hurricane ian

Disney World, Universal Studios to Close as Florida Braces for Hurricane Ian

The company said in a statement that its theme parks and Disney Springs shopping area are "currently operating under normal conditions," but it was prepared to make adjustments

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

With Hurricane Ian bearing down on central Florida's west coast Tuesday afternoon, both Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios Orlando said they planned to close. Earlier in the day, some surrounding Disney hotel properties began to move guests to other locations in anticipation of the storm that could hit the peninsula early Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of up to 140 mph.

Disney said late Tuesday that Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Magic Kingdom would shutter on Wednesday and Thursday. 

Universal will close its park as well as CityWalk on Wednesday and Thursday. Its hotels are at full capacity and will remain operational for guests, the company said. The company also canceled its Halloween Horror Nights events on Wednesday and Thursday.

Ian struck Cuba Tuesday morning with sustained top winds of 125 mph, and as much as 14 feet of storm surge was predicted along the country's western coast.

The storm was forecast to strengthen even more over warm Gulf of Mexico waters, reaching top winds of 140 mph as it approaches Florida’s southwest coast and strengthens into hurricane force late Tuesday into Wednesday morning.

Disney said the following additional properties will be closed Wednesday through Friday:

  • Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Performances of "Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue" have also been canceled; the statement said prepaid reservations will be automatically canceled and refunded.
  • Copper Creek Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • The Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser resort will also be closed through Friday.

In addition, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, Winter Summerland Miniature Golf and Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf will all be closed Wednesday and Thursday, the company said.

Disney said it is contacting guests with current and upcoming reservations since these locations will be closing. It also said it is not enforcing cancellation policies for dining and other experiences like Savi’s Workshop and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

Pictures: Florida Braces for Hurricane Ian as Storm Makes Landfall in Cuba

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