by BLOOMBERG / pic by BLOOMBERG
Tokyo Disney Resort will extend its shutdown until at least early April, responding to a call by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to extend cancellations of large events for another ten days as Japan battles the spread of the coronavirus.
Operator Oriental Land Co. had initially planned to keep the Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea parks shut until March 15, and gave no exact date for the re-opening in a statement Wednesday. The opening of an expanded “New Fantasyland” area in Disneyland, which cost 75 billion yen ($720 million) and had been scheduled for April 15, has also been postponed until mid-May. Oriental Land is licensed by Walt Disney Co. to operate the entertainment complex.
The shutdown is the latest step in Japan’s attempts to control the virus. Schools around the country remain closed, the season-opener of the country’s pro-baseball league has already been called off, and the Osaka sumo grand tournament is taking place behind closed doors. Depending on when in April it reopens, the closure of Tokyo Disneyland may exceed that of the days following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which shut the park for 34 days. Tokyo DisneySea was shuttered for 47 days.
Shares in Oriental Land fell 4.3% today amid speculation its re-opening would be impacted by Abe’s remarks. SMBC Nikko analyst Yutaka Yoshino wrote in a note March 9 that Oriental Land was among stocks impacted by the coronavirus outspread that he saw having “only a limited rebound and perhaps even further downside later on.”