With the number of positive cases in Florida now reaching more than 130 as of Sunday evening (March 15), and three deaths from COVID-19 in Florida, we understand the need to close something as popular as the Walt Disney World Parks with growing Coronavirus concerns. Walt Disney executives said they expected the virus to result to affect $135 million in second-quarter operating income if its Shanghai Disneyland resort is closed for two months and around $40 million in operating income if Hong Kong Disneyland is closed for the same amount of time. Theme parks Disney World and Disneyland closed over the weekend in a bid to fight the spread of the viral disease.
On Feb. 4, Disney announced in its call with investors that the spread of coronavirus in China could deal a blow to the operations of Disney's theme parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Representatives for Walt Disney World did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Officials cited guidance from the state and federal government, plus "an abundance of caution" and the "best interest" of visitors and employees, in making the hard decision.
Lastly, Disney has announced that all Walt Disney World owned and operated resorts, and Disney's Vero Beach Resort, will be closing at 5pm on March 20. It was previously announced that Disneyland Resort hotels would remain open until March 16.
"We will continue to monitor the situation and maintain regular contact with appropriate officials and health experts", a spokesperson for Disney told Fox News on Monday of the latest updates.
Some of the local news stations in Orlando flew over Walt Disney World this morning and shared with us a look at how completely empty the parks were looking right now.
It's not known how long Disney Springs and Downtown Disney locations and hotels will remain closed.