This One Light at Disneyland Always Stays on, Even When It's Closed — Here's the Sweet Reason

The light shines bright through good times and bad as a symbol of hope

Disneyland may be closed indefinitely amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but one light in the park continues to shine day and night, even if no visitors are there to see it.

The light illuminates a window in what was once Walt Disney’s apartment, which overlooks Disneyland’s Town Square from above the firehouse. For decades, it has stayed lit all day long in honor of the founder, who used to watch guests move through his park from the same window. And even now, as the park sits empty for its fifth week, those looking after it have kept the light on as a symbol of hope.

Disneyland’s President, Rebecca Campbell, recently shared a photo of the ever-present light in a post on her official Instagram.

“It glows as a source of inspiration to our cast and our guests as a remembrance of the man who once looked out that window to the sights of happy families making memories below,” Campbell wrote alongside the photo. “Today, even in a world filled with so much uncertainty, that light still shines, bright as ever. I’m looking forward to the day when families can make memories once again.”

On Thursday, March 12, PEOPLE first reported that Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida would both shut their gates over the weekend, following the closure of other major tourist attractions and events around the world. They planned to reopen at the end of that month, but on March 27 announced that they would be extending the closure indefinitely.

Despite closing the parks — which has since led to the company furloughing approximately 43,000 union employees on April 19 — a small group of 200 workers remain on the job to do “essential” tasks, such as housekeeping, custodial and lake patrol positions. Employees also continue to raise the park’s flags every day.

In another Instagram post, Campbell shared that she has been going into the parks to check on these employees, and that it’s hard not to notice how pristine they’ve been kept.

“I was at the resort yesterday to check on the Cast,” Campbell wrote on Wednesday. “As I was walking the parks, I had to stop a few times and acknowledge how beautiful it still looks.”

Disney Parks Still Maintained Despite Closure
Rebecca Campbell/Instagram

RELATED VIDEO: Disney-Loving Couple Visits All 6 Theme Parks in 1 Day: ‘It’s Just Been a Dream Come True’

“I wanted to share a few photos with you,” she continued, posting a slideshow of everything from Sleeping Beauty’s Castle to the immaculate gardens throughout the park.

Disney Parks Still Maintained Despite Closure
Rebecca Campbell/Instagram
Disney Parks Still Maintained Despite Closure
Rebecca Campbell/Instagram
Disney Parks Still Maintained Despite Closure
Rebecca Campbell/Instagram

Josh D’Amaro, president of Disney World, shared a similar statement on Instagram recently, posting a photo of himself at the Florida park during the closure, noting that he too has been coming in to visit the small group of employees still there.

“On a visit to #EPCOT this week, I was struck by the beauty and inspiration of our Flower & Garden Festival topiaries which are still here,” he wrote, praising the park’s horticulture team.

Disney Parks Still Maintained Despite Closure
Josh D'Amaro/Instagram

“Our Disney parks are places with so much emotion, memories and enormous potential – potential the world needs to believe in right now. And potential our Cast and Imagineers have anchored their lives to,” he continued. “I’m reminded how EPCOT stands out in this message of hope and the world coming together. And while EPCOT and other parts of our Resort are always special, they aren’t truly alive without our Cast. I know we’ll be back to make magic one day soon.”

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 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. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

Related Articles