ORLANDO, Fla. - Ahead of Hurricane Irma's arrival, Disney World Resort officials announced Friday that the theme parks will close early Saturday and remain closed through Monday.
Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney Springs will close Saturday at 9 p.m. Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom will close at 7 p.m.
Disney's water parks Blizzard Beach closed Friday and will reopen Tuesday. Typhoon Lagoon will close at 5 p.m. Saturday.
The ESPN Wide World of Sports will remain closed Saturday through Monday.
Several park events and shows are also cancelled, including the "Happily Ever After" fireworks performance at Magic Kingdom, "Illuminations Reflections of Earth" at Epcot and "Rivers of Light" at Animal Kingdom.
Other area theme park also announced closures due to Hurricane Irma. SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will close by 5 p.m. Saturday.
Aquatica Orlando and Adventure Island will be closed Saturday through Monday. Discovery Cove will be closed Sunday and Monday.
Irma is expected to make landfall in South Florida Sunday night.
The latest track issued by the National Hurricane Center Friday puts Central Florida in the path of the major hurricane. The track shows the eye of Irma over Central Florida early Monday as a Category 2 storm. The region will feel the effects of the massive storm as early as Saturday night.
Disney resort hotels will remain open through Hurricane Irma, and all parks will resume normal operations on Tuesday.
The Disney theme parks rarely close. Last year, Disney World closed early on Oct. 6 and remained closed on Oct. 7 due to Hurricane Matthew.
Back to back 2004 storms, Hurricane Frances and Jeanne closed Disney World for two days. Hurricane Floyd also caused the theme parks to shutter its gates on Sept. 15, 1999.
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