Less than two months after its last hurricane-related closure, Disney World is again shuttering its theme parks for a storm.
Tropical Storm Nicole is expected to reach hurricane strength Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Weather forecasts predict the storm will travel over Central Florida and the Walt Disney World area on Thursday, so Disney theme parks will begin a “phased closure” starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) November 9, 2022
Animal Kingdom will close at 5 p.m., followed by Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 6 p.m., and Magic Kingdom and Epcot at 7 p.m. The planned extended evening hours at Magic Kingdom have been canceled. All nighttime shows have also been canceled.
The closure will last until at least Thursday morning, Disney said, cautioning that, “Theme parks will likely not reopen at their regularly scheduled time.”
Disney had previously announced that the Typhoon Lagoon water park would be closed on Thursday and that guests staying at the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and the Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort would have to depart by 3 p.m. Wednesday. Those are typically the first dominoes to fall in wider storm-related closures at Disney World.
Disney World theme parks had stayed close for two days in September due to Hurricane Ian — a stronger storm than Nicole — which cost Disney $65 million.
Universal Orlando Resort followed Disney with a Wednesday afternoon announcement stating that its two theme parks and CityWalk will close at 5 p.m. Wednesday. It warned guests to expect a delayed reopening on Thursday. The Volcano Bay water park will be closed both Wednesday and Thursday.
SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will close early Wednesday and remain shuttered on Thursday. Legoland Florida in Winter Haven is reducing its hours on Thursday to 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. (with a 5 p.m. for the Peppa Pig Theme Park), and closing the Legoland Water Park.
This story was updated after publication to reflect new closures announced by SeaWorld and Legoland parks.