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Walt Disney World to shut parks for 2 days


Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World.

Roberto Machado Noa | Lightrocket | Getty Images

As Hurricane Ian nears the west coast of Florida, the Walt Disney Company is preparing to shut all 4 of its Orlando-based theme parks for a minimum of two days.

The corporate announced Tuesday that Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Magic Kingdom would shutter on Wednesday and Thursday. In response to the National Hurricane Center, the storm is headed toward Tampa and can likely omit central Florida, where the Disney parks are situated.

Already, Disney has moved guests lodging at its exterior resort locations, just like the campground at Fort Wilderness and treehouse villas at Saratoga Springs, to interior rooms at its other hotels. Moreover, the corporate has canceled Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser voyages set to depart Tuesday and Thursday because of potential impacts on guest experiences.

The corporate has also said it’s going to not implement cancelation policies for in-park experiences like Savi’s Workshop in Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios or the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Magic Kingdom.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park can even close Wednesday and Thursday and its Blizzard Beach location is already closed.

This will not be the primary time in Walt Disney World’s 50-year history that it has closed because of hurricanes. Most recently, in September 2019, the Florida-based parks briefly closed because of the forecast path of Hurricane Dorian. The park reopened a day later when Dorian’s path shifted.

Neighboring theme park operator Universal didn’t immediately reply to CNBC’s request for comment about its operations. The Universal Studios Orlando website indicates that the corporate is monitoring the weather, but has yet to make a determination if it’s going to close.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.

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