LOS ANGELES — The coronavirus pandemic is forcing Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort to remain closed until at least May 31, extending the previous opening schedule by six weeks.
The theme parks closed March 14 and had previously announced they would remain closed until the end of March. Less than two weeks later, Universal Studios said the parks would remain closed until at least April 19.
The extension until at least May 31 also applies to Universal CityWalk, the shopping district next to Universal Studios Hollywood, and the hotels at Universal Orlando Resort.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park also closed March 14 and had also announced plans to remain closed until the end of the month. Disney representatives have since said the Anaheim parks will remained closed until further notice.
Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor in Valencia, as well as Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park will remain closed until mid-May, according to the parks’ websites.
The Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood have said they will extend the expiration date of this year’s annual passes for a period equivalent to the number of days that the parks remain closed.
Walt Disney Co. reversed a previous policy by notifying Disney pass holders who were making monthly payments that they don’t have to make payments while the parks remained closed.
Universal said tickets purchased for March 14 through May 31 will be extended for use until Dec. 18. Annual passes will be extended by the number of days that the parks are closed and monthly payments have been paused.
Starting April 20, nearly all of the workers at Universal Studios and Universal Orlando Resort will be paid 80% of their salary and will be asked to adjust their work schedule accordingly, Universal said in a statement.
A small group of Universal theme park workers will continue to work their regular schedule and earn 100% of their salaries, but all part-time hourly workers will be furloughed starting May 3, the company said. Health benefits will be extended to those workers who currently get benefits.
“All of these team members remain in our thoughts — and, while we don’t yet know when, we look forward to returning them to work one day,” Universal Studios said in a statement.
Disney said it would pay its theme park workers through April 19.
Earlier this month the Burbank media giant said it would begin to furlough employees “whose jobs aren’t necessary at this time,” starting April 19. The company did not say how many workers would be furloughed.
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