Shanghai & Hong Kong Disneyland Shut Down!

Shanghai & Hong Kong Disneyland Shut Down!

Because of emerging concerns for the fast growing Coronavirus Flu Epidemic, Both Shanghai & Hong Kong Disneyland have shut their doors temporarily.

Entrance to Hong Kong Disneyland. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Hong Kong Disneyland closed on January 25th, with Shanghai Disneyland closing a day earlier. Shanghai Disney Resort not only closed the park, but Disneytown to include the Walt Disney Grand Theatre, and the “open to anyone” Wishing Star Park that is the thread between the attractions and the hotels. Refunds have been offered for those who purchased tickets. It’s uncertain what is happening to guests currently staying in the hotels of either parks.

Shanghai Disney Resort offers one park, two hotels, one shopping area, and a large public park. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

What makes this particularly painful is that it is the Spring Festival, which is a major holiday in China. During this time millions of people celebrate the lunar new year. Moreover, this is the year of the Mouse, so the parks were especially hoping for good fortune in their attendance. All of that is gone. This is a major source of income for both resorts. Closing the parks could not have come at a worst time.

While not visiting the parks is disappointing, one has to admire management taking the lead on this.  It is better that the parks be closed and people prevented from traveling there, then have the virus contagiously spread.

Still, as seriously taken as this issue should be, exercise practical caution rather than panicking especially as you make future travel arrangements. USA Today conversely noted critics who stated that more people are dying from influenza in the United States than are harmed from the Coronavirus globally. It helps to have some context. And it makes sense for Asia to exercise an abundance of caution.

It’s uncertain when either park will open. Like SARS, the virus will likely die off once weather becomes warmer. But hopefully upcoming guests will see things calm down much sooner, and the parks reopen in days not months.

Summertime crowds entering Shanghai Disneyland. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

This is not the first time Disney resorts have had to close for catastrophic events like this. Walt Disney World has had to close for a few days during a number of hurricanes passing through the Central Florida area. An offshore earthquake followed by a tsunami in 2011 closed the Tokyo Disney Resort for a number of weeks, and out of respect for those suffering during that time, did not begin to re-open their doors until April 15th.

J. Jeff Kober

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