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Disneyland Article
Disneyland And Knotts Berry Farm Close Their Gates Until April

Taylor Arrey
March 16, 2020
June 05, 2020
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As schools transition to virtual instruction and offices reduce their staff, people are faced with time off from work. The time they might have wished to spend getting lost in the magic of their favorite amusement parks. But even magic isn’t immune to the effects of the coronavirus outbreak as Disneyland and California Adventure parks closed their gates on March 14.

The unforeseen closure will go down in history as the third time Disneyland has closed since its opening in 1955. The first closure in 1963 mourned President Kennedy’s death, and the second grieved the nation’s losses from Sept. 11.

After placing signs encouraging guests to wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds and creating additional hand sanitizer stations, Disneyland decided that it needed to take more serious precautions against the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

Closure of both theme parks comes after the state of California declared a state of emergency, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared that COVID-19 is a pandemic.

According to the CDC’s website, there have been 224 reported cases in California. Disneyland stated that there have been no reported or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort. But, the closures of both parks will continue in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order, which said that gatherings of 250 or more people “should be postponed or canceled.”

Disneyland cast members will be paid during the closure, and the company said they will accommodate guests who wish to change or cancel their visits as well as provide necessary refunds for hotel reservations.

For annual pass holders who have valid passports during this time period, the company will be extending the expiration date based on the type of pass and level of access during the closure. Passholders can expect to see this extended date in their passport account prior to Disneyland’s reopening, according to a statement made by the company.

The Disneyland Resort hotels will remain open until March 16 to give guests time to make travel arrangements.

Knott’s Berry Farm followed suit and closed after Richard Zimmerman, chief executive officer for the Cedar Entertainment Company said in a statement on March 13, “We continue to follow guidance from local and state officials, as well as the Centers for Disease Control. While there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at our properties, we believe this is the right decision for our guests, associates, and community.”

Similar to Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm said it will be working with guests who have reservations or prepaid tickets, and guests can request re-bookings or refunds through email. The Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel and the California Marketplace will remain open.

With these Orange County staples closing their gates to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it’s no surprise that other major amusement parks in California are taking the same precautions. Universal Studios Hollywood paused their movie-magic park on March 14, and Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California also closed their doors.

Despite the circumstances, Disneyland is not letting the chaos of the pandemic stop them from bringing magic to the world as they announced via Twitter that they will be donating excess food to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, an organization that the company has been working with since 2014.
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