Hurricane Matthew Causes Orlando Resorts to Cancel Special Events
Update: Walt Disney World will be shutting down all theme parks, water parks, golf courses, and the ESPN Wide World of Sports at 5 p.m. today in anticipation of the Hurricane Matthew. The parks will remain closed through Friday, Oct. 7, with plans to reopen on Saturday, Oct. 8. Guests have already been evacuated from Fort Wilderness Campground, the Polynesian Bungalows, and the Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villas, according to USAToday. Universal Orlando Resort and the Islands of Adventure will also close today at 5 p.m.
In anticipation of one of the biggest storms this season, multiple Orlando resorts are shutting down or canceling special events before Hurricane Matthew hits. The Category 4 hurricane is supposed to hit south Florida later today with sustained winds of about 145 miles per hour.
Both Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort have thus far decided not to completely shut down their theme parks, although SeaWorld will be closing at 2 p.m. today and will be closed tomorrow, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Disney World has not shut down in more than a decade since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, and before that, on Sept. 11, 2001.
Disney’s Epcot Food & Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will both be affected by the coming storm. A full list of closures and schedule changes can be found below:
Disney World evacuated its Fort Wilderness camping grounds this morning. Alternative lodging will be made available at the Polynesian Resort and Saratoga Springs Treetop Villas.
The Oct. 6 episode of The Chew, which was scheduled to film on site at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, has been canceled. The food talk show, co-starring Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, and Daphne Oz, is shooting all week at the resort, and has instead collapsed its schedule into more shows over fewer days. The shows are set to air during the week of Oct. 10–14, according to Deadline.
Disney World is waiving its cancelation fee policy, in anticipation of guests who are scheduled to travel during the day of the storm, according to Theme Park Tourist.
Disney’s Blizzard Beach has been closed today, and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party has been canceled tonight.
Universal Studios Orlando and SeaWorld
Universal Studios and SeaWorld are both waiving last-minute cancelation fees.
LEGOLAND and Kennedy Space Center
LEGOLAND is open today, but may close early, and will be closed Friday. The Kennedy Space Center is closed both today and tomorrow, according to Fox News Orlando.