ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Walt Disney Co. on Thursday announced the temporary closure of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim in response to the expanding threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The closure will go into effect this Saturday and last through the end of March. The company said it will work with visitors who want to change or cancel their visits and will provide refunds on hotel bookings.
Disneyland hotels will remain open through Monday. The company said it will keep paying its cast members.
The move comes the day after California health officials recommended the cancellation of gatherings of more than 250 people, including sporting events and business conferences.
Gov. Gavin Newsom described Disneyland as a "nation-state" environment with 1,000 people boarding rides every hour and attending shows, parades, and visiting hotels and restaurants.
The governor said he had spoken to Bob Iger, Disney's executive chairman, as well as casino and theater leaders about the "complexity of their unique circumstances" which required a "different conversation."
Tokyo Disney Resort closed on Feb. 28 and is expected to remain shut down through March 15. Both the Shanghai Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort were shut down in January due to the outbreak of the virus.
The company's film studio has also postponed the upcoming theatrical releases of "Mulan," "The New Mutants" and "Antlers."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of this station.