Disney World, Universal Orlando to Close as Hurricane Approaches

September 27, 2022, 6:14 PM · Central Florida's theme parks will close tomorrow and Thursday, as the state prepares for the landfall of Hurricane Ian.

Ian is currently a Category 3 storm, with sustained winds of 120 mph. It is expected to strengthen, possibly to Category 4, before hitting Florida's Gulf coast on Wednesday. The forecast cone has shifted south of Tampa Bay, which should lessen the storm surge in the Tampa area. However, the center of the storm is now forecast to hit the Orlando area as a Category 1 hurricane or tropical storm on Thursday.

As a result, Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, and the Legoland Florida theme parks have announced that they will close tomorrow, September 28 as well as on Thursday, September 28. Busch Gardens Tampa previously announced that it would close today through Thursday due to the storm.

The closure includes Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, as well as other scheduled events at the parks. Hotels will remain open for guests to shelter, though campgrounds and certain bungalows at Disney will be closed.

Hurricane ride-out crews will be preparing the parks for the storm, including providing for the care of on-site animals. Guests with tickets or reservations should contact the parks, as the resorts now are allowing vacation changes or cancellations without penalty.

For latest on Hurricane Ian, please visit the National Hurricane Center's website at hurricanes.gov.

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Replies (23)

September 27, 2022 at 9:00 PM

My info reports Disney will cover CM wages for the two days they are closed.

September 27, 2022 at 7:15 PM

Hate to steal your bit TH, but... standing and applauding!

September 28, 2022 at 4:43 AM

(6:42 AM EDT) The track published ay 4:56 AM EDT has it right off of Fort Myers. Ian now is a category four storm As of this post, where we live (15 minutes from WDW) we are getting light, steady rain.

September 28, 2022 at 8:32 AM

155 mph sustained winds…2 mph shy of a category 5 hurricane…Stay safe out there to all the Florida residents, as well as the visitors who might be in the area during this storm…

September 28, 2022 at 9:30 AM

If you are on a park ride-out crew, staying in a theme park hotel, or just have storm photos or video to share, please feel free to email your observations to me at themeparkinsider@gmail.com.

September 28, 2022 at 9:54 AM

Good luck to everyone out there.

September 28, 2022 at 11:15 AM

Be care, TH, and all that are down there. Sounds like it will still be a Cat 1 or a strong tropical storm when the eye reaches the Orlando area.

September 28, 2022 at 11:44 AM

Updates are always appreciated.

September 28, 2022 at 11:45 AM

Your wish is my command ... Again, we are about six miles as the crow flies from the west side of WDW property. Is is rainy and blustery. We are about two or three hours away from Showtime.

Please Note: In this weather that crow flies like a bullet.

September 28, 2022 at 12:15 PM

+1. Good on Disney for covering wages those 2 days. And as others said, stay safe everyone who is down there.

September 28, 2022 at 2:04 PM

3 PM EDT - Temperature dropping, wind is accelerating and there's a steady cold rain ... And we are just getting started.

September 28, 2022 at 3:32 PM

Keep safe everybody. I hope nobody is Hurt and lets hope damages are keep to a minimum. Best of luck to everybody at central Florida and related áreas.

September 28, 2022 at 4:46 PM

Be safe everyone.

September 28, 2022 at 5:14 PM

610 PM EDT - The wind is really picking up. The rain is not too aggressive but it's steady. The sun is going down. We still have power, but there are a million-plus who do not.

Getting ready for a bumpy night.

September 28, 2022 at 6:25 PM

Thanks for the updates TH. Looking forward to the one in which the situation is announced to be subsiding.

September 28, 2022 at 7:27 PM

8:26 EDT - 60 mph+ winds reported around WDW. Sheets of rain and wind around THC World Headquarters.

Waiting on the eye.

September 28, 2022 at 7:51 PM

thc world headquarters? now I know how you keep that cool, calm composure all the time.

September 28, 2022 at 11:06 PM

"THC World Headquarters" sounds like a glitzy marijuana shop in Las Vegas.

September 29, 2022 at 1:11 PM

8;39 AM EDT ... Good morning ... And so "The Long Night" has ended ... Still blustery and rainy ... We lost power six hours ago.

And Arya killed the Night King.

See what I dis there? "The Long Night" ... HA!

September 29, 2022 at 12:16 PM

There are photos on line of a big hole in the side of the Jurassic Park ride building at IOA.

Of course if this had happened at WDW the Universal fanboys would already be posting complaints like "Why hasn't Disney fixed this yet? What is taking so long?!"

September 29, 2022 at 12:52 PM

The real question would be..if there was a water leak that drop on the yeti in everest expedition..would the yeti move??? Or Just strobe its way aroynd pretending to move??

September 29, 2022 at 1:01 PM

@Pablo: Whatever the Yeti would do, it would certainly move "aroynd" a lot more than that dragon in Diagon Alley.


September 29, 2022 at 1:28 PM

a hurricane decimating expedition everest would be a tragedy ... but if it forced disney to do a major renovation of one of its most impressive animatronics in time for my next visit, I would grieve and move on.

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