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Walt Disney World finally reopened two of its four theme parks this past weekend. The other two parks, along with Disneyland Paris, are set to reopen in just a couple of days. This was supposed to leave only one Disney Park, the iconic Disneyland Resort, closed. However, it appears that one of the parks that has opened previously, Hong Kong Disneyland, is now heading for closure for a second time following a bump in COVID-19 cases in the area. The park was the second to close, announcing the decision only a day after Shanghai Disneyland. The park has been open since June 18.
Local media in Hong Kong first reported that following an increase in cases, Hong Kong Disneyland and the area's other big theme park location, Ocean Park, are going to be closing once again. Disney has now confirmed that, following the decision of the Hong Kong government, the park will be closing. It does not appear that the increase in cases is actually linked to the park directly, simply that there has been an increase, and the parks are being closed as a precaution.
The closure will begin July 15, the same day that Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disneyland Paris are currently scheduled to reopen. While the park will be closing, the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort hotels will remain open.
While we don't know yet exactly what this means, it seems likely that a closure of at least a couple more weeks will be the minimum. If the decision to close things now has the desired impact, there might not be a need to keep things closed too much longer than that.
This certainly isn't good news, but it's a proactive decision that is better than the alternative of keeping the park open and potentially making things worse. Hopefully, by acting quickly, the increase in cases can be dealt with and kept from getting worse, allowing Hong Kong Disneyland to re=reopen that much sooner.
While a spike in cases in Hong Kong certainly isn't going to have a direct impact on decisions regarding other parks. COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in Florida as well, so it's certainly possible we could see a similar decision take place there.
Originally, Disneyland Resort was planning to open on July 17, but following a spike in cases in California, the state government made the decision to hold off on reopening theme parks. The Downtown Disney pedestrian mall reopened last week, but the parks remain closed with no expectation as to when they might reopen.
If nothing else, the Hong Kong situation shows that all of this is still very fluid and that we're not necessarily moving in a direction of continued forward progress. For every step forward there's a potential to st5ep backward. If this park could close, then that possibility certainly exists for the others as well. We'll simply have to keep watching and see what happens.