Disney world

Walt Disney World announced Thursday it is closing its parks through the end of March due to the spread of COVID-19. 

This marks the eighth time Walt Disney World has closed in its 49-year history — six times for hurricanes and on 9/11.

The shutdown, beginning on Sunday, affects Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Animal Kingdom parks, according to a statement released by the company. 

The announcement comes hours after Disneyland in California announced its closures. Disney parks in Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai are also closed. 

Disney Cruise Line is suspending all departures beginning Saturday as well, according to the statement. 

Walt Disney World hotels, retail stores, dining complexes and Disney Springs are scheduled to remain open, according to the statement. 

Universal Orlando Resort also announced Thursday it will close its parks beginning Sunday. City Walk and hotels will remain open, according to a statement released by the company. 

Both Walt Disney World and Universal Resort Orlando said they are continuing to monitor the threat of COVID-19. 

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