People won’t be riding roller coasters at the major theme parks anytime soon.
When all the major properties, including Universal Studios and Disney, closed their gates in March, because of the coronavirus pandemic, they expected to reopen them as early as April.
Since then, the number of Americans who’ve contracted the sometimes deadly virus has only grown. As of April 9, residents of 43 states were being told to stay at home, except for essential services, such as visiting a grocery store or bank, which means many people wouldn’t be allowed to visit anyway.
Then, Disney announced March 27 it would remain closed indefinitely, rather than through the end of the month.
“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,” a spokeswoman tells Yahoo Entertainment in a statement. “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.”
California, home to Disneyland, is under a stay-at-home order from Gov. Gavin Newsom. Walt Disney World is subject to the stay-at-home order in Orlando, Fla., that’s in effect.
Still, Disney held off on the announcement of a date change until three days after Universal Studios officials said their properties in Hollywood and Orlando would remain shuttered through April 19. Universal had originally said it was closing its gates from March 14-28.
However, Universal amended its statement on April 9 to say that it would be closed through May 31. “Beginning April 20, nearly all our team members will be paid at 80 percent of their pay — and we will ask them to adjust their work accordingly,” the company said in a statement. “A small group of team members will be asked to continue working at 100 percent and will continue to be paid at that level. We have also made the difficult decision that we will furlough our part-time hourly workers beginning May 3.”
So where does everyone else stand?
The company said on March 30 that the parks it operates around the country, including Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags Magic Mountain, will remain closed at least through mid-May.
Knott’s Berry Farm and other Cedar Fair parks
The websites for Cedar Fair parks, including Knott’s Berry Farm in Los Angeles, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, and 11 other properties list park hours beginning in mid-May, although some of the locations are seasonal anyway.
Guests hoping to stay at Great Wolf Lodge can book stays for May 20 and later. The company has extended the time it’s closed through May 19.
SeaWorld and Busch Gardens
Those parks “remain temporarily closed,” according to an announcement on the SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment website dated March 27.
The Legoland parks in Florida and California had originally announced plans to stay closed through April 14 and 15, respectively, but they’ve since postponed reopening until “further notice.”
Plans for the debut of the Legoland New York Resort in Goshen, N.Y., which was originally scheduled for May 2020, were put on hold until 2021, the parks’ operating company Merlin Entertainments said in a March 31 news release.
We’ll update this post as information becomes available.
For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC and WHO’s resource guides.
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