Walt Disney Co. said on Thursday it would close its Disneyland Resort and California Adventure theme parks effective March 14 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The move comes a day after California Gov. Gavin Newsom called for the cancellation of non-essential gatherings of 250 or more people.
The Burbank media and entertainment giant said its two parks would stay closed through the end of the month and that it would pay its employees, known as cast members, during that period.
“The hotels of Disneyland Resort will remain open until Monday, March 16 to give guests the ability to make necessary travel arrangements,” the company said. “Downtown Disney will remain open.”
Disneyland will work with guests who want to change or cancel their plans to visit the park and will provide refunds to those with hotel bookings during the closure, the company added.
It is only the fourth time in the Anaheim park’s history that it has suspended operations. The others were following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Northridge earthquake and the assassination of President John Kennedy.
Shares of Disney (DIS) closed Thursday down $13.70, or about 13 percent, to $91.81 on the New York Stock Exchange.