The Walt Disney Company announced March 27 that Disneyland and Walt Disney World will be closed indefinitely amid the global pandemic

By Jen Juneau
April 06, 2020 09:07 AM
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Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, Disney magic still persists.

Four days after the Walt Disney Company announced indefinite closures of Walt Disney World and Disneyland due to the spread of COVID-19, Walt Disney World Resort’s president, Josh D’Amaro, shared a video of employees raising the American flag inside Magic Kingdom park, in the courtyard situated at the entrance to Main Street, U.S.A.

Taken on a beautiful, clear day, the clip shows the flag going up the pole while three uniformed men silently salute it as Cinderella Castle is visible in the background.

“While our world looks very different today, one thing endures … the American flag still flies over Walt Disney World,” D’Amaro wrote in his Wednesday caption, which was also shared to the Disney Parks Blog alongside the video. “I’m inspired how our Security Cast Members continue to raise it each and every morning at Magic Kingdom while they are on duty protecting the magic. It’s a symbol that we’re still here and will not falter.”

“I hope this inspires you as well. We will be back. Thanks to all our incredible Cast Members who continue to maintain the magic until that day. Until then, please take care of yourselves and your families. We will see you soon,” he added, concluding with the hashtags, “#OurFlagWasStillThere,” “#DisneyCastLife,” “#DisneyMagicMoments” and “#MagicKingdom.”

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Security Cast Members saluting the American flag at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

On March 12, PEOPLE first reported that Disneyland and Disney World would both close over the weekend, following the closure of other major tourist attractions and events around the world.

The Walt Disney Company then announced on March 27 that both Disneyland and Disney World would be closed indefinitely due to the spread of the virus. The parks were originally planning to reopen at the end of last month.

The company shared the announcement in a statement on their official Twitter, writing in part, “While there is still much uncertainty with respect to the impacts of COVID-19, the safety and well-being of our guests and employees remains The Walt Disney Company’s top priority.”

They have continued to pay their park employees since the parks first closed, and indicated in the statement that they “have made the decision to extend paying hourly parks and resorts cast members through April 18.”

Security Cast Members saluting the American flag at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

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This is the only the third time in history that Disneyland has closed completely for reasons other than weather. Previously, the Anaheim, California, park shut down following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and for the national day of mourning after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

Disney World in Orlando, Florida, has only ever shut its doors due to the threat of hurricanes — most recently, Hurricane Dorian in September 2019 — and the day after the 2001 attacks.

Neither park has ever closed due to the outbreak of an illness.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.