Closing Time

Today is the start of something unprecedented, as Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park (along with all the parks of Walt Disney World and both parks at the Disneyland Paris Resort) will close indefinitely from now to through at least March 31st in the wake of the worldwide COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak.  They join the Shanghai Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Tokyo Disney Resorts, which have already been closed thanks to the now-pandemic.

This isn't the first time that Disneyland Park has been closed.  In fact, it's the fourth due to special circumstances.  Excluding the early years of the park when it was only open five days a week, Walt Disney's original Magic Kingdom has been closed the day following President John F. Kennedy's assassination, the day of the Northridge Earthquake, and for September 11th, 2001.  However, those were only single day closures.  The Southern California parks have never been closed for multiple days--until now.

Although it may seem like an overreaction or submission to hysteria, this is being done out of an abundance of caution.  The novel Coronavirus has spread throughout the world, hitting some countries--like China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy--particularly hard and overwhelming their hospital and medical resources.  This is not the case here in the U.S.--at least not yet--and closures are part of a sweeping set of measures set to slow down the illness by minimizing social congregation and lessening the chance for the virus to spread.  This is the most effective way of containing the virus for now, until a vaccine can be developed and distributed en masse--a process that will take at least a year. 

This doesn't mean that Disneyland will be closed for a year (at least hopefully not).  But right now, the exact number of cases in the U.S. isn't even known due to a national lack of testing, and we're playing catch-up trying to understand the disease's extent.  This does not mean it's time to panic--far from it.  Although it seems scary, and all these closures may prompt fears of a doomsday scenario where everything will be shutting down, and people will have to hole up in their homes for a long time, in reality, this is a drastic pre-emptive measure to fight COVID-19 and keep it from developing into a true national disaster like what is going on in places like Italy.

Good night from Disneyland for a few weeks.
All of which is to say that, as Walt Disney used to say, this is not a good-bye, but a "see ya later."  Disneyland and the rest of the Disney parks will reopen.  But for now, we just have to deal with the inconvenience and temporary loss of magic and accommodate these measures.  We'll all get through this, soon enough.  And in the meantime, if you need a Disney fix, I'll still be posting photos.

Take care, be well, be cautious but sensible, and stay healthy.


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