How is Coronavirus Impacting Disney Parks and Cruises?

With the global spread of COVID 19 (Coronavirus) ongoing, we have seen a massive slowdown of travel and large public gatherings pretty much everywhere. Many people have chosen to err on the side of caution and stay closer to home, focusing on smaller events and more localized activities like watching movies and playing video games. While this shift in consumer entertainment consumption can be good for an offering like Disney+, Disney, much like virtually every other travel and entertainment company is undoubtedly feeling the crunch, especially in their Parks and Cruises.

Coronavirus Disney Parks CruisesWe haven’t seen any specific attendance numbers for Disney Parks and Cruises in the ‘Coronavirus period’ yet, but with some resorts closed and people less willing to travel, we can safely assume that there will be a drop-off.

With my own Cruise and Disney World trip approaching in about a month, I was curious as to how the epidemic was impacting the resorts and cruises and what precautions Disney is taking to keep everyone safe.

Here is a rundown of what we do know about how Coronavirus is impacting Disney Parks and Cruises around the world including some of the tips Disney is sharing for those visiting their properties while the virus still isn’t contained.

Disney Parks:

Here is a rundown of where each of the Disney Parks stands with respect to what is closed and what is open due to Coronavirus:

  • Shanghai Disney (closed indefinitely) Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, Disneytown and Wishing Star Park reopened under limited operations on 3/9/20 while Shanghai Disneyland Park remains closed.
  • Hong Kong Disneyland (closed indefinitely)
  • Tokyo Disneyland (reopening March 16)
  • Tokyo DisneySea (reopening March 16)
  • Disneyland Resort is slated to close on March 14th and will remain closed through the rest of March. All parks will close the morning of the 14th and the resorts will close on March 16th. Downtown Disney closes on March 17th.
  • All parks at Walt Disney World are closed from March 16 through the end of the month. Disney World Resorts are closing on March 20th and Disney Springs is closed from March 17th-on. Much more information about this closure and associated refunds can be found here.
  • Disneyland Paris parks are also closed from March 16 through April 15th. Resort hotels remain open for now.
  • Aulani was the last Disney resort to close. They announced on March 20th that the resort will be closed from March 20th to March 31st.

Update 3/15/20: The CDC has issued a recommendation that no gatherings should be larger than 50 people for 8 weeks. 8 weeks would put us into early May (May 10th). This is just a recommendation, so it is unclear if Disney will follow it and extend their US park closures significantly longer. Of course, we are in uncharted territory with this epidemic, and things change daily, so it seems like we will playing a bit of ‘wait and see’ with this one.

Here is a helpful FAQ piece from Disney which runs down the preventive measures they take as well as a few helpful tips for Cast Members and Guests to prevent illness.

Some of their safety protocols include:

  • Training for Cast Members, with ongoing reinforcement on a regular basis
  • Defined cycles for frequent cleaning and disinfection of targeted areas
  • Easy access to handwashing facilities and hand sanitizers
  • Quick response to spills, trash and other situations
  • End-of-day sanitation procedures for restroom, kitchen and other facilities
  • Frequent cleaning and “wash down” of outdoor locations, including walkways and queues

Some of their helpful safety tips for guests and Cast Members include:

  • Staying home when sick
  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Following proper respiratory cough etiquette
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

Of course, if you have a Disney vacation scheduled over the next few months, or before Coronavirus has quieted down, be sure to contact them at (407) 939-5277 with any questions or concerns or for the most up-to-date parks information.

Disney Cruises:

So far, there have been no reports of Coronavirus on any Disney Cruise ship nor have there been any cancellations. That said, Disney has taken a few extra measures to keep their ships safe while making it easier to cancel a cruise for those looking to avoid travel during the crisis.

Update 3/13/20: Disney has announced that the Disney Cruise Line has suspended all new departures from March 14 through the end of March.

