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Disney parks in Florida will close Wednesday and Thursday before the arrival of Hurricane Ian

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  • Walt Disney World Resort theme parks and water parks will close on Wednesday, September 28 and Thursday, September 29 as Hurricane Ian threatens the Florida panhandle

Disney announced Tuesday that the Walt Disney World Resort theme and water parks will close on Wednesday, September 28 and Thursday, September 29 as Hurricane Ian threatens the Florida panhandle.

In an email, a company representative told NBC that the Disney Springs shopping area would be closed Wednesday and likely Thursday.

“We are monitoring weather conditions so we can make timely decisions for the safety of our Cast and Guests, including when it is safe for the Cast to return to the site to prepare for reopening,” the company said.

Earlier Tuesday, the company announced it would close a variety of nearby properties ahead of the storm. Those included:

  • Fort Wilderness Campground and Resort. Performances of “Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue” were also cancelled; the statement said that prepaid reservations will be automatically canceled and refunded.
  • Copper Creek Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser resort will also be closed through Friday.

Disney also reported that it is contacting guests with current and future reservations as these locations will close. It also said it’s waiving cancellation policies for dining and other experiences like Savi’s Workshop and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

In accordance with Disney’s hurricane policy, if the National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane warning for the Orlando area within seven days of a guest’s scheduled arrival date, the guest may call ahead to reschedule or cancel Walt Disney Travel Company resort hotel packages and most room reservations without any Disney-imposed cancellation or change fees.

“The policy does not apply if your stay was not booked through the Walt Disney Travel Company,” they warned.

According to travel blog The Points Guy, much of Disney World, including the iconic Cinderella Castle, is built to withstand hurricanes, and it’s common for Floridians exposed to a hurricane in other parts of the state to spend the storm in the park.

Since opening in 1971, Disney World has only been forced to close eight times as a result of a hurricane, according to the unofficial Disney Inside the Magic blog. The most recent closure occurred in 2019 as Hurricane Dorian approached.

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