The Walt Disney World resort remains closed Friday as Hurricane Matthew ravages Florida's eastern shore.
“Based on the most recent forecasts for Hurricane Matthew, Walt Disney World theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs, miniature golf courses and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will all be closed (Thursday) by 5 p.m., and will remain closed through Friday, Oct. 7,” said a Walt Disney World spokeswoman yesterday.
The most intense storms in the last 50 years that have made landfall and caused colossal damage in the U.S.
The park is scheduled to reopen Saturday. Disney will provide an update on its plans to restore operations this afternoon.
Meanwhile, Busch Gardens Tampa was open on Friday.
Universal Studios Florida will be open at 7 a.m. for Early Park Admission and 8 a.m. for all other guests. Universal’s Islands of Adventure will open at 9 a.m. for all guests. Universal CityWalk will operate normally on Saturday and Halloween Horror Nights 26 will also open Saturday night. Wet 'n Wild will open as scheduled Saturday at 10 a.m.
Walt Disney World rarely closes.
Since it opened in 1971, the resort's theme parks have been shut down only four times, all for hurricane-related weather. The most recent closures were for Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in 2004. The resort also ceased operations during Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Orlando's location in Central Florida is generally less vulnerable to the most damaging effects of hurricanes than the state's coastal areas.
On Thursday, guests were evacuated from several of the resorts, including the Fort Wilderness Campground, the Polynesian Bungalows, and the Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villas. Resorts are communicating directly with guests about what they’ll need to know for the storm.
The park's website also includes an FAQ for guests about policies concerning canceled reservations and changed plans due to hurricanes.