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Worldwide Disney COVID-19 Timeline

March 30, 2020: New dates are announced for the Olympic Games

The Tokyo Olympic Games were rescheduled to run on July 23-August 8, 2021. The Paralympic Games will follow from August 24-September 5, 2021.

The original dates for the games were from July 24-August 9, 2020.

This is the first time the Olympic Games have been postponed or cancelled for any reason other than war.

March 30, 2020: Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger will forgo his salary and new CEO Bob Chapek will take a 50% pay cut

Other Disney executives will take pay cuts as well of varying degrees all due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Disney warns investors that “it has become too challenging to estimate the company’s future performance”.

March 27, 2020: Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea say they will remain closed until at least April 19

This extends the temporary closure that began on Feb. 29.
The announcement came after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency through May 6, covering Chiba and Osaka Prefectures, where the parks are located. The closure will also extend to its four hotels, which are inside or near the parks, starting on April 1st.

The website still states that the grand opening of “New Fantasyland” has been postponed to “mid-May or beyond.”

March 18, 2020: Chinese city of Wuhan reports zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since outbreak began

This marks a turning point in the battle against the Coronavirus, right in the outbreak’s epicenter.

March 17, 2020: Disney stores throughout the USA are closed

Downtown Disney in Anaheim and Disney Springs in Orlando were initially set to remain open during the park closures, but were shutdown shortly thereafter. Third-party-owned locations, such as Tortilla Jo’s and Planet Hollywood, were allowed to make their own decisions about staying open. All venues in both shopping districts decided to temporarily close for business.

All Disney Stores throughout North America are closed. shopDisney.com remains open online.

March 17, 2020: COVID-19 has spread to all 50 states in the US

West Virginia reported its first case of Coronavirus as the last state officially infected.

March 16, 2020: President Trump announces COVID-19 guidelines

The following guidelines were expected to heeded by all Americans for the next fifteen days.

  1. Avoid gatherings of more than ten people.
  2. Avoid discretionary travel, like shopping trips and social visits.
  3. Avoid bars, restaurants, and food courts. Use drive-thrus, pickup, and delivery options instead.
  4. Do not visit aged care facilities.
  5. If you work in health care, pharmaceutical or food supply, “you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”
  6. If someone in your house has tested positive, the entire household should stay home.
  7. Older people and those with underlying health conditions should stay home.

The guidelines also recommended that states should close all bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms, and indoor/outdoor venues. “It’s just so contagious,” said President Trump.

March 15, 2020: Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort are closed

At the end of the day, all theme parks at both resorts are closed to guests indefinitely, marking the first time in history that all six Disney resorts worldwide are closed simultaneously.

All Walt Disney World hotels are closed, as well as the competing Universal Orlando Resort.

Disneyland released the following statement to their guests:
“Disneyland Resort will work with guests who wish to change or cancel their visits, and will provide refunds to those who have hotel bookings during this closure period”.

March 15, 2020: Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studio Park are closed

Three people who worked at the French parks tested positive for the virus but had no contact with any guests prior to the closure.

March 14, 2020: Disney Cruise Line suspended all new cruise departures

Up until March 12, the cruise line had remained in service with enhanced measures but then all departures through April 28 are canceled.

March 14, 2020: Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure are closed

Disneyland Resort hotels remained open until March 16 so that travelers could arrange their departures. This closure of the Disneyland Resort marks only the fourth time it has been closed since its opening in 1955.

March 13, 2020: President Trump declared a national emergency

March 12, 2020: Disneyland Paris announces new safety protocols

Parades are suspended temporarily as well as a large portion of in-park entertainment. Disneyland Paris capacity is limited within lines, theaters, and indoor restaurants. Meet-and-greet locations are closed in favor of parade-style cavalcades and face-to-face contact with princesses is restricted.

March 11, 2020: California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered group size limits

In an attempt to slow the spread of the disease, people living in or visiting California were prohibited from gathering in groups of 250 or more. The Disneyland Resort was officially listed exempt from this ruling due to its “complex” and “unique” situation, but in the interest of public health, Disney agreed to proceed with the closure of their parks. There were no reported cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland.

March 11, 2020:  The WHO officially declared the Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic

President Trump suspended travel from Europe to the United States, and the NBA suspended the rest of the season

March 10, 2020: Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals are canceled

Both festivals are rescheduled for October with organizers saying that refunds will be given to those who can’t attend on the new dates.

March 9, 2020: Guest facilities outside Shanghai Disneyland reopen

As step one of a phased reopening, a limited number of locations opened with reduced hours and new capacity limitations. Venues included the Shanghai Disney Hotel, Disneytown, Wishing Star Park, Lumiere’s Kitchen (a character dining restaurant), the Disney Car and Coach Park, and the Disneytown parking lot.

Guests to these facilities were required to wear masks and undergo temperature screenings. Those entering restaurants needed to show a Health QR Code.

March 8, 2020: US State Department advises travelers to ‘avoid cruise ships’

On it’s travel site, the department said the “CDC notes increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment.”

Despite the official warnings, many major cruise lines continue to operate.

Many cruise lines, including Disney Cruise Lines updated their cancellation policies for passengers who have fears about congregating in enclosed spaces, to cancel and re-book trips at future dates. Passengers may cancel trips scheduled to sail before May 31 as little as a day in advance and must redeem their credits within 12 months of their original cruise date.


“If your cruise includes a stop in Nassau or Castaway Cay, please note that the Bahamas will not allow anyone to disembark in any Bahamian port if they have been to China, South Korea, Italy or Iran in the past 20 days prior to arrival,” Disney Cruises said in a statement. Disney also said that some passengers may be denied boarding.

March 6, 2020: President Trump signs emergency funding package

The number of global Coronavirus cases reached 100,000 verified diagnoses.

Early March, 2020: Walt Disney World and Disneyland implement new procedures to combat virus

These procedures included recommended hand-washing procedures and increased cleaning of high touch surfaces. Mobile hand washing stations and antibacterial hand gel dispensers are conspicuously dispersed throughout the parks.

March 1, 2020: The Louvre is closed

Located in Paris, France, the Louvre is the largest art museum in the world one of the largest tourist attractions in Europe. It’s closure can be seen as predicting the future closure of Disneyland Paris.

By Jamie Blasingame

I'm a mother of one with another on the way. My husband Alex and I created this blog, Mouse Monthly, to discuss our perspectives on Disney theme parks and Disneyana in general.

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