2nd UPDATE, 12:24 PM: As the aftermath of still potent Hurricane Ian continues to discombobulate Florida, Disney World could reopen as soon as Friday, the House of Mouse says.
“While the theme parks and many operating areas remain closed to guests today, we anticipate weather conditions to improve his evening,” Disney said in a just released statement today. “Walt Disney World Resort will resume theme park and Disney Springs operations in a phased approach starting on Friday, Sept. 30,” the company added of the Orlando-based attraction as you can see in this social media post below:
With guest still under a shelter-in-place edict, the partial reopening of Disney World, comes as with the caveat that conditions could take a turn for the worst again, we hear. Also, a full inspection of the Disney World property is anticipated to last into the weekend, before a full reopening is given the green light.
1st UPDATE, 9:45 AM: Disney World remains closed today as “crews assess the impact of [Hurricane Ian] and clear debris,” Disney Parks tweeted today (see it below). But the resort’s hotel will begin taking guests at 3 p.m. ET Friday. Disney World also scheduled its Cirque du Soleil show for 8 p.m. ET Friday — the first indication that its attractions are reopening after the historic Category 4 storm blew through.
The Walt Disney Company also release a new corporate statement today that reads, “We are closely monitoring Hurricane Ian and are making necessary operational adjustments to maintain the safety of our guests and Cast Members.”
— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) September 29, 2022
PREVIOUSLY, September 27: Late today Walt Disney World asked all resort hotel guests who remain at the properties to shelter in place for the duration of the impact of Hurricane Ian, the still-significant remnants of which are expected to begin hitting the area in earnest Wednesday evening. Earlier in the day, it was announced that the resort’s parks would be closed Wednesday through Friday.
“For the safety of our Guests and Cast Members, all Guests including our Disney Vacation Club Members must check in to our resorts on Sept. 28, by 3 p.m.,” reads a statement posted to the resort’s weather updates page.
“Guests that are checked in by 3 p.m. Wednesday will be asked to shelter in place at their resort for the duration of the storm,” it continues.
Orlando International Airport will end commercial flights shortly before that, at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, which may leave some out-of-state travelers in need of shelter.
Somewhat ominously, WDW is encouraging such guests to eat their fill before hunkering down.
“Guests are strongly encouraged to enjoy food and beverage offerings at the parks and Disney Springs before returning to their Resort hotels. Dining options for Guests staying in our Resort hotels will vary, and in some cases may be very limited.”
A number of the dozens of hotels at the resort will be closed including The Grand Floridian Spa, 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 from Wednesday through Friday.
Many of the resort’s accommodations sit near water, a common feature of what was once swampland. Lakes, and even a massive sinkhole, dot the area, the ground of which has already been saturated by recent rains, per Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis earlier today.
Parts of the resort of prone to flooding during even normal amounts of rain. Recent case in point: Earlier this year, guests posted videos of themselves sloshing through the water as a lazy river ran down Hollywood Boulevard at the resort’s Hollywood Studios park.
The Weather Channel reported late today that the prediction of flash flooding in the Orlando area had risen to “Very Likely,” the highest level, for two consecutive days — Thursday and Friday. The channel’s experts termed the designation exceedingly rare.Flash flood risk in next three days across Florida NOAA
The National Weather Service also warned Orlando and surrounding areas to prepare for “major flooding rain,” winds from 50-65 mph and scattered tornadoes, some of which have already been reported to the south near Miami.
Orlando officials predicted Ian would be a Category 1 hurricane or very strong tropical storm when it passed over the city, which Mayor Buddy Dyer said Tuesday was very likely.
“The track of the storm has changed fairly significantly to the east,” the mayor observed, “so it looks like the path is directly over the city of Orlando in a few days.”
Here is a portion of the WDW announcement:
For the safety of our Guests and Cast Members, all Guests including our Disney Vacation Club Members must check in to our resorts on Sept. 28, by 3 p.m. Guests may reschedule their trip or cancel their stay with us; any customary cancellation fees will be waived. Check in will not be accepted on Thurs Sept 29.
Guests that are checked in by 3 p.m. Wednesday will be asked to shelter in place at their resort for the duration of the storm, this includes any resort-to-resort transfers
Guests are strongly encouraged to enjoy food and beverage offerings at the parks and Disney Springs before returning to their Resort hotels.
Dining options for Guests staying in our Resort hotels will vary, and in some cases may be very limited. Where available, restaurants will accept walk-ups only; Guests will not need dining reservations.
Characters will not be available in character dining locations on Wednesday and Thursday
The Grand Floridian Spa will close at noon Wednesday, Sept. 28.
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 will temporarily close Wednesday, Sept. 28 through Friday, Sept. 30 due to the weather. We are contacting Guests with current and upcoming reservations.