Here is a quick rundown of the latest guidelines Disney has released to keep guests and crew safe (source):

  • Currently, any Guest or Crew Member who has traveled from, to or through China, including Hong Kong and Macau, South Korea, Italy, Iran or Japan, within 14 days of departure will not be able to board our ships.
  • Any Guest or Crew Member who has been in contact with someone from these areas, including Guests with connecting flights in these locations, also will not be able to board, nor will anyone who has helped care for someone suspected of having or diagnosed with the coronavirus (COVID-19), or who is currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure. Guests who have air travel booked through Disney Cruise Line will automatically have their flights rebooked on an alternate route. Guests who booked their own air travel arrangements should contact their airlines directly to make the appropriate changes.
  • As is always our practice, we screen all Guests and Crew Members before they board, and anyone who feels unwell with gastrointestinal or flu-like symptoms (fever over 100.4º F, chills, cough or difficulty breathing) will not be permitted to sail.
  • In addition, all Guests and Crew Members will have their temperature checked by a nurse with a no touch thermometer prior to boarding, regardless if they are symptomatic or feel unwell. Additional medical screening will be required for anyone with a temperature of 100.4º F or greater, and they along with their travel party may be unable to sail.
  • For cruises that include a stop in Nassau or Castaway Cay, please note that The Bahamas will not allow anyone to disembark in any Bahamian port if they have been to China, South Korea, Italy or Iran in the past 20 days prior to arrival. These Guests may be able to sail but will be unable to visit The Bahamas.
  • For cruises that include a stop in Jamaica, please note that in addition to the locations noted above, officials there also will not allow Guests who have traveled from, to or through Singapore within 14 days of arrival to come ashore. These Guests will be unable to sail.

Additionally, Disney has relaxed their Cruise cancellation policies temporarily (source):

  • All Guests scheduled to depart on the Disney Magic between now and May 8, 2020, and the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy and Disney Wonder between now and May 31, 2020, can change their reservation up until the day before embarkation and receive a 100% cruise credit to be used for a future sailing within 12 months of their original sail date by calling us at 1-866-325-2112 or 407-566-3510 or contacting their travel agent. The credit is non-refundable and standard prevailing rates will apply.

And this for all near future European Cruises (source):

  • Guests currently booked on our European sailings through our July 25 departure can change their reservation up until the day before embarkation and receive a 100% cruise credit to be used for future sailing within 15 months of their original sail date by calling us at 1-866-325-2112 or 407-566-3510 or contacting their travel agent. The credit is non-refundable and standard prevailing rates will apply.
  • Alternatively, Guests currently booked on our July 13, July 18 and July 25, 2020, European sailings may delay their final payment to 30 days prior to their sailing.

Of course, if you have a Disney Cruise scheduled over the next few months, or before Coronavirus has quieted down, be sure to contact them at (800) 951-3532 with any questions or concerns or for the most up-to-date cruise information.

Other Disney Properties:

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort closes at 5:00pm on March 20th.

The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco closed on March 6th to prevent spread of Coronavirus. They plan to reopen ‘when we receive clearance from medical professionals or on Friday, March 20. You can get the most up-to-date info about the museum closure here on their site.

All Disney Stores in North America are closing on March 17th. shopDisney.com will remain open


As always, I will be updating this post as more information becomes available, so please be sure to check back regularly.

Please note that some of this information comes directly from Disney, while parts of this article rely on third-party media reports. This is a Disney fan site and has no direct relationship with Disney or any of its subsidiaries. No one should make any investment (or travel) decisions based on anything in this article. If you have any specific questions about Disney’s precautions or performance during this global health emergency, you should contact Disney directly. 

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About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of DisneyNews.us. My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back but was deepened by two semi-recent developments:1) The birth of my son (who is now 7 years old and can't get enough Disney); and 2) Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm/Star Wars (did I mention I was a super Star Wars geek?)I recently came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching it with my son, so it only made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it.Other interests include Disney, Sports, 80's Nostalgia, LEGO, Star Wars and Tech Gadgets. Other sites include DMR and VideoGamesStats.com.