Universal Studios will remain closed until at least May 31

Apr 10, 2020

Posted by: Amanda Kirk

News, Theme Park, Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood, WIzarding World of Harry Potter Orlando

We hate to be the bearer of sad news, but it won’t come as a surprise to most readers that Universal Studios has extended the closure of its parks to at least May 31 due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

This announcement follows the Walt Disney Company’s announcement that its North American sites will stay closed indefinitely.

All businesses that have been forced to close to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus have had to figure out what to do about their employees. Many smaller companies have had to lay off employees as soon as they closed because they simply could not afford to continue paying them. Some larger companies have been able to keep paying at least some of their staff and continuing to provide benefits, but arrangements vary from industry to industry and company to company. Universal Studios has announced that it will continue to pay all employees through April 19. After that date, most salaried staff will have both their hours and wages adjusted down to 80%, with the exception of a small group who will remain at 100% of their hours and pay. Benefits will continue for both groups. Part-time hourly employees will be furloughed as of May 3.

The April 20 date is a carryover from the original timeline for re-opening.  When Universal Studios closed its parks on May 14, it initially hoped to reopen them by the beginning of April. Towards the end of March, this date was revised to April 20, with the promise that all staff would be paid until then.

We’re all wishing that we could wave our wands to defeat the virus and resume traveling in both the Muggle and magical worlds. Did you have a trip to one of the theme parks planned that has been delayed by the pandemic? Tell us about it in the comments. Was it for a birthday? Anniversary? Proposal? Are you postponing or planning an alternate celebration? What were you most looking forward to seeing/doing/eating at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.