday, March 13, 2020 1:20 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

My sister and her family did their first ever Disney (World) trip during this week. They are planning on coming back home Sunday.

Incredible timing...

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Friday, March 13, 2020 2:45 PM

Texas Thrillseeker #1 said:

One wonders if closing for a couple of weeks will actually help anything. The Covid-19 situation isn't likely to improve a whole lot in 2-3 weeks time.

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Friday, March 13, 2020 4:15 PM

It's also easier to make decisions and cancel reservations a few weeks at a time. They won't recover many already cancelled reservations if they overshoot their coverage and find themselves in a position to reopen sooner than they originally projected.


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Friday, March 13, 2020 4:32 PM

I agree that cancellations/closures may be extended. Ohio Department of Health is saying expected peak in Ohio will be late April to mid May. I am sure that will change often over the next several weeks. One thing with flattening the curve (if successful) is the infection period will be extended (rather than spiking quickly). Better for healthcare system though for it to happen over time rather than all at once.

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Friday, March 13, 2020 5:02 PM
TheMillenniumRider's avatar

I'm sure I am going to get flak for this, and I am probably going to be in the minority, but I just really don't put any thought or care into this whole situation. I continue about my life as I always have and if I get sick, then I get sick. I am not out buying random items, I haven't changed my behavior at all. If I don't get sick from this I will catch something else eventually. Everyone is attempting to change their daily lives to prevent this from spreading, yet it seems to be spreading just fine. Am I missing something?

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Friday, March 13, 2020 5:15 PM

TheMillenniumRider said:

I'm sure I am going to get flak for this, and I am probably going to be in the minority, ....

You're right on both points. You're going to get flak and you are (hopefully) in the minority. Everything you wrote completely misses the point of why things are closing and being cancelled. No one cares if you get sick. They care if, either before you knew you were sick, while you were sick or after you thought you were better, you passed the virus on to every other person you had contact with, either intentionally or just casually while wandering your grocery store.

I don't follow the recommendations to avoid getting sick myself. I do it to do my part to help slow the spread to allow for testing and to give healthcare systems something resembling a chance to do with the oncoming onslaught. I do it for my parents and their friends, who are all square in the statistically more lethal demographic, in the hopes that if / when they do get sick, hospitals will have the capacity and ability to treat them as needed.

I don't really feel like I've written anything new here. The spike vs. curve chart that's been floating around for days now paints the picture about as simply as possible. If people don't understand what's going on and why they're being asked to adjust their habits by now, I don't imagine there's much out there that will change their mind.

There's your flak, I guess.

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Friday, March 13, 2020 5:37 PM
Jeff's avatar

If you think this is about you getting sick, you're really missing the point. It's about the system getting overwhelmed and people dying because they can't be cared for. Read this, because it's the reality now:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/us/coronavirus-deaths-estimate.html


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Friday, March 13, 2020 5:42 PM
jkpark's avatar

TheMillenniumRider said:

Everyone is attempting to change their daily lives to prevent this from spreading, yet it seems to be spreading just fine.

People will get infected no matter what. These measures aren’t meant to prevent the virus from spreading, but only to slow it down.

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Friday, March 13, 2020 7:32 PM

Cowcsmhm said:

They care if, either before you knew you were sick... you passed the virus on to every other person you had contact with, either intentionally or just casually while wandering your grocery store.

That is the rub. The only way I know of to keep from passing it before you show symptoms is for everyone to avoid all human interaction. No grocery, no Starbucks, no getting your mail. Is everyone here doing that? Or is there another way to prevent the person who is infected, prior to showing symptoms, from spreading the virus while getting a donut at Dunkin on their way to work?

I think that is the problem at this point, there are so many carriers who don't know it yet.

Last edited by Shades, Friday, March 13, 2020 7:35 PM
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Friday, March 13, 2020 10:26 PM
GooDFeLLoW's avatar

CGA in California just announced to Season Pass holders that opening day is pushed back from March 21 to April 4th. I feel like that's not realistic and will most likely get pushed back further, right?

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Friday, March 13, 2020 11:22 PM
Jeff's avatar

Almost every announced delay is two weeks. That's not realistic. There is no data model that I've seen that shows the new case rate decreasing for at least a month.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Friday, March 13, 2020 11:44 PM
Fun's avatar

Why would you think that science has anything to do with it? Americans are fickle and impatient and will be chomping at the bit to claim mission accomplished.

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Saturday, March 14, 2020 2:38 AM
bjames's avatar

TheMillenniumRider said:

I'm sure I am going to get flak for this, and I am probably going to be in the minority, but I just really don't put any thought or care into this whole situation. I continue about my life as I always have and if I get sick, then I get sick. I am not out buying random items, I haven't changed my behavior at all. If I don't get sick from this I will catch something else eventually. Everyone is attempting to change their daily lives to prevent this from spreading, yet it seems to be spreading just fine. Am I missing something?

I’m on your side. The rest of us shouldn’t have to suffer from this crap. The people most at risk should be protecting themselves while the rest of us go about our business. The world is blowing up the economy right now and we could be feeling this overreaction for a generation. This whole thing feels like a joke. Buy stocks now while they’re stupidly low.


"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

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