Hurricane Ian Renders Most of Florida Inoperable as Resorts, Businesses, Schools, and Airports are Closed Around the State

in Busch Gardens, Disney Parks, Featured, LEGOLAND, SeaWorld, Theme Parks, Travel, Universal Studios, Walt Disney World

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Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida on Wednesday as a dangerous Category 4 storm, and it continues on a path of destruction into the state of Florida. As with all hurricanes, there remains a level of uncertainty about Ian’s track, but one thing’s for certain: much of Florida has been shut down by the massive superstorm.

On Tuesday, Central Florida’s major theme parks announced plans to close on Wednesday and Thursday ahead of Ian’s arrival. Disney World announced plans to close both days with the hope of reopening on Friday, but the decision to be operational again will take into account several factors, including any damage, flooding, and other concerns.

Per Disney World’s official website, there is no official word about reopening, but the site does state that Disney will continue to monitor the situation. Cirque du Soleil’s Drawn to Life is slated to reopen on Friday, and current plans are for the 8:00 p.m. show to take place on September 30.

Universal Orlando Resort also announced it would be closed on Wednesday and Thursday because of the hurricane. Halloween Horror Nights is also canceled on September 28 and 29. The Resort says it will reopen on Friday “as conditions permit.”

Kennedy Space Center was originally scheduled to remain open on Wednesday, but ultimately announced plans to be closed on Wednesday and Thursday.

In a message on its official website, Kennedy Space Center announced it would be closed both days:

The visitor complex will close Wednesday, September 28 (and September 29) for the safety of our guests and crewmembers. Those with existing reservations will be automatically refunded within 1 billing cycle.

If you have purchased Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex tickets through third-party suppliers, travel agents or tour operators please contact them directly for information regarding their cancellation or change policies and procedures.

Additionally, Orlando’s ICON Park and Carousel on the Promenade closed operations on Tuesday ahead of Ian’s expected landfall. According to ICON Park’s website, the venue will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday, though some restaurants on property were to remain open on Wednesday until weather deteriorated.

Other businesses, schools, and the like are closed in preparation for Hurricane Ian, per Axios.com. They include the following:

  • Walmart Stores
  • Publix Grocery Stores
  • Area Schools – nearly 85% of Florida’s schools were closed as of Tuesday in preparation for Hurricane Ian, per the Department of Education website.
A store has boxes blocking doors
Credit: Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu Agency

Florida airports have also been affected by Hurricane Ian. Many of them announced closures related to the incoming storm. They include:

  • Tampa International Airport, which stopped commercial flights at 5 pm Tuesday.
  • St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport closed on Tuesday and its last flight out departed at 11:22 a.m. per a report from the Tampa Bay Times.
  • Orlando International Airport ceased operations Wednesday at 10:30 am. Melbourne Orlando International Airport was scheduled to close at 2 pm Wednesday.
A Deadly Trend at Orlando International Airport Could Result in "Dire  Consequences" for Travelers Headed to Disney World, Others - Inside the  Magic
Credit: ITM
  • Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers was closed on Wednesday, and all flights were canceled.
  • Sarasota Bradenton International Airport closed at 8 pm Tuesday, according to its website.
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport said on Twitter Wednesday that “the airport is open and operational as other flights are arriving and departing from areas not impacted by the hurricane.
  • Miami International Airport is open as of Wednesday, but the airport issued a statement on Twitter Wednesday that it is open but that “Miami-Dade County is currently under tropical storm warning and cancellations are expected.”

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