Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World.
Robert Machado Noah | Light Rocket | Getty Images
As Hurricane Ian approaches Florida’s west coast, The Walt Disney Company is preparing to close all four of its Orlando-based theme parks for at least two days.
The company announced on Tuesday that Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Magic Kingdom will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday. According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm is heading toward Tampa and is likely to sweep through central Florida, where the Disney parks are located.
Disney has already moved guest accommodations at its outer resort locations, such as the Fort Wilderness campground and Saratoga Springs treehouse villas, to indoor spaces at its other hotels. Additionally, the company has canceled Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser voyages scheduled to depart on Tuesday and Thursday due to a potential impact on the guest experience.
The company has also said it will not enforce a cancellation policy for in-park experiences such as Savis Workshop at Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios or the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at the Magic Kingdom.
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park will also be closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and its Blizzard Beach location is already closed.
This isn’t the first time in Walt Disney World’s 50-year history that it has been closed due to hurricanes. Most recently, in September 2019, Florida-based parks were briefly closed due to the projected course of Hurricane Dorian. The park reopened a day later when Dorian’s path changed.
Neighboring amusement park operator Universal did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on its activities. Universal Studios Orlando’s website notes that the company is monitoring the weather but hasn’t yet decided whether to close.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.