Home » Hurricane Dorian Causes Theme Park Closures in Central Florida

    Hurricane Dorian Causes Theme Park Closures in Central Florida

    Though it seems as if this storm has been crawling towards Florida for an eternity, Hurricane Dorian is expected to pass by Florida’s East Coast over the next 48 hours. And though inland Central Florida is not projected to see a direct hit, high winds and tropical storm conditions are still in the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday, which has caused some operations changes at Orlando-area theme parks. 

    Here’s a rundown of how all of the Central Florida theme parks are handling this emergency situation as of late Monday evening:

    1. Walt Disney World

    Disney takes storm preparedness very seriously, and in response to Hurricane Dorian’s approach, they have made the following schedule: 

    • Magic Kingdom – 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM 
    • Disney’s Hollywood Studios – 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
    • Epcot – 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM
    • Disney’s Animal Kingdom 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM
    • Typhoon Lagoon – 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
    • Blizzard Beach – Closed
    • Disney Springs 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
    • Transportation: All guest transportation systems will be discontinuing service on Tuesday night after the closing of the theme parks and Disney Springs, including buses, boats and monorails, so guests staying on property will need to make sure they are in their hotels as soon as possible following park closure. 

    • Special event: Disney After Hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom has also been canceled on Tuesday, and guests with reservations can call (407) 939-7818 for refund and exchange options.
    • Resorts: Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will be closed beginning Tuesday September 3, Spirit fo Aloha dinner shows at the Polynesian are canceled on Tuesday.

    Guests with dining reservations on Tuesday can enter a theme park up to one hour prior to closing, or until 6pm at the resorts. Disney will not be enforcing any cancelation policies and refunds will be given to prepaid experiences.

    2.  SeaWorld Orlando 

    Image: Jeremy Thompson, Flickr (license

    SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove, and Aquatica will not open at all on Tuesday September 3 in the wake of this storm. A decision about Wednesday operation for all three of these parks will be made when any damage incurred from this storm has been assessed. Note: Sister park Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will be unaffected by this storm and will continue normal operations. 

    3. LEGOLAND Florida 

    Image: Merlin 

    Like SeaWorld Orlando, LEGOLAND Florida Resort will not open at all on Tuesday September 3. No announcements about Wednesday operation for LEGOLAND have been made yet either. 

    4. Universal Orlando Resort 

    As of right now, Universal Orlando Resort is the only theme park resort in the Orlando area without specific plans when it comes to Hurricane Dorian. Currently, the resort has said that they are monitoring the situation and will make adjustments to their operating hours and staff as necessary, but  as of Monday evening, Universal has not made any announcements regarding early closures, and Team Members have reported that they are still expected to show up for regular shift hours at Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Universal CityWalk (which will still be open until 2:00 AM). The only park that will not open on Tuesday is Universal’s Volcano Bay water park. 

    If you are currently at a theme park, no matter whether its Disney, SeaWorld, LEGOLAND or Universal, the best thing you can do during severe weather is be aware of changing conditions and comply with any directions you are given. Hurricanes can be scary (especially if you are visiting from out of town and have never been through one before), but the number one priority of all theme parks is to ensure guest safety, and the best way you can help is by staying informed and adapting to changing conditions.