The company assures that guests will be able to modify their bookings if their park does not open by the time of their reservation, or if it opens earlier

By Hannah Chubb
April 01, 2020 01:10 PM
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Walt Disney World and Disneyland have begun accepting new reservations for dates starting June 1, after closing indefinitely amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic last week.

The decision was announced in statements on the California, and Florida parks’ websites. Neither resort has yet decided on a reopening date as they continue to monitor the situation and abide by government and public health restrictions.

The reservations from June 1, 2020 on are for both “guests who are interested in modifying their existing travel dates or making a new reservation for a future vacation.”

These reservations will be flexible, and guests will be able to modify their bookings if the park does not reopen by the date of their reservation, or if it opens earlier, the statement indicates.

Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

They also made a special exception for visitors whose plans were disrupted by the current closure.

Walt Disney World, specifically, shared that unused, previously-purchased park tickets “with a valid use period beginning March 20, 2020 through the closure” will be automatically extended to be usable through December 15, 2020. And guests who cannot return by December 15 can arrange to apply the value of their ticket to a ticket for a later date.

On March 27, the Walt Disney Company announced that Disneyland and Walt Disney World would be closed indefinitely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, sharing the news in a statement on their official Twitter.

“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,” the tweet reads.

The parks were originally planning to reopen at the end of March, after closing two weeks earlier.

The company has continued to pay their park employees since the parks first closed, and they indicated in their March 27 statement that they “have made the decision to extend paying hourly parks and resorts cast members through April 18.

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

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

Walt Disney World in Orlando 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.

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According to data compiled by The New York Times, there have been 1,113 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nevada and 26 deaths, as of Wednesday morning. Nationwide, the U.S. has had 188,247 cases and 3,921 deaths, the Times reported.

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.