Entire Disney Park Closes Down, Reopening Date in Doubt

in Hong Kong Disneyland

Mickey and Minnie outside train station

Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

Disney has confirmed the closure of one Disneyland park – and its reopening date is something of a mystery.

Ever since Disneyland Resort opened in 1955, Disney Parks across the globe have only faced a handful of unplanned closures. The most infamous is the lengthy COVID closures that came in 2020 (and in 2021 and 2022 for some international parks).

Disneyland Railroad in Disneyland Resort
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney World Park Closing Immediately, All Guests Barred From Entering

As the pandemic swept the globe, Shanghai Disneyland was the first of the Disney theme parks to close its gates before Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris, Walt Disney World Resort, and Disneyland Resort followed suit.

Other closures have occurred due to national incidents, such as in the wake of 9/11 and after the assassination of President Kennedy. Earthquakes have also closed the parks in the past. The 6.7 magnitude Northridge earthquake closed Disneyland on January 17, 1994, while the Tōhoku earthquake – a monstrous 9.1 quake that triggered tsunamis and left at least 19,759 dead – forced Tokyo Disney Resort to close for a month in 2011.

Tokyo Disney Resort's Cinderella Castle amidst a blue sky during the hot, summer months
Credit: Tokyo Disney Resort

The most common cause for an unplanned Disney Park closure is, of course, hurricanes. Florida is particularly vulnerable, with the likes of Hurricane Charley, Hurricane Matthew, Hurricane Ian, and Hurricane Nicole closing Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. The most severe incident occurred in 2017 when Hurricane Irma hit Central Florida, prompting the longest hurricane-related closure of any Disney Park to date.

Even Disneyland Park and California Adventure at Disneyland Resort – located in the theoretically hurricane-free region of Anaheim – has faced a hurricane closure recently when Hurricane Hilary hit Southern California.

Tokyo Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland also occasionally face typhoons (the name for hurricanes when they hit the Pacific). The most recent closure came in July when Typhoon Talim hit Southern China. Now, yet another closure has hit the park – and this one may go on even longer than the last.

Mickey and friends at Hong Kong Disneyland
Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

Related: Typhoon Forces Disney Resort to Close Down Entirely

According to a statement on the Hong Kong Disneyland website, the park is closed today (September 1, 2023) due to Typhoon Saola.

Due to the inclement weather, Hong Kong Disneyland and Inspiration Lake Recreation Centre are closed until further notice. Please check the website for the latest information. Please see the Weather Arrangement details.

Not only are in-park attractions such as Hyperspace Mountain, Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars, Jungle River Cruise, and “it’s a small world” off limits to guests, but the park’s surrounding area of Inspiration Lake is also currently closed.

Hong Kong Disneyland's Castle of Magical Dreams
Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

Unlike the average hurricane or typhoon-related Disneyland closure, the park isn’t expected to reopen after one day. Typhoon Saola is yet to reach land and has been downgraded from a Super Typhoon. However, Hong Kong has upgraded its alert to the second-highest level, with top wind speeds reaching 220 km per hour (135 mph) as it approaches the coast of China.

Local news reports have suggested that this may be the most powerful typhoon to hit China in decades. It’s thought that 10 million people live in the storm’s path. Residents have been warned to stay indoors and avoid exposed windows and doors. The Hong Kong Observatory has warned that low-lying coastal areas may be at risk of heavy flooding.

With this in mind, the odds of Hong Kong Disneyland reopening tomorrow or Sunday seem pretty slim. Stay tuned for more updates.

Have you ever been at a Disney Park during a hurricane? Share your story with Inside the Magic in the comments.

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