Entire Disneyland Park Closes Unexpectedly, Updates Given

in Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland entrance with a 'closed' sign over it

Credit: Disney

An entire Disneyland Park was closed unexpectedly due to dangerous conditions earlier this week.

Disney Parks are no strangers to sudden closures. The longest – and most infamous – occurred as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe in 2020. After Shanghai Disneyland closed its gates in January, other Disney Parks rapidly followed suit.

The Mickey and Walt statue in front of Cinderella's Castle inside Disney's Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

By March 2020, each of Disney’s six resorts worldwide had closed. It took until December 2022 for all six to finally reopen for good, making this Disney’s lengthiest closure period to date.

What Closes Down a Disney Park?

A virus isn’t the only thing capable of closing a Disney Park. Since Walt Disney opened Disneyland Park in 1955, the parks have closed due to national incidents such as the assassination of President Kennedy and the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Liberty Square Riverboat in the Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Disneyland Resort also once closed due to a ‘yippie’ protest in 1970, which saw members of the Youth International Party take over the park with demands such as free admission, the “liberation” of Minnie Mouse, a pay rise for the Native American dancers found in Frontierland, and conversion of the now-closed Aunt Jemima’s kitchen into a Black Panthers-themed restaurant.

Weather-Related Closures

The most frequent reason for closing a Disney Park is, of course, inclement weather. Over the decades, every Disney Park has faced its fair share of bad weather – particularly Walt Disney World Resort, which, due to its location, had witnessed multiple hurricanes.

Guests wearing ponchos under the rain at New Orleans Square in Disneyland Park
Credit: Ed Aguila / Inside the Magic

Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom have closed due to oncoming storms multiple times. The first was Hurricane Elena in 1985. Since then, eight separate hurricanes have forced guests and cast members alike out of the parks.

But Disney World isn’t the only park at risk of hurricanes. Earlier this year, Disneyland Resort found itself hunkering down for the first time ever as Hurricane Hilary barrelled towards Southern California.

Mickey Mouse Disney100 statue with Main Street, U.S.A., and Sleeping Beauty Castle in the background at Disneyland Park
Credit: Ed Aguila / Inside the Magic

Further afield, hurricanes (or, as they’re known if they’re above the Northwest Pacific, typhoons) aren’t rare occurrences in Japan and China. Tokyo Disney Resort most recently closed for Typhoon Hagibis in 2019, while Hong Kong Disneyland has already closed twice for typhoons in 2023.

Why Was Hong Kong Disneyland Closed?

Make that thrice. On Sunday (October 8), Hong Kong Disneyland closed unexpectedly due to the dangerous conditions of Typhoon Koinu.

Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, and Minnie Mouse on Main Street, U.S.A. at Hong Kong Disneyland
Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

Having already battered Taiwan, where it left one dead and over 300 injured, the storm approached the coast of Hong Kong throughout Sunday evening and Monday morning.

Winds reportedly hit 55 mph, with gusts reaching up to 76 mph. Unsurprisingly, these aren’t conditions conducive to a safe, fun theme park experience.

Hong Kong Disneyland's Main Street, U.S.A. at dusk
Credit: Arist Xiong via Flickr

According to HKDL Fantasy, The Walt Disney Company chose to close Hong Kong Disneyland on Sunday for the safety of its guests and cast members. That meant attractions like Space Mountain, “it’s a small world,” and Mystic Manor – as well as the park’s surrounding Inspiration Lake Recreation Centre – were off limits to all.

Updates on Hong Kong Disneyland

The last time Hong Kong Disneyland experienced a typhoon, it was closed for two days and received pretty hefty damage.

Guests look over the balcony at the grass and water
Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

Fortunately, it seems like this storm was much more mild. The park subsequently updated its website to indicate that it would reopen on October 9. As of today (October 10), the park remains open.

Typhoon season typically runs from April to December, although this year, it kicked off early on March 4. Most storms form between May and October.

Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Chip and Dale in their new outfits for the Disney 100 celebrations at Hong Kong Disneyland
Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

Hopefully, the coast is clear of any future storms as Hong Kong Disneyland Resort – which has notoriously faced its fair share of financial struggles –  prepares to open its newest expansion on November 20. World of Frozen will be the world’s first land inspired by Frozen (2013) and will include a replica of EPCOT’s Frozen Ever After, as well as a new family coaster, Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs.

First reactions to the area have been overwhelmingly positive. However, guests have expressed disappointment at the size of the area’s new family coaster, questioning, “That’s it?”

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

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