Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld to Close Due to Hurricane Irma

Disney World Hurricane Irma
John Raoux/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Florida’s Walt Disney World is closing for at least two days due to Hurricane Irma, shutting down early on Saturday and re-opening on Tuesday at the earliest.

“Resort hotels will remain open,” the theme park said on its website. “We hope to resume normal operations on Tuesday, September 12. We will provide regular updates to our guests on all operational changes.”

The Orlando park already closed its Blizzard Beach attraction on Friday. It said that its Friday “Night of Joy” event at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex would take place but that the Saturday event had been canceled.

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Florida Movie Theaters Closing as Hurricane Irma Approaches

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon was closing early on Saturday at 5 p.m. and its Animal Kingdom is closing at 7 p.m. Epcot is closing at 9 p.m. Disney World also said its prepaid dining and premium experiences will be automatically canceled and refunded.

SeaWorld Orlando will also shut down early on Saturday and remain closed through Monday. Universal Studios Orlando will close at 7 p.m. on Saturday and remain closed on Sunday and Monday.

Hurricane Irma was moving toward Florida on Friday and is expected to hit the state late Saturday. Irma has been downgraded to a Category 4 storm and has been battering islands in the Caribbean in recent days.

Officials have cautioned Florida residents to be wary of the power of Irma. Gov. Rick Scott has said it would be bigger than 1992’s Hurricane Andrew, the most destructive storm to hit the state.

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  1. Linda says:

    As they did when 9/11 occurred, the people at Disney have things under control. Even though the parks will be closed, I know that they will see to it that children will be kept entertained. Big thumbs up to all of the people at Disney. Stay safe everyone!

  2. Anne Millman says:

    I hope everyone be safe during the hurricane. I will keep praying for all your safety. God Bless all of you

  3. Bernadine Pearl says:

    What about all of the employees that were forced to stay in the lab of this hurricane and work instead ofnreadyjng their homes and families? All
    Somthat the parks could stay open until the last possible moment? Shame on disney for not closing earlier to protect their employees and the tourists. I have been begging my daughter to evacuate Florida ahead of the storm but she works for Walmart and her manager told her that if she evacuated before there was a mandatory evacuation it would be held against her and she would be fired. He LAUGHED at her for wanting to evacuate. I told her to leave anyway. That I would rather have her unemployed and alive. People should NOT have to choose between their safety and keeping their jobs.

  4. Laura Settles says:

    If Disney had a heart, they would have closed on Thursday and given their employees time to evacuate with their families. They are so money hungry. Who is going to go there today? Money, Money, Money, that is all they think about!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • JC Flynt says:

      Laura, I have never in my whole life seen so many negative comments coming from you and others related to anything and everything. Do you realize how many people paid a lot of money to come to Disney and how many little kids have sad faces they won’t get to see Mickey. In spite of that it is great not just Disney but all the other large attractions decided to close and maybe save injuries. The majority of people would like to start seeing more positive comments. Do you know or care how much good Disney has done for our State? How many people are employed, the charities they help and things they do that contribute to the environment, health and safety. It might be good if you took the time to do some research. How about a test to see how much better you feel about yourself writing some positive comments. But if I were guessing you are thinking up something negative to reply or maybe now you will complain about how they were wrong to close since Irma may go further west. All those people who won’t be able to work and get paid because Disney closed. Have a wonderful day and hope you stay safe.

      • Bernadine Pearl says:

        You did not address me directly in your reply but it seems that you may have intended me in “and others” so I am going to reply. I am not a negative person and I am usually the first to post positive even in light of our current negative social climate. I completely agree with almost everything you said. I even agree that not enough attention is given to the good that large companies do in their communities. What I cannot agree with is your comparison of the safety of employees lives and properties with the sad faces of children who do not get to see Mickey and the money that tourists have spent to go there in light of a storm coming that has been declared by the governor, FEMA, and weather experts to be unlike anything Florida has seen before. By this afternoon it will be too late for people to get out of Florida before it hits so many people have been forced to stay in the path of the storm for fear of losing their jobs. I’m not saying that Disney used this kind of force but I know other companies did. Having worked in an amusement park myself, as well as other parts of the service industry over the years, I also know that even without direct threats there can sometimes be an implied threat. This is a time for everyone to come together to make sure everyone is safe and losses are minimal. Forcing people to work at an amusement park while the first bands of the storm are already making its way to shore so that kids can see Mickey is not a priority. Not to mention the extra burden it puts on first responders to have extra people there. God’s protection to everyone still in Florida.

  5. Sam Cole says:

    It is outrageous to expect theme park workers to show up on Saturday instead of preparing for an enormous hurricane.

    The profit motive turns people into monsters.

    • Laura Settles says:

      I totally agree with Bernadine Pearl. People’s lives are more important then the money people spent for their vacation or the smile on the kids faces. If things turn and Disney is in jeopardy, is it worth it? Those smiles could turn to disaster. It is not about being negative, it is about be sensible. My husband, son and grandson all work in an amusement park, and their first priority is their employees. Not getting that feeling from Disney.

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