Walt Disney World, Universal to close Florida parks

Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World.

Roberto Machado Noa | Light Rocket | Getty Images

As Hurricane Ian approaches Florida’s west coast, The Walt Disney Company and Comcast Universal Studios are preparing to close Orlando theme parks for at least two days.

Disney announced Tuesday that Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and the Magic Kingdom will be closed Wednesday and Thursday. According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm is heading toward Tampa and likely to pass over Central Florida, where the Disney and Universal parks are located.

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Already, Disney has moved guests staying at its outdoor resort sites, such as the campground at Fort Wilderness and the Treehouse Villas in Saratoga Springs, to indoor rooms at its other hotels. In addition, the company has canceled Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser “voyages” scheduled to depart on Tuesdays and Thursdays due to potential impacts on guest experiences.

The company also said it will not implement cancellation policies for in-park experiences such as Savi’s Workshop at Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios or Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in the Magic Kingdom.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park will also be closed Wednesday and Thursday, and the Blizzard Beach location is already closed.

This isn’t the first time in Walt Disney World’s 50-year history that it has been closed due to hurricanes. Recently, in September 2019, the parks closed briefly due to the forecast path of Hurricane Dorian. The park reopened a day later when Durian’s route changed.

Universal CityWalk will close on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with reopenings expected on Friday, conditions permitting. Its hotels are fully operational and will continue to operate for guests. The company also canceled Halloween Horror Nights on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.

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