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Comcast Extends Theme Park Shutdowns; Will Disney Follow?

By Daniel B. Kline - Mar 25, 2020 at 8:41AM

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Universal Studios has extended its closure for nearly an extra month.

Comcast (CMCSA -0.87%) has extended the shutdown of its Universal Studios theme parks through April 19. The move extends a previous decision that had closed the U.S.-based parks to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

The company released the following statement on its website:

We know Coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted many parts of your life -- including your travel and vacation plans and we will be eager to welcome you back to our theme parks and destinations when the time comes. For now, we must make the health and safety of our guests and team members our top priority and we will continue to take guidance from health agencies and government officials.

This means we are extending the closure of Universal Orlando Resort through April 19. This includes our theme parks and Universal CityWalk. The Universal Orlando Resort hotels have also temporarily suspended operations.

Comcast posted a similar notice on the website for its California theme park.

Four people are in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The Wizarding Word of Harry Potter at the Universal Studios theme park. Image source: Universal Studios.

Will Disney follow?

Currently, Walt Disney's (DIS 0.25%) theme parks remain closed through the end of March. It seems very likely that the company will extend those closures but, so far, the company has not made any announcements.

The theme park closures are part of a nationwide effort to flatten the curve of the spread of coronavirus. A major component of that is limiting mass gatherings of people.

What happens next?

The reality is that neither Disney nor Comcast know when they will be able to open. Any posted dates are just guesses, because it's unclear how long Americans will have to practice social distancing in order to slow the spread of coronavirus. Comcast has at least named a more realistic date than Disney, but nobody actually knows when any of the theme parks will reopen.

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