Walt Disney World Resort is closed as it hunkers down for a major hurricane.
The eyewall of Hurricane Ian has come ashore and the Category 4– with nearly Category 5 winds– has already begun to create massive storm surges and much more along the coast of Florida with much more potentially on the horizon.
The Orlando area is already beginning to feel the effects of the hurricane and there are expectations that massive rainfall and winds will be approaching the area into this afternoon and through tomorrow.
In preparation for the storm, Disney World announced yesterday that it would be closing every Disney Park— including Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios– for both Wednesday, September 28 and Thursday, September 29.
Disney had previously announced that 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, September 28 through Friday, September 30 due to the weather, as well.
While Disney had hoped Disney Springs would be able to reopen on Thursday, the company says it is anticipating that the shopping and dining district will also be closed that day, as well.
With many Disney Guests looking to potentially still check-in this weekend beginning Friday– but won’t be able to any earlier than 3:00 p.m.— there is a question as to when the Disney Parks might reopen.
Disney World Hurricane Ian Plan
Disney’s hope– at least for now– is to reopen the Parks on Friday with normal operating hours. However, that is all dependent on the effects felts from the storm and the current conditions that will be in place after the worst of the hurricane passes through on Thursday evening.
“We are monitoring weather conditions so we can make timely decisions for the safety of our cast and guests, including when it’s safe for cast to return to the site to prepare for reopening,” the company said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.
Disney isn’t going to put Guests or Cast Members in danger to reopen the theme parks and it will wait to do so until it is deemed safe. It should be noted that Disney has only closed the theme parks for multiple days just a handful of times.
The longest Hurricane-related closure to ever happen at Disney World came in 2017 when Hurricane Irma arrived. The Disney Parks closed early September 9th and remained closed on September 10th and September 11th. If the Disney Parks were to be closed Friday, as well, it would then break that record set by Hurricane Irma.
A lot can change between now and Thursday evening. The current operating plan is for Walt Disney World Resort to reopen on Friday, but there are a lot of factors that could come into play and nothing will be decided until the worst effects of Hurricane Ian– which will be present in the area until Thursday evening– have passed.
Disney will provide further updates on its dedicated “Weather Updates & Information” page.
Inside the Magic will continue to update this article and more with the most up-to-date information pertaining to Disney World and its potential reopening.