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Disney World, Universal, and other Orlando parks close for Hurricane Matthew

October 5, 2016, 8:20 PM · Here is the current list of closure at the Central Florida theme parks due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Matthew. Updated Thursday morning.

Thursday - Blizzard Beach, Fort Wilderness campground closed. SeaWorld closes at 2pm. Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando close at 5pm. Halloween Horror Nights, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and Spirit of Aloha dinner show canceled.

Friday - Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld, Legoland, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon and Fort Wilderness closed. Halloween Horror Nights, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and Spirit of Aloha dinner show canceled.

The Orlando area remains under a hurricane warning, its first in more than 10 years, as Hurricane Matthew is expected to brush Florida's east coast late Thursday through Friday, with landfall a possibility in northern Brevard County. The storm has strengthened to Category 4 and is expected to remain at that strength when it reaches the Florida coast.

And then there's this:

This is the first time that the Walt Disney World Resort has closed for a hurricane in more than a decade. The Disney World theme parks closed for hurricanes in 1999 and 2004.

If you are in Central Florida, make sure you have a safe, well-sheltered place to ride out this major storm. If you have travel plans for the next several days, expect airline cancelations, closures and possible storm damage to disrupt those plans. And if that storm really does come back for seconds, expect even more disruption.

We are sending our best wishes to everyone in the area.

For more information:

Replies (16)

October 6, 2016 at 4:09 AM · Please stay safe all those in the area
October 6, 2016 at 7:28 AM · Stay safe everyone. X
October 6, 2016 at 8:11 AM · All of the resorts have to be built to withstand Hurricane force winds in Florida. Plus Orlando is in the middle of the state so folks should be safe but still may lose power...

Good luck to those like TH Creative...

October 6, 2016 at 8:22 AM · Damn. This doesn't sound too good. Be safe, you guys. Hope it passes by, quick enough.
October 6, 2016 at 8:58 AM · Yeah this one looks kinda nasty. It seems like it will make landfall near Vero -- which means it could pick-up strength over the water between the Bahamas and Florida. Tomorrow's gonna be a bit rough.

I'll keep posting throughout the storm.

October 6, 2016 at 9:27 AM · Which parts of Florida are gonna make the evacuations?!
October 6, 2016 at 9:30 AM · It is safe to be on Jupiter?!
October 6, 2016 at 10:42 AM · Floridians, you are in my thoughts and prayers...
October 6, 2016 at 11:56 AM · Thanks for keeping in touch, TH. Best wishes for you and your family.

This is not just a huge disruption for tourists and residents. It's a potential financial hardship for workers who live paycheck to paycheck and will see their hours cut due to the closures. Which brings me to this:

Bravo to Universal Orlando for taking care of its team members.

October 6, 2016 at 12:40 PM · And now TPI is exploiting a natural disaster to troll the cliche Disney v. Universal thing.

Way to keep it classy, TPI.

I guess I won't be posting after all.

October 6, 2016 at 1:25 PM · "I wonder if Universal is handling employee pay better than Disney right now." Said no one during a time when much bigger things should be of importance here.
October 6, 2016 at 2:06 PM · Good luck, TH. It has to be pretty scary when these things are bearing down on you. Not sure I could live in Florida.
October 6, 2016 at 3:12 PM · While unfortunate, unless a contract specifies otherwise I wouldn't expect an hourly employee to be paid for hours they didn't work. Universal is doing something that will definitely help employee morale, but from what I've heard they are in the minority in the Orlando area.

This looks like it's going to be a really severe storm (many reports say the worst US Hurricane since 2005), so I hope everyone in the area stays safe. It's because of events like this that I wouldn't ever consider living in Florida despite being a theme park enthusiast.

October 6, 2016 at 3:36 PM · I lived in Orlando for 15 years, and in that time experienced several hurricane seasons. The worst was 2004. That year four storms came directly over Orlando every other week for eight weeks. At the time I was working at Universal, and I honestly don't remember the park paying hourly team members for hours lost because of closing for weather. I was salaried, so I was paid, but I'm pretty sure the hourly team had to use PTO for those lost hours. I have no facts to back this up, but to me, it's just another result of the amazing success the resort has experienced to the inclusion of the Harry Potter attractions. If only JK had written a spell to defeat bad weather.
October 6, 2016 at 4:20 PM · First off, I hope everyone is safe and well!

I've always wondered what happens for the tourists though. Is it recommended that they shelter in their hotel rooms or is it recommended they go to a local shelter?

October 6, 2016 at 6:50 PM · I'm down here and have been getting exceptional service by Disney. They have been extremely supportive and helpful.

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