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Disneyland and Disney World closed until further notice

Disneyland and Disney World closed until further notice
© Getty Images

The Walt Disney Co. announced Friday that it would keep Disneyland and Walt Disney World closed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"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," the company said in a statement.

The statement went on to promise hourly parks employees and cast members would be paid through April 18. 

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"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."

It marks a first for the parks which have only closed on rare occasions. According to The New York Times, Disneyland has only closed twice in its history, once after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and once for a national day of mourning after the assassination of former President Kennedy.

The parks initially closed March 14 and were to remain closed until the end of the month. Their hotels closed on March 16 to “give guests the ability to make necessary travel arrangements.” 

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Disney World employs roughly 75,000 people while Disneyland has approximately 30,000 employees.

Earlier this month California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia plans to review coronavirus vaccine independently OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA may violate courts with new rule extending life of unlined coal ash ponds | Trump reverses course, approving assistance for California wildfires | Climate change, national security among topics for final Trump-Biden debate Trump reverses course, approving assistance for California wildfires MORE (D) issued an executive order canceling gatherings of more than 250 people, though he noted Disneyland and other large parks were exempt. Still, major amusement parks and other gathering places have closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Updated at 4:05 p.m.