UPDATE 9/2/19: Central Florida’s theme parks have begun changing operating hours for Sept. 3 due to Hurricane Dorian. Read more here.
Hurricane Dorian is heading towards Florida, but theme park operators in and around Orlando aren’t quite ready to say they’ll be closing for the storm.
Orlando Rising contacted Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and Legoland Florida to ask whether their hurricane policies would be put into effect. All four answered with statements saying essentially the same thing: they’re monitoring the situation, but aren’t ready to announce anything.
Of the four destinations, only Disney World has announced any kind of closure.
“We are taking precautions including canceling weekend sporting events and closing Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park on Sunday,” Disney said in a statement. “We are also contacting guests with current and upcoming reservations at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Copper Creek Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort to plan for anticipated weather impacts.”
Otherwise, the resort is currently “operating under normal conditions,” Disney said.
Here’s what the rest of the parks had to say:
- Universal Orlando: “We are closely monitoring the weather. At this time our park operations and hours are continuing as normal. We have plans and procedures for serious weather that are time-proven and we will continue to make operating decisions as we learn more.”
- SeaWorld Orlando: “As a leader in animal welfare and rescue, the safety and security of our animals, ambassadors and guests are our top priority. We have a comprehensive weather preparedness plan in place to ensure the safety of all our animals and ambassadors who will remain at the park, including zoological team members on-site to care for animals if needed as we continue to closely monitor Hurricane Dorian. Our animal rescue team stands ready to assist if called on after the storm to help wild animals in need. No updates on park closings at this time.”
- Legoland Florida: “We are closely monitoring the status of Hurricane Dorian. We will proactively communicate any changes in operating hours or policies should the storm be predicted to impact our vicinity. Based on the storm’s trajectory and any warnings issued for our area, we will continue to post updated communications on LEGOLAND.com/florida and our social media channels.”
Weather-related closures means big losses for the region’s theme park giants. Disney said the two-day closure for Hurricane Irma in 2017 cost the company $100 million.
Orlando International Airport has already announced it will cease commercial flight operations at 2 a.m. Monday morning.
“We understand this will lead to the question on when operations may resume, so we’ll say this: This is a very serious storm,” the airport said in a statement. “The decision to cease operations was one that was made collectively along with airport partners.”
In a repeat of what it offered for Irma, Rosen Hotels & Resorts is offering discounted rates for Florida residents evacuating their homes for Dorian.
D23 Expo: Epcot’s World Showcase gets Mary Poppins, but not rumored Brazil pavilion
Universal Orlando adds lagoon show to Halloween Horror Nights
Orlando theme park attendance: SeaWorld, Animal Kingdom surged in 2018