Walt Disney World will close all four of its theme parks early Saturday and remain closed through Monday, due to Hurricane Irma.

Disney officials said they hope to resume normal operations on Tuesday.

Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom will close at 7 p.m. Saturday, followed by Magic Kingdom and Epcot at 9 p.m.

All Saturday evening shows have been canceled including: Rivers of Light, Fantasmic! and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,  Illuminations Reflections of Earth, and the Happily Ever After fireworks.

Blizzard Beach closed Friday and Typhoon Lagoon will close at 5 p.m. Saturday. Both water parks will remain closed through Monday.

ESPN Wide World of Sports is closed Saturday through Monday. Disney Springs will close by 9 p.m. Saturday, and they will not be open for business on Sunday or Monday.

All Disney resort hotels will stay open. Disney’s policy is that if a hurricane warning is issued for the Orlando area within seven days of a scheduled arrival date, the guest can reschedule or cancel  without paying a fee.

This is the fifth time hurricanes have closed Walt Disney World since it opened in 1972. The theme park closed Sept. 15, 1999 for Hurricane Floyd and twice in 2004 for Hurricane Frances on Sept. 4 and 5, and Sept. 26 for Hurricane Jeanne. Hurricane Matthew closed Disney last year on Oct. 6 and 7.


About The Author

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

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