This week Hurricane Ian descended on the state of Florida. The Category 4 storm made landfall on Cayo Costa Island in Southwest Florida on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, just days after Governor Ron DeSantis issued a state of emergency for all counties in the Sunshine State.
With mandatory evacuation orders in effect for some areas and the Florida theme parks shut down to brace for impact, the aftermath of Ian’s passing through has left significant damage across the state, including on some historic attractions.
As Tropical Storm Ian strengthened into a Hurricane with a path set for the state of Florida, residents and tourists prepared themselves for the shocking landfall of the Category 4 storm. Earlier this week, both the Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort, as well as other theme park locations like Legoland Florida, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and SeaWorld Orlando, announced their Park closures for September 28 and 29, with operations hopefully resuming from Friday, September 30, 2022.
Orlando International Airport (MCO) also shut down operations in response to the hurricane.
While Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort revealed a phased reopening approach on this date, not all facilities, attractions, and experiences were available. It could be seen yesterday that attractions at Universal Orlando Resort had been damaged by the major weather event.
Over at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, the Park adjacent to Universal Studios Florida, both The Incredible Hulk Coaster and Jurassic Park River Adventure sustained damage from Hurricane Ian. The former could be seen partially underwater following intense flooding from rainfall, while the latter dinosaur-themed water ride had an entire section of its show building pulverized.
Close-up photos of Jurassic Park River Adventure’s damage were seen yesterday, but now the severity and scope have been revealed in a new aerial shot of the theme park destination.
Posting to Twitter, @bioreconstruct shared the image of Universal’s Islands of Adventure including the damaged attraction.
Aerial overview of Islands of Adventure. Arrow where part of the Jurassic River Adventure show building exterior was stripped away by Hurricane Ian.
Aerial overview of Islands of Adventure. Arrow where part of the Jurassic River Adventure show building exterior was stripped away by Hurricane Ian. pic.twitter.com/ocNKN0K1tn
— bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) September 30, 2022
The image shows just how extensive the damage is in relation to the rest of the show building; even this high up the aftermath of Hurricane Ian can be seen at the Universal Park. The Universal Orlando Resort’s most recent statement on the hurricane is the following:
Update from Universal Orlando Resort
Update from Universal Orlando Resort pic.twitter.com/o10fUHidPi
— Universal Orlando Resort (@UniversalORL) September 30, 2022
It can be expected that regular theme park operations for all the popular destinations across Florida won’t return in the immediate days but will continue being reopened in a phased approach. Locations like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade), and the other Jurassic Park franchise attraction, Jurassic World VelociCoaster, seem unaffected by the storm.
Hurricane Ian left lasting damage in the state and has now moved north towards the Carolinas.
Inside the Magic will continue to update on the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.