Hurricane Irma Update: Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort Resume Normal Operations Today


Orlando was spared the full wrath of Hurricane Irma, with the local theme parks only taking relatively minor damage.

Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort will be resuming operations today with some minor exceptions.

Walt Disney World

Disney has sent out a release to travel agents, assuring them that the parks will open normally this week. Here is the official info from Disney:

Walt Disney World® Resort Theme Parks and Disney Springs® will reopen Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017 with normal, advertised operating hours. Special events, such as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, will also take place. Water Parks will remain closed tomorrow and will reopen later this week.

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  • Magic Kingdom® Park – 9:00am-7:00pm, with an added Extra Magic Hour beginning at 8:00am for Resort Guests who weathered the storm with us
  • Epcot® – 9:00am-9:00pm, with previously scheduled Extra Magic Hours from 9:00-11:00 pm for Resort Guests
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park – 9:00am-9:00pm
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios® – 9:00am-9:00pm
  • Disney Springs® – 10:00am-12:00am
  • Disney’s Blizzard Beach® Water Park – Closed
  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon® Water Park – Closed

All Disney Resorts will begin normal operation Sept. 12, 2017 with the exception of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villas. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground will remain closed at this time while assessments to the property are completed. To allow Disney’s Fort Wilderness to prepare the property after Hurricane Irma, all shows at The Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ will be cancelled Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. Any existing reservations will be automatically cancelled and refunded.

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villas are scheduled to re-open on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. Disney’s Vero Beach and Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resorts will remain closed at this time.

Guest Transportation will be available beginning Tuesday morning, Sept.12, 2017.

On Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, the only select restaurants at Disney Resort hotels are open for Disney Resort Guests. We are not taking reservations for Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, any existing reservations have been cancelled, and any prepaid dining and premium experiences will be automatically cancelled and/or refunded. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Guests staying at our Disney Resorts should refer to information within their resort for available dining options today.

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Disney Reservation Center will resume operations Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017.

We’re hearing reports from WDWNT that the Walt Disney World Railroad, Kali River Rapids, Big Thunder Mountain, Tom Sawyer Island  and Jungle Cruise attractions are all closed. The site is saying that cast members are saying it could be up to a week until the Jungle Cruise is re-opened.

Also, getting in to the parks might be a challenge for some…

But if you’re at the parks today, the wait times might be pretty low…

Universal Orlando Resort

Universal’s PR department sent out a release stating that they would resume operations today at 9 a.m.

Our destination saw relatively minor damage overnight involving fences, trees, signage and building facades. We are hard at work inside our parks and we can confirm an on-time opening for Tuesday at 9 a.m. for Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay. In addition, we can confirm that our Halloween Horror Nights event will begin as scheduled this Friday.’

SeaWorld Orlando

According to their website, SeaWorld will be closed until August 13 as they have additional debris to clean up.

We expect SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica Orlando to reopen on Wednesday, September 13.  Stay tuned for updates on Discovery Cove. For all parks, guests are encouraged to check our websites and follow our social media channels for more updates.

Stay tuned to The Kingdom Insider for more information on the Orlando parks post-Irma.

[Sources: Disney, Universal PR]

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I've loved Disney as long as I can remember. As a former newspaper editor, web developer, and Disney comics freelancer, I'm able to combine that experience into writing about Disney online. I'm also the co-host of a Disney fan podcast called 'Pirates & Princesses.' Opinions mine.


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