In preparation for Hurricane Matthew’s Florida landfall, the Walt Disney World resort will be closing down for the safety of guests.
“Based on the most recent forecasts for Hurricane Matthew, Walt Disney World theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs, miniature golf courses and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will all be closed today by 5 p.m., and will remain closed through Friday, Oct. 7,” said a Walt Disney World spokeswoman.
Guests have been evacuated from several of the resorts, including the Fort Wilderness Campground, the Polynesian Bungalows, and the Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villas. Resorts are communicating directly with guests about what they’ll need to know for the storm.
The parks website also includes an FAQ for guests about policies concerning canceled reservations and changed plans due to hurricanes.
While the Disney World resort rarely closes for weather, several hurricanes have resulted in modified hours and outright closures in the past, including Hurricane Charley in 2004, which passed over central Florida directly, and Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
The park is closing early Thursday and will be closed on Friday. SeaWorld's water park Aquatica will be closed today and Friday. Click here for more information.
Wet 'n Wild is closing 2 p.m. Thursday and is closed on Friday. Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and CityWalk will close at 5 p.m. Thursday and remain closed on Friday. Halloween Horror Nights is canceled for Thursday and Friday. Click here for more information.
Walt Disney World is closing at 5 p.m. Thursday and will remain closed Friday. Fort Wilderness has been evacuated. The park is working with some guests who were scheduled to stay at the Polynesian Village bungalows and Saratoga Springs treehouse villas.
According to Ryan Sloane of The Weather Channel, this is only the fourth time Disney World has closed since opening in 1971. The last was on September 26, 2004 ahead of Hurricane Jeanne. All four closures at the property have been weather related.
Disney World closed 4 times since it opened in 1971— Ryan Sloane (@RyanFSloane) October 6, 2016
1 9/15/99 Hurricane Floyd
2 9/4/04 Hurricane Frances
3 9/26/04 Hurricane Jeanne
The park might close early Thursday and will be closed Friday. The hotel will be open to accept guests. Click here for more information.
The park is monitoring the weather. More information here.