UPDATE: Shocking News From Universal as Hurricane Idalia Approaches

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An aerial photo of Universal Studios Orlando Florida

Credit: Edited by Inside The Magic

Universal Studios has released a brand-new and quite shocking update regarding Hurricane Idalia approaching the state of Florida. Here’s what you need to know.

A split photo showing Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort with a red sign saying "state of emergency"
Credit: Inside The Magic

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State of Emergency for Orange County – Universal Studios Provides Shocking Updates

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has officially declared a State of Emergency for Florida, including Orange County. Disney World and Universal reside in this county, meaning these areas are now under this mandated emergency declaration. Hurricane Idalia is rapidly intensifying as it approaches Florida. The storm is expected to reach a category four storm before landfall in Florida tomorrow early morning.

Wide aerial photo of Universal Orlando Resort taken by Bioreconstruct on Twitter
Credit: Bioreconstruct on Twitter

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Until now, Universal has updated that the entire Resort will remain open today without providing another update until just moments ago. Shockingly, Universal Orlando Resort will open tomorrow at 9 a.m. under regular operating hours, meaning business will be as usual with some exceptions:

Universal Orlando Resort theme parks including Universal Studios Florida, Universal Islands of Adventure and Universal Volcano Bay are planning to open and operate as normal at 9:00 am on Wednesday, Aug. 30. However, we will not offer our usual Early Park Admission benefit for on-site hotel guests, select Annual Passholders and other select travel trade clients on this day while our teams prepare the parks for opening after the storm. Our hotels remain operational as they focus on taking care of our guests.

An empty Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Orlando Florida
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

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Universal gave further updates regarding guests looking to cancel or move their Universal vacations because of Hurricane Idalia. As of this afternoon, Universal Orlando Resort has released the following information for those guests looking to cancel or modify their bookings who are staying on property at one of the onsite resort hotels:

While an incredible vacation awaits at Universal Orlando Resort™, unfortunately we can’t make guarantees about the weather, but your travel plans can still be stress-free. In the event that a hurricane or tropical storm warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center or a state of emergency is declared for the Orlando area or in your place of residence, within seven days of your arrival, you can contact our team in advance to reschedule or cancel your Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations Package, hotel room only accommodations and Universal Orlando theme park tickets booked directly with Universal Orlando, without any cancellation or change fees imposed. If you have purchased airline tickets as part of your Universal Parks and Resorts Vacations package, you may still be subject to cancellation and change fees assessed by those airlines.

If you have purchased Universal Orlando products and services through third-party suppliers, travel agents or tour operators please contact them directly for information regarding their cancellation or change policies and procedures. The policy does not apply to certain special events, dining experiences or group related bookings.

We want you to feel safe and will work with you directly to best accommodate your needs. For more information, visit our severe weather policy frequently asked questions page. If you have additional questions or need to change or cancel your travel plans, please contact a member of our Guest Contact Center team by calling 800-711-0080.

With the parks remaining open through tomorrow morning, it should be noted that Early Park Admission will not be honored. It generally goes up to one hour before the gardens are available, usually happening at only one of the parks, Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure. There is no news on whether Halloween Horror Nights will be delayed this coming weekend, but it should be expected for things to operate generally as by then, the storm would have well passed through the state, leading to no threats of any kind.

Be sure to follow Inside The Magic for more news and information regarding all updates from Universal Studios.

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