Walt Disney World Was Closed for the Longest Period in History Due to the Coronavirus

There were unprecedented closures of Disney Parks worldwide in 2020 due to the coronavirus.  Walt Disney World had never closed all of its parks at the same time before.  Crazy and scary at the same time.  As my daughter said, “This was the first time It’s a Small World was not be playing somewhere in the world.”

*Article was updated with opening dates*

The Closure dates of the Disney Parks worldwide were as follows:

Shanghai Disneyland 

January 25 to May 11, 2020

Hong Kong Disneyland 

With the most closures. Three.

1st Closure: January 26, 2020 to June 18, 2020

2nd Closure: July 15, 2020 to September 25, 2020

3rd Closure: December 1, 2020 to February 19, 2021

Tokyo Disneyland

February 29, 2020 to July 1, 2020


March 14, 2020 to April 30, 2021 – With the longest closure of 13 months.

Disneyland Paris

March 14 to July 15, 2020

Walt Disney World Parks Orlando, Florida

March 16 to July 11, 2020

When Else Has Walt Disney World Been Closed?

This was the longest Walt Disney World was closed in its history since it opened in 1971. Walt Disney World did not make its first closure for nearly 28 years!

September 14, 1999

Category 4 Hurricane Floyd caused a closure starting in the afternoon of September 14th.  But only it lasted through part of September 15th, with Animal Kingdom opening that afternoon.

September 11, 2001

The terrorist attacks caused the parks to close shortly after the opening of the parks. They reopened on September 12th with much tighter security.

August 13, 2004

Category 4 storm Hurricane Charley caused the parks to close with most opening up the next day.

September 4 and 5, 2004

Hurricane Frances caused the parks to close for 2 days this time, the same hurricane season as Hurricane Charley.

September 26, 2004

Hurricane Jeanne causes Walt Disney World to close for the third time in 1 year! Luckily it was the last closure for a long time.

October 6, 2016

Walt Disney World closed their parks at 5 pm due to Category 5 storm Hurricane Matthew. They remained closed on October 7th.

September 9, 2017

This time the Walt Disney Parks closed at 9 pm and they remained closed on both September 10th and September 11th as well.

September 3, 2019

Walt Disney World closed most of the parks early due to Hurricane Dorian, but they were not closed for a full day due to the storm changing courses.

March 16, 2020 to July 11, 2020

This was be the longest Walt Disney World has ever closed. The college program students were even sent home. It was sad to see the parks be closed as long as they where. It is wonderful to hear the fireworks everyone night again!

Check out the progress that has been made on the Flamingo Crossing Area and Disney College Program new housing!

20 Replies to “ALL of the Times Walt Disney World Has Closed”

  1. So heartbreaking to think of this closure, even though I know it’s necessary! I hope Orlando’s economy is able to survive this disaster.

    1. I am worried about our economy here in Orlando, it is so dependant on tourists and the theme parks.

  2. Interesting information! I had actually been wondering about this – I knew about the hurricanes and Sept 11 generally, but I didn’t know the specific dates. Thank you for sharing!

  3. It’s so crazy how long all the parks are closing this time! I didn’t even realize Walt Disney World actually closed some during all those hurricanes! It makes sense but wow. Hoping everything gets back to normal soon!

  4. What a great timeline! you know things aren’t great when Disney closes.

    1. It is so sad isn’t it?

  5. I’m a Disney fanatic. It’s breaking my heart to see all these closures. I’m sad for the situation, sad for all the folks whose first Disney experience was ruined. It’s crazy to see the other times it has closed.

  6. Very thorough post. It’s so heartbreaking because it just sheds light on this horrible situation. Thanks for sharing.

  7. It is unfortunate that even Disney has to close but thankfully it is only temporary and in the best interests of the health and well-being of a nation. We take a lot of things for granted and I believe that even the fact that Disney too can be impacted will generate more respect for the Most Magical Place on Earth.

  8. wow so crazy that this is making history everywhere. I am so sad for all the families and children who are having to reschedule their trips to Disney but we know it is all for the best. Hopefully this all dies out soon and we can get to travel again!

  9. I was curious about how many times they had closed in the past. This is just insane! Hopefully everything is back to normal by September for our planned trip.

    1. I really hope it is back to normal for your September trip too Brittany!

  10. Living very close to Disneyland, this hits close to my heart. Thanks for sharing and hoping we all find a new normal soon.

  11. I was talking about this with my friends who I worked with at Disney World from 2008-2010. We thought ‘wow, what a fun time to be there for the College Program, thinking they would just have a couple weeks off to party and lounge by the pools.’ We were very sad for the students that they are all being sent home. That was the most magical and memorable experience of my life. I’m sorry it has been cut short for them!

    1. I have heard it is such an amazing experience for so many. It is so sad that they got send home so abruptly.
      They are building new college program housing. The complex is HUGE. It will be interesting to see if this changes anything in the program going forward.

  12. I love Disneyworld and am so sad at the closings, but realize it is completely necessary and the right steps to take. Feeling very sad for all of the families that had trips planned during the closure 🙁

  13. It’s so necessary in this time of social distancing to keep us all safe! I can’t believe that they’re closed longer than two weeks. That’s monumental.

  14. Second Chance Wanderlust says:

    While it is sad that the magic is postponed for many, I do commend Disney for taking these precautionary measures and closing the parks. I am sure that it was a tough decision, but helped ensure the safety of all those who love Disney!

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