In a statement posted online, Disney said that it would be closing its Walt Disney World theme parks and water parks on both Wednesday, Sept. 28. and Thursday, Sept. 29 as the storm approaches Florida. “We are monitoring the weather conditions so that we can make timely decisions for the safety of our cast and guests, including when it is safe for cast to return to the site to prepare for reopening,” the company said in a statement.
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Universal said in their own statement that Universal Orlando Resort, including CityWalk, would also shut down on Sept. 28 and Sept 29. Likewise, the Halloween Horror Nights events meant to take place those nights have been canceled. “We anticipate reopening on Sept. 30 as conditions permit,” the statement concluded.
It is rare for either of the two massive theme parks to shut down but not unprecedented. Disney World most recently closed its doors in 2019 due to the approach of Hurricane Dorian, while Disney and Universal suspended operations in early 2020 at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hurricane Ian was classified as a Category 3 storm when it hit Cuba early Tuesday morning, causing severe damage and flooding. Per the National Hurricane Center, the storm produced sustained winds of 115 miles per hours.
The storm comes a little over a week after Hurricane Fiona battered Puerto Rico, where hundreds of thousands of residents are still without power.
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