The trip to Disneyland was a special vacation for a 4-year-old girl and her three cousins from Mexico — one that her parents couldn’t wait to take. It was a short freeway drive for a pair of former high school sweethearts who headed over to the theme park whenever they could get a few hours away.
Both groups were among the thousands of visitors who crammed rides, treats and fun into the final rainy hours the self-proclaimed Happiest Place on Earth remained open before shutting for more than two weeks starting on Saturday to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Andrea Vizcarra, 39, said she understood the resort’s decision to close and hoped it would help with the illness. But that doesn’t make it easier on her family, who spent $5,000 so a group of them could make the trip from Mexico City. They will get reimbursed for time missed in the theme park but not cost of airline tickets and hotels, where they are now cooped up with four young kids and little idea where to take them.
“We don’t have anywhere to go,” she said, hugging her daughter, who was dressed as Rapunzel. “We told them to make the most of today because there’s not much left to do after that.”
Disneyland fans normally can bank on the park being open regardless of what’s going on in the world around it. The park closed only a handful of times in 65 years and never for more than a day, said Jason Schultz, supervisory archivist at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum and unofficial Disneyland historian who wrote “Jason’s Disneyland Almanac.” The last closure was after the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.