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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Southern California amusement parks shut down as coronavirus pandemic continues

Theme parks expected to reopen at the beginning of April, but now all theme parks are closed until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Credit: KFMB

CALIFORNIA, USA —

SAN DIEGO AMUSEMENT PARKS

For now, the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park continue to remain closed to the public until further notice.

The zoo -- one of San Diego's largest tourist attractions -- along with the Safari Park has canceled tours up to May 16. All employees will be paid during the closure, zoo officials said in a statement.

"San Diego Zoo and San Diego Safari Park are iconic destinations and we understand we play an important role in inspiring guests about the natural world, while also being a respite and escape for our audiences," said Paul A. Baribault, president and CEO of San Diego Zoo Global. "However, at this time, it is vital for San Diego Zoo Global to be a leader for the community and for our employees, and ensure we are putting the health and well-being of our greater community first."

If you purchased a ticket to the zoo, it is not refundable. However, it is not date-specific, meaning you can go any time up to one year since the date of the ticket purchase unless otherwise specified.

Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego has closed the aquarium to the public since March 12 until further notice to slow and prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

“It’s our responsibility to consider the health and wellbeing of our guests, staff, and volunteers, and the broader community. By temporarily closing our doors, we are doing our part to proactively take steps to limit the spread of the coronavirus,” said Executive Director Harry Helling. 

An update to the aquarium's statement on March 13 said memberships to the institute are non-refundable, but they will provide extensions to all memberships in compensation for the amount of time the aquarium was closed.

Legoland announced on April 3 that the closures to its theme park, water park and SEA LIFE® aquarium will continue until further notice.

The closures started on March 13 and will be in place indefinitely. LEGOLAND® California Resort is also closed, but Legoland announced a new Peace of Mind policy for the resort.

You can still book vacations to the resort with the "peace of mind" knowing you can change the date without incurring a fee.

Legoland also announced in the statement it will be extending the validity of passes for annual pass holders.

In a statement a Legoland spokesperson said:

"The health and safety of our guests and our staff is always our top priority and we are continuing to implement preventive measures in line with the recommendations of the CDC guidelines... Please be assured that we will work with you to reschedule your reservation without penalty, even if you aren’t able to reach us prior to your scheduled arrival date ." 

For guests wanting more information, please check the Resort’s website at www.LEGOLAND.com/California.

SeaWorld San Diego is temporarily closed until further notice, according to a statement on March 27. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment will continue to pay their full-time Ambassadors during this period.

SeaWorld has set up a form, asking for supporters to email congress members to help fund theme parks during the pandemic.

The USS Midway Museum has been temporarily closed since Monday, March 16. The Museum gave no update on when they expect to reopen. 


LOS ANGELES AMUSEMENT PARKS

Disneyland and California Adventure Park were originally exempt from the statewide order barring public gatherings of 250 or more people.

That order was on March 12. Since then, theme parks across California have temporarily shut down to stop the spread of coronavirus.

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"As a result of this unprecedented pandemic and in line with direction provided by health experts and government officials, the Disneyland Resort will remain closed until further notice. We will continue to carefully evaluate this complex and fluid situation." Disneyland said in a statement on April 3.

Walt Disney Company announced it would furlough employees starting April 19, but will continue to pay them until the day before on April 18.

For guests who want to reschedule, the earliest reservation for Disneyland start June 1.

The theme park says it will "work with guests who wish to change or cancel their visits, and will provide refunds to those who have hotel bookings during this closure period."

Guests can get questions answered or reservations canceled by calling 714-520-5050.

Universal Studios officials said the park's closure is being done "out of an abundance of caution and in response to the guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health."

Universal CityWalk is also temporarily closed.

Although park officials set the closures until April 19, officials will "continue to monitor the situation."

People with questions about Universal tickets were urged to call 800-864-8377, and use option 9.

Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott's Berry Farm Hotel are temporarily closed for now. 

In a March 20 statement, Richard Zimmerman, CEO of Cedar Fair Entertainment which owns Knott's Berry Farm, said they hope to reopen the park starting in mid-May.

"We will continue to work with Guests who have prepaid single-day tickets or booked rooms during the time period of our park closure. Additionally, for existing 2020 Season Passholders who are unable to use their pass during our temporary closure, we will extend your pass by the number of days Knott’s Berry Farm is closed," Zimmerman said.

Since Newsom originally called for limits on public gatherings, cases of coronavirus, along with unfortunate cases of deaths, have continued across all states and territories. 

More than 12,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the state along with more than 280 deaths.

Six Flags Magic Mountain also announced a temporary closure of the park back in March. Currently, The park says it hopes to reopen in mid-May. The park's calendar has openings starting May 18, 2020.