The coronavirus pandemic has led Disney to extend the closures of Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort “until further notice,” the company announced Friday.
Here is the full statement, which the Walt Disney Company would not attribute to a specific person:
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.
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.
The Walt Disney Company has been paying its cast members since the closure of the parks, and in light of this ongoing and increasingly complex crisis, we have made the decision to extend paying hourly parks and resorts cast members through April 18.
When Disney World and Disneyland first shut down earlier this month, both resorts said the closure would last until the end of the month. Recent moves by their respective local governments — along with the reality of the pandemic’s growing impact in the U.S. — made reopening on April 1 impossible.
Orange County, Florida’s stay-at-home order means the resort has to stay closed until at least April 9, as amusement parks and water parks are included in the county’s list of non-essential businesses.
The news that Disney employees will continue to be paid may not please Wall Street. A recent report from J.P. Morgan suggested that Disney temporarily lay off theme park workers as part of a $500 million cost savings strategy.
Disney’s main rival in Central Florida, Universal Orlando, previously announced it would be extending its closure to April 19. While Universal employees are not unionized like their Disney counterparts, Universal is also paying its hourly workers while the resort is shut down.
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