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Summary: Walt Disney World, Universal on Lockdown as Hurricane Matthew Approaches

What exactly is closed on Friday?

Walt Disney World:

  • Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom are all closed on Friday.
  • Disney's Typhoon Lagoon and Disney's Blizzard Beach are also closed on Friday.
  • Disney Springs will be closed on Friday, with the Characters in Flight balloon experience remaining closed through Sunday, October 9.
  • The Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Event on Friday has been cancelled. Guests can call (407) 939-7818 beginning 9am EST on Monday, October 10 to discuss refunds or re-booking.
  • With Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground having been evacuated, all performances of Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Mickey's Backyard BBQ are cancelled on Friday.
  • The Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort is cancelled on Friday.
  • Some spa locations are closed through Saturday, including the La Vida Health Club at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, Senses - A Disney Spa at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Senses - A Disney Spa at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and Ship Shape Massage Salon Fitness.
  • Events scheduled through Saturday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex have been cancelled.

Universal Orlando:

  • Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure are closed on Friday.
  • Friday’s Halloween Horror Nights event has been cancelled.
  • The Wet ‘n Wild water park is also closed.
  • The CityWalk dining and entertainment complex is also closed.
  • A decision on Saturday operations will be taken once the extent of the storm damage is clear.

SeaWorld Orlando:

  • SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica and Discovery Cove are all closed on Friday.
  • A decision on Saturday operations will be made following a damage assessment.


  • LEGOLAND Florida is closed on Friday, although the resort hotel remains open.
  • The resort expects to reopen the park on Saturday, but this will depend on any damage caused.

What happens when the hurricane has passed?

Image: Chad Sparkes, Flickr (license

Before any guests will be let back in to a theme park, Disney, Universal and the other operators will run a sweep to check for any debris or damage. Often, this leads to phased openings, as parts of specific theme parks may open while others are roped off while special crews clean up and repair any damage. In addition, Disney may also elect to only open theme parks to resort guests to try and keep crowd levels as mild as possible while they are assessing and taking care of any damage. 

Some forecasters are predicting that Matthew will make a u-turn after moving northwards and could pass by Florida again, so Disney, Universal and the rest will continue to keep a close eye on the storm's progress.

If you are staying at one of the Orlando parks, we strongly encourage you to follow all instructions you are given by staff. 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. 

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There is 1 comment.

This may seem like a silly question but what happens to the animals at Seaworld during a hurricane? Their small tanks do not seem very suitable for riding out such a strong storm.


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