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What To Do When Disney Closes- Wait, What?!

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Walt Disney World and Disneyland are 365 day a year operations. You can count on the availability of pixie dust whenever you need to take a hit! Except when it’s suddenly not. What do you do when Disney closes unexpectedly? What you need to know about Disney parks closures- especially in light of the Walt Disney World and Disneyland closures this spring. 

Sorry folks, Disney's closed. John Candy meme

Disney Parks Closures- Does Disney Ever Close?

Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California are open year-round for your magical needs. 

Need a churro in January? You can get it! 

Want a Dole Whip on a random Tuesday in September- no problem!

But sometimes Disney does have to close, though it hardly ever happens. 

Walt disney World closures castle at night

The 8 Times Walt Disney World Closed

Disney World has closed a total of 7 times over the course of its almost 50-year history. 

And almost all of the closures at Disney World have been because of weather and hurricanes

  • Hurricane Floyd on September 14, 1999
  • September 11, 2001, due to the terrorist attacks
  • Hurricane Charley on August 13, 2004
  • Hurricane Frances on September 4 and 5, 2004
  • Hurricane Jeanne on September 26, 2005
  • Hurricane Matthew on October 7, 2016
  • Hurricane Irma on September 9, 2017
  • March 15, 2020 –  CURRENT

what happens when disney world closes hollywood studios gates

Is Disney World Closing?

Walt Disney World parks are currently closed at this time.

Disney World closed on March 15 through the end of the month: Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot. 

Disney Resort hotels and Disney Springs are closing as well. 

Disney Cruise Line is also closing through April. 

Walt Disney world coronavirus closing announcement.

How Many Times Has Disneyland Closed?

California has that golden sunshine and sweet, sweet So-Cal weather. 

That means Disneyland has closed far fewer times than Walt Disney World: there have been only 3 days in which Disneyland closed its gates before March 2020. 

  • Disneyland closed on Saturday, November 23, 1963, after President Kennedy was assassinated
  • After the Northridge Earthquake in 1994
  • Disneyland also closed on September 11, 2001. In fact, the attacks happened before the park even opened and it remained closed all day. 

Disneyland closing due to coronavirus

Is Disneyland Closing?

Disneyland announced on March 12, 2020, that it would close the parks starting on March 13, 2020. 

Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure will both be closed until further notice in an abundance of caution.

There have not been any reported viral cases at Disneyland at this time. 

What NOT To Do When Disney Closes

Don’t panic! 

hercules pain and panic rundisney race retreat

Photo: Brena Starr

Yes, I know… easy to say.

But this is good news, ultimately, to keep as many people safe as possible. 

Disney will be back and you want to be there for years to come, right?


What To Do When Disney Closes

While completely disappointing, the safety of Guests is what matters most to Disney. 

And that is why the call to close Walt Disney World and Disneyland for a few weeks was made. 

If you were traveling during this closure time period of March 13 to March 31, 2020, you’ll want to know what you can do next.

when disney closes, call your travel agent

1. Email Your Travel Agent About Disney Closures

Your travel agent is likely already on top of things, but you will need to contact them as soon as possible about the next steps. 

Note I didn’t say call— because they are likely on the phone or on hold with Disney already. 

The best way you can get your options and your next steps determined is via email. 

2. Before You Cancel, Consider Moving Your Dates

This is hopefully a temporary closure. 

If you can move your dates a few months out, you could potentially score a great travel deal. 

Obviously the more flexibility you have, the better off you will be. Put together some options for moving your vacation and be prepared with options. 

And again: check in with your travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. They can check out your options for you.

Calling Disney to cancel vacation screenshot

3. Disneyland Closure Details and Contact Number

This is accurate as of March 12, 2020 at 8:30 pm ET.

Disney is working with guests for changing travel dates or who need refunds (booked through Disney Travel).

Disneyland hotels will be open until Monday to allow guests to make alternate arrangements. 

Downtown Disney will remain open.

Call  714-520-5050 to make any changes to your vacation packages. 

Walt Disney World information is pending.

4. Try To Remember Cast Members

And a personal note: the cast members are probably stressed and worried and bummed just like you. 

While all of this could be devastating to your family, please keep in mind the workers who are also affected by uncertainty and closures. 

If you are interacting with them on the phone lines or in person, try to remember how these closures also affect them. 

Instagram frame runDisney costume


We hate to see it, but we’d also hate to see any guests getting sick with germs from Disney. 

If you need a little Disney in your life, in light of what’s going on, check out these Disney Songs To Wash Your Hands To. Whistle While You Work! 

This post will be updated as more information develops. 


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