Once again we find ourselves at the end of another week, waking up in a daze, our cup of coffee slightly shaking in our hands. It’s not a hangover–not most of it anyway–it’s the struggle to come to the realization that almost everything in the United States is closing down, and it will be–literally–the first time ever that every single Disney theme park around the world is closed.
It’s time to take a deep breath and come to terms with what just happened over the past few days and, honestly, calm down. It’s time for another segment of Disney in Plain English.
Disneyland and Disney World Announce Two-Week Closure
The news dropped like bombs on Thursday afternoon, and we’re still trying to come to terms with it. First Disneyland announced it would temporarily close, and then Walt Disney World announced its closure along with Disneyland Paris. Disney Cruise Line has also suspended all of its sailings departing after March 13, 2020.
Because of the two-week closure, Disney is also postponing its College Program, sending all of the kids home for the time being.
Now, let’s clarify a few things:
At the time of this article’s publication, three Disney resorts (Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, and Disneyland Paris) look to re-open after March 31. So all vacations planned for that time are safe for now. Disneyland’s hotels–the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa, and the Pixar Pier hotel–will be the only hotels closing. The resort hotels at Walt Disney World will remain open. The Downtown Disney District at Disneyland an Disney Springs at Disney World will also remain open throughout this month.
Disney Cruise Line is only suspending sailings after March 13. The last new ship to go out left was the Disney Magic that left for a short cruise to the Bahamas. It will return to port when originally scheduled. Every other Disney cruise currently sailing–including the Disney Wonder‘s Panama Canal voyage to San Diego–will continue as planned.
Disney issues new change and cancellation policies
Because of the sudden closures, Disney has made some temporary and more lenient changes to its change and cancellation policies. All change fees and cancellation fees are waived IF you have not checked in for your stay between March 16 and March 31. The money you put into your Disney vacation can be attributed any other vacation later this year. The only thing that will probably cost you money is the difference in cost depending on when you choose to go.
As for Annual Passholders, both Disneyland and Walt Disney World will be extending the validity of annual passes for the number of days the park is closed.
You can read up on the details by clicking the links below:
The Walt Disney Company is also halting all film production and premieres
Yes, it’s not just the parks that are shutting down. Production for movies and shows has been postponed in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Yes, that includes movies like The Little Mermaid remake and shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Highly anticipated film premieres like the one for Mulan are also being pushed back. But pre-production on other projects is continuing as planned. Luckily, this part of filmmaking can be done remotely. There is no word yet on how the production delays will affect the release dates of these movies and shows
“I keep hearing something about a curve. What’s that about?”
The Walt Disney Company is voluntarily shutting its doors along with a multitude of other private industries. The government did not order them to shut everything down. This voluntary shut down is a collective effort to “flatten the curve.”
Basically, we know the virus is going to continue to spread, but it’s now a matter of keeping it under control so our health services private and public can handle all of the cases coming in.
See the tweet below for a better explanation.
Important to remember that #Covid-19 epidemic control measures may only delay cases, not prevent. However, this helps limit surge and gives hospitals time to prepare and manage. It's the difference between finding an ICU bed & ventilator or being treated in the parking lot tent. pic.twitter.com/VOyfBcLMus
— Drew A. Harris, DPM, MPH (@drewaharris) February 28, 2020
If we went about our daily lives and all the Spring Break shenanigans continued as normal, we’d be at risk of the red curve. That’s the worst-case scenario, and what Italy is enduring right now. Yes, our healthcare system will be able to increase capacity, but the number of cases would still be overwhelming. So, by canceling Spring Break, and shutting down all large gatherings, we are working on establishing the blue curve that keeps the number of positive cases in control.
Health.com describes it as such:
If the coronavirus is passed on too quickly and too many people become infected at one time, the resources available to fight it could quickly become overwhelmed. By staggering the number of COVID-19 cases over a longer period of time, everyone who becomes infected can have better access to care.
While flattening the curve may not be able to reduce the number of people who get infected with COVID-19, it ensures that the number of people dealing with it at any one time is limited. On the other hand, if the disease is allowed to progress at its natural pace, the curve on the graph would turn into a spike, causing massive issues for health professionals who are already stretched to their limits.
So, that is why everything is shutting down and everybody is practicing some form of social distancing. We want to get the spread of the disease under control. We can only hope the measures work and we can get back to normal as soon as possible.