Which theme parks will be closed because of Hurricane Ian?
SeaWorld took a hurricane hit, but not a fatal one. Image via SeaWorld.

SeaWorld is closed. Kennedy Space Center is open for now.

While Hurricane Ian prepared to strike Florida, thousands enjoy their visits to Orlando’s theme parks while wondering when the rides will stop, as well as how long will the shutdown last.

SeaWorld Orlando announced it will close on Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 28 and 29. The decision follows Busch Gardens Tampa Bay announcing closures for the same dates.

Tampa Bay sits in the forecast path for Ian, so it’s no surprise the park was the first to say it would have to suspend operations. The theme park said it must take into consideration both guests and animals.

“Our weather preparedness plan is in place and extra precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of our animals during this time,” a statement from Busch Gardens reads.

Details about reopening will be published on social media at an appropriate time, the statement said.

SeaWorld also cited concerns about its animals in a statement released Tuesday. “Precautions are in place following the park’s comprehensive weather preparedness plan to ensure the safety of our animals and ambassadors during this time,” a statement reads.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Universal Studios Orlando will close both the entire resort, including Universal Studios, Universal Islands of Adventure and CityWalk, on Wednesday and Thursday, and has canceled Halloween Horror Nights events both nights.

WDW News has reported all four Orlando theme parks there will be closed Wednesday and Thursday, and Disney Springs will be closed on Wednesday. A look at the hours of operation section of the website or official app shows all theme parks closed all day both days. Disney formally announced late Tuesday it would officially close the parks both Wednesday and Thursday.

Legoland Florida plans to stay open until 5 p.m. Tuesday before closing through Wednesday and Thursday. “Resort Hotels will remain open to guests with existing reservations,” the company website states.

Icon Park in Orlando closed starting Tuesday, Sept. 27. “With that in mind, restaurants, bars and attractions will remain open for business unless the weather becomes too severe to remain open,” the website for the park states.

ZooTampa closed down Tuesday and will remain closed through Thursday, a website for the institution states. The Central Florida Zoo in Sanford will close Wednesday through Friday.

Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex was initially planning to stay open on Wednesday but has since changed plans as wind threatens the Space Coast early. The center will be closed on Thursday as well.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Tom

    September 27, 2022 at 4:16 pm

    Tropical 6 hurricane is coming. Great time to go parasailing off the coast of Tampa. It will be more fun…and it will be a huge hit on social media.

Comments are closed.


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