Breaking! Downtown Disney Closures. Half of Disney’s Resorts Closed Worldwide

Breaking! Downtown Disney Closures. Half of Disney’s Resorts Closed Worldwide

Breaking News is that Downtown Disney restaurants and Buena Vista Street at the Disneyland Resort will be re-closed due to the pandemic. COVID-19 has impacted nearly every operation at Disney with very few exceptions. With Disneyland Resort still not opening to the public, Hong Kong Disneyland & Disneyland Paris have again closed their doors due to the pandemic. The Disney Cruise Lines have pushed back their reopening dates in what will become a year since they closed. The studio operations at Disney have had major executive cuts, while a rapper gets arrested for punching a Cast Member after making COVID jokes. All this and more Disney News on Parade.

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Saturday night Carlye Wisel and MousePlanet tweeted the following.

  • Outdoor dining at Downtown Disney/Buena Vista Street will be discontinued.
  • Disney-operated food/beverage locations will temporarily close
  • Select 3rd-party restaurants will have carry-out, but cannot be consumed on property
  • 350 Cast Members will return to furlough because of this reduction.
  • At this time retail will stay open but at 20%.
  • Disney’s Grand Californian will not reopen at this time as was planned for this weekend.
Disney’s Grand Californian. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

So why?

According to ABC7 News Orange County on Thursday reported a new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations – 735 patients are now being cared for, with 179 of those patients in intensive care units. ICU availability is below 15%.

The number of hospitalized patients reported exceeds the previous high of 722 recorded on July 14. The ICU high — 245 — was set in mid-July.

The alarming surge of coronavirus cases in the state prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom to announce a new, regional stay-at-home order as an “emergency brake” to curb the spread of the virus. No regions are immediately affected, but current projections show all regions except the Bay Area meeting that dire threshold in the next few days.

Nearly 1,800 more Disneyland Resort employees will be furloughed due to the theme park’s continued closure as COVID Surges, according to NBC2 News in Los Angeles.

Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland is shutting its doors for a third time because of the coronavirus pandemic, after the Hong Kong government instituted new restrictions region-wide amid a wave of new infections.

“it’s a small world” at Disneyland Paris. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

“As required by the government and in line with preventive efforts taking place across Hong Kong, Hong Kong Disneyland park will temporarily close beginning December 2,” the theme park said on its website Monday. “We are in close contact with health authorities and the government about the situation and will announce a reopening date once they determine it is advisable.”

Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris is closed through at least February 13, 2021. That said, it was announced that the World of Disney in Disney Village is open for shopping from December 5 through December 23. In addition to World of Disney, select food and merchandise chalets will be open with seasonal treats.

Main Street at Disneyland Paris. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Tokyo Disney Resort

As a context to this, WDWNT showcased a mask holder for guests while they are dining in restaurants at Tokyo Disneyland Resort. This allows them to put their mask in a sanitary location while eating.

Walt Disney World

According to TMZ rapper Spectacular Blue Smith was busted for allegedly punching a Disney World worker … who told cops he tried to block Smith for fake sneezing and joking about coronavirus.

The Pretty Ricky rapper was at Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom Monday night where he allegedly pretended to sneeze before saying, “coronavirus.” According to the police report, a Disney World employee didn’t think the stunt was funny, and told SBS as much. But, the rapper allegedly responded, “I thought it was.”

Entrance to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The report says the employee then tried to get the rapper to get out of the line … saying, “Then you’ll think it’s hilarious if I asked you to step out of line.” When SBS refused, the employee allegedly put his arm out to stop the rapper from moving.

That’s when, according to the police report, Smith punched the employee on the right side of the jaw/temple area. For what it’s worth … cops say Smith’s son told them his dad “lost his balance falling to the ground” while trying to duck under the worker’s arm … and when he reached out for something to grab, “accidentally punched [the worker] on his face.”

Police say the employee told them he was in shock and thought he lost consciousness. The staffer was taken to a nearby hospital — turns out he suffered a concussion.

According to police, there were witnesses who heard SBS and the employee’s exchange. Cops say there were others who witnessed the rapper allegedly punch the employee. Smith was arrested for battery. He posted $500 bond.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney has pushed sailings for all four of its ships into March with Port Canaveral sailings of Disney Dream still slated for March 1 and Disney Fantasy for March 6. Disney Magic on March 1 from Port Miami and Disney Wonder on March 12 from San Diego.

That will make it an entire year since the cruise line closed initially for the pandemic. If we haven’t mentioned, Key West has closed to large cruise ships indefinitely due to a ballot measure in the last election. Therefore Disney Cruise Lines will not be able to create that as a travel destination.

The Wonder parked in Key West. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The CDC issued guidelines to include building up testing sites on and off-ship, ensuring its personnel are free of coronavirus and then performing at least one test sailing to simulate an actual cruise and prove out its ability to sail safely.

CDC requirements to sail from U.S. ports will mean that when lines do begin sailing, passengers will need to receive a negative COVID-19 test on both the day of sailing, and day or return before disembarking.

When will things return to normal. Clearly, much depends on the speed and effectiveness in getting vaccinations out to people. A key indicator is that President-Elect Joe Biden on Thursday said he plans to ask the nation to wear masks for his first 100 days in office. Speaking with CNN, Biden also said he’ll issue a standing order mandating masks in certain places.

“Just 100 days to mask. Not forever — 100 days,” Mr. Biden said. “I think we’ll see a significant reduction if that occurs with vaccinations and masking, to drive down the numbers considerably.”

If you do the math, 100 days after Inauguration is roughly May 1st.

Walt Disney Company Studios

“It’s a bloodbath.” That’s how two longtime Disney staffers have described the wave of layoffs happening at the company Thursday. This was shared by The Hollywood Reporter.

The staff reductions are taking place in Disney’s General Entertainment Content unit, overseen by Peter Rice, and Dana Walden’s Walt Disney Television division, including ABC and studio 20th Television. Sources say more than 100 staffers have been impacted by Thursday’s layoffs. “I’m sure Disney’s seen worse, but it feels pretty significant,” said one longtime executive familiar with the cutbacks. Disney declined comment.

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J. Jeff Kober

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