16:54 GMT02 April 2020
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    The Walt Disney Company on Thursday announced the closure of its iconic theme parks in southern California, Florida and France beginning this weekend through the end of March to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Hotels at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris will, however, remain open until further notice.notice.

    Later in the day, Disney's stock ended down 13 percent, on a day when all of the major Wall Street indexes showed a downturn of about 10 percent. Disney fans reacted to the decision marking the first shutdown of its theme parks in nearly 19 years, after 11 September 2001.

    Netizens shared their opinions on social media, criticizing the decision or praising rightly-timed actions by the company to tackle the contagious disease. Most comments expressed a deep disappointment with the latest developments.

    At the end of January, both Shanghai Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland closed amid the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to Disney’s financial officer, company losses will depend on how long the theme parks remain closed and how fast they can resume operations following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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    Tags:
    coronavirus, COVID-19, shutdown, Florida, California, France, theme park, Walt Disney
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