Walt Disney World to close Universal Florida parks

Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World.

Roberto Machado Noa | LightRocket | Getty Images

As Hurricane Ian nears Florida’s west coast, The Walt Disney Company and Comcast’s Universal Studios are preparing to close their Orlando-based theme parks for at least two days.

Disney announced Tuesday that Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Magic Kingdom will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday. According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm is moving toward Tampa and will likely pass over central Florida, where Disney and Universal Parks are located.

Already, Disney has moved guests staying in its outdoor resort locations, such as the campground at Fort Wilderness and Treehouse Villas in Saratoga Springs, to the interior rooms of its other hotels. Additionally, the company has canceled Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser “trips,” which are scheduled to depart Tuesday and Thursday, due to potential impacts on guest experiences.

The company has also stated that it will not enforce cancellation policies for in-park experiences such as Savi’s Workshop at Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios or the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at the Magic Kingdom.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park will also be closed Wednesday and Thursday, and its Blizzard Beach location is already closed.

This is not the first time in the 50-year history of Walt Disney World that it has been closed due to a hurricane. Most recently, in September 2019, the parks were temporarily closed due to the forecast path of Hurricane Dorian. The park reopened a day later when Dorian’s path changed.

Universal will close its CityWalk on Wednesday and Thursday with hopes of reopening on Friday, if conditions allow. Its hotels are at full capacity and will be operational for guests. The company also canceled its Halloween Horror Nights events on Wednesday and Thursday.

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Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.