Universal Studios closing temporarily due to Coronavirus concerns
The hits just keep on coming folks as much like competing theme park Disneyland announced hours ago, Universal Studios Hollywood is closing down from Saturday through nearly all of March due to concerns of the global coronavirus outbreak. Universal was expected to open their new ride The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! to the public on March 27, based on the Illumination Entertainment franchise. No new tentative date was given for the ride, which is expected to anchor a new Illumination “neighborhood” on the west side of the park’s Upper Lot.
The park, which also acts as an active studio for films and television shows, is closing its gates on Saturday, March 14 with the goal to reopen on Saturday, March 28, with the Universal CityWalk full of shops and restaurants set to remain open.
California Governor Gavin Newsom had declared a state of emergency last week and worked with the Department of Public Health to create guidelines to help proper combat the spread of the virus, including asking that any gatherings with 250 people or more be cancelled or postponed until a solution could be found. Though previously having stated that it shouldn’t affect theme parks earlier today and that the government would be having conversations with any in the state, it appears the decision has been made for both Universal and Disneyland to close for most of March.
The decision comes in a week of many major decisions made in the wake of the global outbreak, with the NBA and NHL suspending the rest of their seasons while the NCAA has cancelled the annual March Madness tournament and MLB has postponed their regular season. Other major cancellations include E3, WonderCon and SXSW while many major film releases have either been pulled, delayed or cancelled.