On Friday, March 13th the Disneyland Resort closed the gates to both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure for the final time in the month of March. This was done to protect both guests and cast members due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris Resorts will also be closing their parks this weekend. By Monday, all Disney Parks around the world will be closed.
Friday was a rainy day at the Disneyland Resort during the day. The drizzly weather did not stop guests from coming to the parks, however. Some of these guests were locals wishing to say goodbye to their happy place. Others were tourists from around the globe that were going to the Disneyland Resort while they could. Whatever the reason, people were at the Disneyland Resort. It wasn’t an insanely busy day but it wasn’t empty either. In general, the vibe was a little different at the Disneyland Resort.
As the day wore on, the rainy day cavalcade was presented instead of the new Magic Happens parade. Guests lined along the parade route to watch as Mickey, Minnie, and the gang made their way down the parade route through Disneyland. The characters in the cavalcade were pulled from the Magic Happens parade. This happened during both scheduled parade times. Other outdoor entertainment was also closed due to the weather. In Disney California Adventure, the Darden Sisters appeared to be the only live entertainment being offered as the afternoon turned into evening.
As the evening progressed, it appeared that more people were arriving in the parks. As the DAPS MAGIC team grew, they reported that the trams were full in the evening as they were coming in. Guests were enjoying what the Disneyland Resort had to offer. The parks were humming but not insanely busy.
Shortly before 10:00 PM when Disney California Adventure was about to end its normal operating hours, a group of characters led by Mickey Mouse made their way down Buena Vista Street to the flagpole. There, they spent quite some time waving at guests and wishing them goodnight as they left the park. Cast Members also lined either side of the street wishing guests good night and thanking them for coming. The moment was simply magical and really was a beautiful thing to experience. It was full of heart and really was a lovely thing to watch. Disneyland Resort President Rebecca Campbell was on hand for this goodnight from Disney California Adventure.
As the night continued on, many guests made their way from the now closed Disney California Adventure to Disneyland to end their day. Fantasmic! was presented and it was a really a pretty night to be in the park. Around 11:00, some characters began to appear at the Main Street Station in Town Square. By the time it was almost midnight, there was quite the host of characters and cast members on hand to say goodnight to all who had come to this happy place. Instead of the normal Main Street music loop, Disney classic were played in Town Square instead. Disneyland Resort president Rebecca Campbell arrived shortly before midnight for photos and to thank the cast members for all they do. Many guests simply stood in Town Square watching the characters and cast members wave at them.
A few minutes after the official closing announcement was made, the characters and cast members made their way off stage. Many of them linked arms and walked together as they said goodnight. Many guests who had watched the goodnight moment stayed in the area and just watched the rest of their fellow guests make their way out of the park. Others stopped for photos in front of the castle, by Walt’s Apartment, or in front of the Train Station. Several groups could be seen just absorbing the atmosphere for one last time in the month of March. The ending of the evening really was beautiful and full of magic and character…or characters.
The Disneyland Resort parks are now currently slated to remain until April 1st if all goes as plan. This is a historic closure and one that wasn’t lost on many of the Disney fans at the Disneyland Resort on Friday. DAPS MAGIC will continue to update this story as more details become available.