How Central Florida theme parks are handling and responding after Hurricane Ian

What you can do if you had plans on visiting

Universal Orlando Resort (Landon McReynolds, WKMG)

ORLANDO, Fla. – As the state of Florida keeps a close eye on the path of Hurricane Ian, Central Florida’s theme parks are also making changes.

The storm made landfall Wednesday in southwest Florida. In Central Florida, the storm brought heavy rain, winds and threats of severe flash flooding. Among the latest in a series of news conferences DeSantis has held to provide updates and remarks on Ian with emergency management personnel in tow, the governor Thursday described what large-scale recovery efforts were underway in stricken areas, primarily in South Florida at the time.

Walt Disney World rainfalls following Hurricane Ian (WKMG)

[RELATED: Cone, models, satellite | FREE DOWNLOAD: News 6 Pinpoint Hurricane Tracker App]

Each of the theme parks have cancellation policies ready in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm warning that are issued by the National Hurricane Center.

See each of the park’s policies and statements listed below.

Walt Disney World

FILE - The newly painted Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is seen with the the crest to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the theme park Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The idea was presented to Florida lawmakers 55 years ago: Let Disney form its own government and in exchange it would create a futuristic city of tomorrow. That city never materialized, but Walt Disney World became an economic juggernaut, and its government retained unprecedented powers. Five decades later, Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking lawmakers to end Disneys government in a move that throws a wrench into decades of symbiotic relations between the company and state government.(AP Photo/John Raoux, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Walt Disney World Theme Parks and Water Parks

Walt Disney World theme parks will reopen at the following times on Friday, Sept. 30:

  • Magic Kingdom Park 10:00 a.m. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will be offered as scheduled and is sold out at this time
  • EPCOT 11:00 a.m.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios 12:00 p.m.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park 1:00 p.m., tour experiences scheduled at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park will be cancelled.

Disney Resort Hotel Guests and Guests staying at other select hotels will receive Early Theme Park Entry prior to the posted times above at each of the Walt Disney World theme parks. Early Theme Park Entry will be available at the following times:

  • Magic Kingdom Park 8:00 a.m.
  • EPCOT 9:00 a.m.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios 10:00 a.m.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park 11:00 a.m.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park is temporarily closed with a planned reopening on Sunday, Oct. 2.

Walt Disney World Resorts

For the safety of our Guests and Cast Members, check-in will not be accepted on Thursday, Sept. 29. For Guests with a Friday, Sept. 30 check-in, please arrive at your resort no earlier than 3 p.m. ET; Guests who arrive before 3 p.m. will not be able to check in. Guests may reschedule their trip or cancel their stay with us; any customary cancellation fees will be waived.

  • Guests that are checked in will receive updates, including any direction to shelter in place at their resort.
  • Dining options for Guests staying in our Resort hotels will vary, and in some cases may be very limited. Where available, restaurants will accept walk-ups only; Guests will not need dining reservations.
  • Characters will not be available in character dining locations on Thursday, Sept. 29.
  • The Grand Floridian Spa is closed on Thursday, Sept. 29.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Copper Creek Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort will temporarily close Wednesday, Sept. 28 through Friday, Sept. 30 due to the weather. We are contacting guests with current and upcoming reservations.

Disney Transportation

Walt Disney World Transportation will begin operating as normal on Friday, Sept. 30 and is subject to weather protocols. Transportation will begin operating 30 minutes prior to Early Theme Park Entry for Disney Resort Hotel Guests and guests staying at other select hotels.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Copper Creek Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort are temporarily closed through Friday, Sept. 30 due to the weather. Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa will be closed until Monday, Oct. 3. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will remain temporarily closed at this time.

Disney is contacting guests with current and upcoming reservations.

Disney Springs

Disney Springs will reopen on Friday, Sept. 30 at 10:00 a.m.

Drawn to Life presented by Cirque du Soleil & Disney is cancelled on Thursday, Sept. 29.

The 5:30 p.m. show on Friday, Sept. 30 is rescheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m.

Click here for more information on Walt Disney World’s Hurricane Policy. Click here for weather-related updates.

Other Disney experiences

Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf will also reopen on Friday, Sept. 30 at 3:00 p.m.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will be open from 5:00 to 8:00 pm for scheduled events.

Performances of Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue have been cancelled at this time in light of the temporary closure of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Guests with pre-paid reservations will be automatically cancelled and refunded.

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will resume operations with voyages departing Saturday, Oct. 1.

Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando Resort offers ticket deals for Florida residents. (Universal Orlando Resort)

Universal Orlando Resort, including CityWalk, has started its phased reopening of portions of the resort for hotel guests. No word yet on whether Halloween Horror Nights will reopen on Friday.

Universal hotels are currently at full capacity and will remain operational as they focus on taking care of guests.

Click here to read more about its severe weather policy online.

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando (WKMG)

Due to Hurricane Ian, SeaWorld Orlando will be closed Friday, Sept. 30. We are taking all necessary precautions -- including the implementation of our comprehensive weather preparedness plan -- to keep guests, employees and animals safe. In a Thursday evening update, SeaWorld Orlando said “all animals and employees are safe and unharmed.”

The park plans to reopen on Saturday, Oct. 1.

Howl-O-Scream Orlando will also be closed Friday, Sept. 30. All date-intended tickets have been extended through Oct. 31.

Click here for additional weather updates from SeaWorld Parks.


Reef Plunge at Aquatica (WKMG)

Due to the impacts of Hurricane Ian, Aquatica Orlando will be temporarily closed Friday, Sept. 30.

Discovery Cove

Image of SeaVenture underwater walking tour at Discovery Cove. (SeaWorld Discovery Cove)

Due to the impacts of Hurricane Ian, Discovery Cove will be closed Friday, Sept. 30. Animal park will not apply any cancellation or change fees for this service. For any additional information, call 407-513-4600.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens Debuts All-New Summer Celebration (Busch Gardens Tampa Bay)

Legoland Florida

LEGO CITY® Space opens at Legoland Florida Resort (Legoland)

We are grateful for the heroes who are working to rebuild our communities after Hurricane Ian, and our thoughts are with those who have been impacted by the storm.

LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park will reopen at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 1 for regular operating hours with Brick-or-Treat Presents Monster Party. Peppa Pig Theme Park will open at noon tomorrow. During this unusual time, certain park experiences may not be available. LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel have resumed normal operations.

At this time, LEGOLAND Water Park and LEGOLAND Beach Retreat will remain temporarily closed.

Guests with questions about the Resort’s Hurricane Policy are encouraged to visit


Gatorland seeing flooding due to Hurricane Ian (Gatorland)

The alligator park is still closed due to nearby flooding. The park said Friday morning in an Instagram post that all the animals are safe and secure. They hope to reopen soon.

Wild Florida

On Monday, June 14th Wild Florida will open a brand new 2 mile section with more animals, more nature and more fun. (Wild Florida)

“Hello, explorers! Wild Florida will remain closed on Friday, Sept. 30. For updates regarding your upcoming adventure, check back on our website and social media channels,” the animal park said on social media Thursday.

Fun Spot America

Fun Spot America (Fun Spot)

We hope everyone stayed safe during Hurricane Ian. Our team has been assessing the park in the wake of the storm, and based on recent favorable weather forecasts, we are pleased to announce Fun Spot Orlando and Kissimmee will resume operations on Friday, Sept 30th.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

“Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will remain closed Friday, September 30 due to the impact of Tropical Storm Ian. At this time, we plan to reopen on Saturday, October 1 at 9am. Please continue to check back to our social channels and website for operational updates.”

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex officials added all attractions, exhibits, programs and the Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour will open for regular operating hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Saturday, Oct. 1.

Click here for additional information.


Icon Park (Icon Park)

In preparation for Hurricane Ian, The Wheel at ICON Park and Carousal on The Promenade will be closed beginning Sept. 27.

As the tallest observation wheel on the East Coast, The Wheel at ICON Park is built to withstand severe weather events. Per company protocol, the entertainment destination closes The Wheel prior to the forecasted arrival of tropical storm winds reaching Orlando. The Wheel is locked in and then anchored down from the outer rim beam with two cables anchored north and two cables anchored south.

ICON Park’s shopping, dining and entertainment venues have mobilized to begin removing loose objects throughout the 20-acre property and trees have been trimmed. The entertainment destination’s top priority is the safety of guests, tenants and staff. With that in mind, restaurants, bars and attractions will remain open for business unless the weather becomes too severe to remain open.

Crayola Experience

Crayola Experience Plano (Crayola Experience)

Crayola Experience Orlando at the Florida Mall will reopen Friday from noon until 6 p.m., after shutting down because of Hurricane Ian.

The attraction will resume normal operating hours on Saturday.

Guests should check the website ( for ticket information and for further updates.

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About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.