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Disney Parks to Remain Closed ‘Until Further Notice’

Walt Disney Company first announced park closures on March 13

Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed until further notice due to the spread of coronavirus, a spokesperson for The Walt Disney Company announced on Friday.

Additionally, resort and parks cast members will continued to be paid through April 18. Park closures were first announced on March 13 due to the spread of the coronavirus. Initially, Disney said it will continue to pay its cast members until the end of March. The company also recommended that any employees able to work from home — including those at its film studio and TV business — do so.

“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,” Disney’s statement read on Friday. “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.”

Disney’s parks, experiences and products division, which includes all of the company’s theme parks, resorts, and cruise lines, is its biggest contributor to revenue. In 2019 the division contributed $26.2 billion to Disney’s overall revenue of $69.6 billion.

The last time Disney shut down the park was after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Disney closed its parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai and Japan back in January, though many shops and restaurants at Shanghai Disneyland have since reopened. During the company’s earnings call in February, management said the closure of the two Chinese sites alone would cost the company at least $175 million. “The precise magnitude of the financial impact is highly dependent on the duration of the closures and how quickly we can resume normal operations,” Disney CFO Christine McCarthy told analysts at the time.

Lightshed media analyst Rich Greenfield, who’s often been an outspoken critic of Disney, estimated that Disney could lose, on average, $35 million each day from its six theme parks — and that’s not counting losses from Disney experiences and cruise lines, which have also been halted by the threat of the pandemic.

By Greenfield’s calculation, Disney could be looking at $510 million in losses (on the low end) and upwards of $680 million (on the high end) — assuming the parks reopen as currently planned at the end of March and everything is back to business as usual.