DLW 123: Now what?

March 18, 2020

This week, Disneyland, along with every other Disney Park around the world is closed, what is happening inside the closed parks, what the last day was like, what Disney is doing for guests who planned to visit during the closure, we talk to Erik from ConciEARS about refunds and cancellations, and more!

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On Saturday, March 14th, Disneyland took an unprecedented step and closed its gates until at least the end of March, but probably much longer. The state of California had given Disneyland an exemption to the mandate of no more than 250 people in one location, but Disney decided to close the park anyway. As of this recording, all Disney parks around the world are closed. Currently, the plan is to keep them closed until the end of the month, but the Centers for Disease Control have recommended no large gatherings for the next 8 weeks. That would put us at the week of May 3rd. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/03/12/news-disneyland-to-temporarily-close-this-saturday-due-to-coronavirus-concerns/ and https://www.micechat.com/254305-new-cdc-recommendations-hint-at-delay-in-disney-parks-reopening/

With the closure of the parks, there was a lot of food on hand that would have gone bad. Disney has donated the excess food to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. This includes dairy, fruit, vegetables, packaged goods, and banquet meals. Last year, Disney donated over 20,000 meals to Second Harvest. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/03/13/news-disneyland-will-be-donating-its-excess-food-during-coronavirus-closure/

For Annual Passholders, the closure brings up additional questions. If you paid for 365 days of access, but the park is closed, how is the resort handling that? Disneyland has stated that valid annual passholders will have their passes expiration date extended based on the pass type and level of access due to impacts of the closure. What about monthly payments? Disneyland will still collect the monthly payment as scheduled. Payment will not be required for the extended period. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/03/14/updates-for-disneyland-resort-annual-passholders-during-coronavirus-closure/

The Disney College Program, which employed thousands of college students at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, was suspended on March 15th, with all participants required to leave the housing provided by Disney by March 18th. Participants will be paid through the end of the month and not be charged for housing. They will receive a completion certificate, allowing them to work for the company again in the future. Disneyland has approximately 4-500 students, while Disney World has 3-4,000 students. – https://www.micechat.com/254103-disney-suspends-college-program-due-to-park-closures/

For those guests that stuck it out in the rain, Disneyland gave a touching farewell. A lot of characters, music, and cast, along with Disneyland Resort President Rebecca Campbell, gathered at the Main Street Train Station to say goodbye for now. The Disneyland Resort Ambassadors posted a video of the event that we have linked in the show notes. – https://www.micechat.com/254297-disneyland-news-update-the-unthinkable-happens/ and https://www.facebook.com/disneylandambassador/videos/1813447722119647/

On the last day of operation for the resort before the closure, crowds were light. Part of the reason for this was the rain. Everytime it rains, the resort has lower crowd levels. Based on this, it is hard to tell how much lower the guest turnout was based on COVID-19 alone. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/03/13/photos-see-what-crowds-are-like-at-disneyland-the-day-before-park-closure-due-to-coronavirus-concerns/

With the parks closed, Disneyland has wasted no time in starting on a number of projects. Refurbishments of attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean have been started, pavement on Main Street has been torn up, and, of course, deep cleaning is happening all over the resort. However, come Monday, all that work has been halted and only a skeleton crew is on site in the parks. – https://www.micechat.com/254297-disneyland-news-update-the-unthinkable-happens/ and https://www.micechat.com/254394-disneyland-update-part-2-tragic-happens/

Downtown Disney has adjusted operating hours from it’s usual 7am to 1am, now operating from 10am to 10pm. All Disney owned locations will be closed. – https://www.facebook.com/DisneylandToday/photos/a.415645595174359/3601635533242000/?type=3&theater and https://www.ocregister.com/2020/03/16/disney-closes-company-operated-stores-in-downtown-disney-amid-coronavirus-outbreak/

Salt and Straw in Downtown Disney has changed it’s hours from 10am to midnite, to 1pm-11pm until further notice. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/03/15/salt-and-straw-temporarily-changes-its-hours-in-downtown-disney/

The Founder of the Walt Disney Archives is currently scheduled to get a window on Main Street on June 22nd. Dave Smith founded the archives 50 years ago on June 22nd. – https://www.micechat.com/254394-disneyland-update-part-2-tragic-happens/

Discussion Topic:

The Disneyland Resort has posted a great guide on their website that we have linked directly in the show notes, on refunds and cancellations. They recommend trying to cancel reservations online as they are experiencing heavy call volume at this time. One day theme parks tickets that are unused are valid through December 30, 2021. Multi-Day tickets are valid through January 12, 2022. Promotional tickets vary by ticket type, see the link in the show notes for specific details. Hotel reservations for the duration of the closure can be cancelled and receive a full refund. Vacation packages booked through the Walt Disney Travel Company can receive a full refund. Dining, and other activity reservations will also be fully refunded. Special event tickets like Villains Nite will be automatically refunded within 30 days and do not require any guest interaction. – https://disneyland.disney.go.com/travel-information/

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