Detours with locals.
Travel tips you can trust.

How Disney and other Florida parks are handling the threat of Dorian


Visitors walk near the entrance to the Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run ride during a preview of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios at Disney World in Florida. (John Raoux/AP)

Walt Disney World theme parks in Florida will close Tuesday afternoon in anticipation of strong winds and heavy rain from the fringes of Hurricane Dorian.

The decision came late Monday afternoon as officials announced that Orlando International Airport would stop operations at 2 a.m. Tuesday. The storm stalled over the northwestern Bahamas for much of Monday, devastating Grand Bahama. Dorian, a Category 4 storm on Monday night, was expected to make a turn to the northwest by late Tuesday, then northeast by Wednesday night, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“Hurricane Dorian is dangerously close to the East Central Florida coast and sustained tropical force winds are forecasted to impact portions of Orange County as early as tomorrow afternoon,” a statement from the airport said. “A slight fluctuation westward by the storm could bring those tropical storm winds to all of Orange County.”

The county, which includes Disney, Universal and SeaWorld, was under a tropical storm warning late Monday.

Disney said in an online update Monday afternoon that Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will close at 2 p.m., while the Magic Kingdom and Epcot will close at 3 p.m. A reopening time has not yet been announced. Disney attracted large crowds over Labor Day weekend to the grand opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios.

Other areas of the resort complex, including Disney Springs, miniature golf courses and the Typhoon Lagoon water park close at 3 p.m. Tuesday. ESPN Wide World of Sports and the Blizzard Beach water park will be closed, and an after-hours special event at Animal Kingdom is canceled.

Universal Orlando Resort said in an update Monday night that its two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, would open on schedule Tuesday. Park officials have not yet decided whether to close early. Volcano Bay water park will be closed.

Other central Florida sites will not open Tuesday. SeaWorld Orlando will be closed all day. Legoland Florida, further inland in Winter Haven, said it would be closed Tuesday but expected to reopen Wednesday depending on the storm’s track. Polk County, home of Legoland, is under a tropical storm watch.

Kennedy Space Center, east of Orlando on the coast, said its visitor complex would be closed Tuesday and Wednesday. The visitor complex was also closed Sunday and Monday, according to Florida Today. The location is under a hurricane warning.

Orlando airport officials urged travelers to get flight updates from their airlines and to arrange for places to stay, adding in capital letters that “ORLANDO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IS NOT A SHELTER.”

Read more:

With Hurricane Dorian ‘dangerously close,’ Floridians wonder: Will it turn?

Disney’s opening of Star Wars land drew crowds to Florida. Now they face Hurricane Dorian.

What travelers should know about hurricane season, before or during a trip

We noticed you’re blocking ads!

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker. Or purchase a subscription for unlimited access to real news you can count on.
Unblock ads
Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us