Walt Disney’s Shanghai Disney Resort Closed

The Shanghai Disney Resort will, until further notice, be closed by the Walt Disney Corporation in their efforts to assist the spreading of the flu-like virus that is impacting people in China, a move that will cost the theme park over the holiday season in China substantially. At the moment, the Chinese are celebrating the seven-day Lunar New Year holiday. Traditionally, this is a time when the theme park is filled with tourists spending time with family, so much so that in 2018, Disney ad to halt ticket sales as the park was filled to capacity.

Local businesses in Wuhan and the neighbouring city of Huanggang are on high alert. With a combined population of almost 19 million, many locations are now restricted and almost completely locked down. The new virus is reminiscent of the coronavirus that saw twenty-five people die, and over 800 suffer with symptoms related to the virus. Along with the Disney Corporation, Japan’s Fast Retailing Co Ltd is another large company feeling the impact of the virus after it has closed seventeen of its Wuhan Uniqlo stores.

The latest outbreak has also seen the cancellation of premiers for seven Chinese film, which often co-inside with the Lunar New Year holiday due to the large number of people taking time off work to celebrate the festivities. Within its announcement, Disney stated any pre-purchased tickets would be refunded, a move that will impact its revenue economy although it is not known by how much.

The closure comes at a time when Shanghai Disney after it undertook a massive makeover of the resort for the month long event that is geared towards catering to the domestic and middle class of China as they celebrate the year of the rat. Disney maintains a 43 percent stake in the resort and operates two hotels within the resort that combined offer 1,220 rooms. The virus’s however is impacting far more than companies such as Walt Disney as the Chinese government is discouraging people from gathering in large numbers. To counter the risk, the government has cancelled public transportations systems in ten cities and in doing so, all but closed many temples and tourist attractions.