Disney Offers Partial Refunds on Annual Passes, Announces Plan to Furlough Park Employees
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Disney's theme parks remain closed worldwide — and U.S. parks Disneyland and Walt Disney World will remain closed indefinitely.
"While there is still much uncertainty with respect to the impacts of COVID-19, the safety and well-being of our guests and employees remains The Walt Disney Company’s top priority," the company said in a statement last week. "As a result of this unprecedented pandemic and in line with direction provided by health experts and government officials, Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed until further notice."
Walt Disney Company cast members have been paid since the parks closed, and the company said in the statement they will "extend paying hourly parks and resorts cast members through April 18."
Starting April 19, workers will be furloughed, Disney announced in a statement on Thursday, adding that they will remain employees of The Walt Disney Company and continue to receive health benefits during the furlough period.
Reservations at both Disneyland and Disney World are currently available for July 1, 2020 and later, according to the parks' websites. Of course, this could change, as a reopening date has not been identified for any of the parks.
Annual passes for Disneyland Disney World will be extended the same number of days the parks are closed. As an alternative, pass holders who have paid in full can also opt for a partial refund for the closure period.
Though the U.S. parks initially had plans to reopen at the end of March, parks in Asia had already planned to remain closed indefinitely until the threat passes.
This is the latest on each Disney park and Disney Cruise Line.
Disneyland Resort: Anaheim, Calif.
Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure closed the morning of March 14. Hotels closed March 16 to give travelers extra time to coordinate their plans. Stores and restaurants at Downtown Disney also closed.
"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," Disneyland said in a statement on its website.
Disneyland will work with those looking to change or cancel their visits, and anyone with a hotel booking during the closure period will be refunded. To cancel your trip or for more information, call The Walt Disney Travel Company at 714-520-5050. Reservations for future travel are currently available for June 1, 2020 and later.
Walt Disney World Resort: Orlando, Fla.
Disney World in Orlando closed at the end of the day on March 15. Disney World hotels also closed.
"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," it said. Reservations for future travel are currently available for June 1, 2020 and later.
Disneyland Paris closed March 15.
Three people who work at the French theme park tested positive for the virus, The Sun reported. Previously, Reuters reported a maintenance worker at the park had tested positive for coronavirus but did not have any contact with guests.
Disney said it will "continue to stay in close contact with appropriate officials and health experts."
Tokyo Disney Resort
The Japanese park was the last of Disney’s Asian parks to shut its doors amid the outbreak of the coronavirus when it announced the closure last month. On Wednesday, Tokyo Disneyland said in a statement the park along with Tokyo DisneySea will remain closed through at least early April “out of consideration for the health and safety of our guests and cast members. We remain in close contact with related government agencies about the situation and will provide updates as the situation changes.”
The park’s planned expansion, originally scheduled to open on April 15, will also be postponed until at least mid-May.
Tickets purchased from Tokyo Disney Resort Online Reservations, the tickets website or from a Disney hotel, store, or partner hotel will be refunded or changed without a fee, according to the park.
Shanghai Disney Resort
As the outbreak began in China at the beginning of 2020, the Shanghai Disney outpost has been closed since Jan. 25, the first Disney park in Asia to do so amid the coronavirus outbreak. While the park said in a statement it remains closed “as we continue to closely monitor health and safety conditions and follow the direction of government regulators,” it added a “phased reopening” has begun.
According to the park, a “limited number of shopping, dining, and recreational experiences” with reduced hours have opened in Disneytown, the Wishing Star Park, and the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel. Additionally, the Disney Car and Coach Park and the Disneytown Parking Lot are also reopening.
As the park slowly reopens, Shanghai Disney will require all guests to wear masks, undergo a temperature screening, and show a Health QR Code when walking into a restaurant.
Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland remains closed “as a precautionary measure in line with preventive efforts taking place across Hong Kong,” according to the park. The park has been closed since January.
“We are in close contact with health authorities and the government about the situation and will announce a reopening date once they determine it is advisable,” the park said in a statement.
For guests who purchased a standard park ticket, the park noted it is valid for six months from the purchase date but added the park “will assist in the refund” for guests who bought tickets or booked a resort hotel.
Disney Cruise Line
All new cruise departures were suspended beginning Saturday, March 14, Disney announced. Anyone with a cruise booked should call 800-951-3532.