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People are urging Disney World to shut down all of its properties — not just its theme parks — amid coronavirus spread

INSIDER logoINSIDER 3/14/2020 Amanda Krause
a group of people walking in front of a building © John Raoux/AP

Disney World in Orlando, Florida, is closed for the time being. 

On Thursday, the theme park announced that it would shut down between Sunday and the end of the month as a precautionary measure to help stop the spread of coronavirus. However, this plan does not include all Disney properties - places such as hotels and the Disney Springs shopping center remain open at the time of writing.

Now, people are urging Disney to close all of its properties, not just its theme parks, to protect stranded guests and employees from infection.

People seem particularly concerned that the Disney Springs shopping center could be at risk of coronavirus contamination

On Twitter, many Disney fans and employees expressed concerns that stranded parkgoers would now flock to Disney Springs, an outdoor shopping and dining facility on Disney property.

According to their tweets, this could essentially stop stranded parkgoers from practicing social distancing, while also putting Disney employees at high risk of contracting the virus.

It's currently unclear if Disney World has plans to close Disney Springs and other Florida properties in the coming days and weeks. Insider has reached out to representatives for the theme park and will update this story when we hear back.

Despite health concerns, Disney Springs seems to be busy as ever

According to people in Orlando, Florida, Disney Springs was bustling with shoppers as late as Friday night. One person shared a video of the crowds on Twitter, while others posted stories about restaurants filled to the brim with diners.

Disney Springs is likely remaining open for travelers who can't yet leave Disney property

Disney World's closing announcement came as a surprise to many parkgoers. After all, the theme park has only shut down a few times in its 48-year history, and usually as a result of hurricanes, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

As a result, it's likely that some travelers are stuck on Disney property, unable to complete their vacations or find a flight home.

Other theme parks are taking similar measures to protect travelers

In addition to its Florida theme parks, Disney has temporarily shut down its locations in California, France, and Asia. For the time being, Disney cruises are also being halted.

"In an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of our theme parks at Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Paris Resort, beginning at the close of business on Sunday, March 15, through the end of the month," representatives for Disney World said in a statement.

As Insider's Samantha Grindell reported, Universal Studios in Hollywood and Orlando have also closed amid coronavirus concerns. In a statement previously sent to Insider, representatives for the theme park said:

"The health and safety of our team members and guests is always our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution and in response to the guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health, Universal Studios Hollywood will temporarily close beginning Saturday, March 14. The theme park anticipates reopening on March 28 as we continue to monitor the situation." 

Related video: Disney partially reopens Shanghai resort after virus shutdown (Provided by AFP)

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