Theme parks in Orlando have been shutting down in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew’s arrival, including Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando.
A spokesperson for Disney said that the park would close by 5PM on Thursday evening and would remain closed on Friday. Universal Orlando echoed a similar sentiment, closing their Wet ‘n Wild park by 2PM, and Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Universal CityWalk all by 5PM. All of them will remain closed on Friday.
It’s extremely rare that the theme parks actually shut down completely, but they have done so twice in the past under similar circumstances. Both parks shut down for Hurricane Charley in 2004, as well as Floyd in 1999.
Walt Disney World actually has a hurricane policy in place, that says if the National Hurricane Center issues a warning, guests may reschedule without having to pay any additional fees.
At this point all the parks are planning to reopen as normal on Saturday, assuming that they don’t incur any damage in the storm. The hurricane is currently listed as a level four storm up from a level three, and has 140 MPH winds. Millions of people have been urged to evacuate from not only Florida but from George and South Carolina as well.