Details of the reopening of Disney World after Ian in stages
Walt Disney World has announced Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Disney Springs will begin a phased reopening September 30, 2022. This post provides park hours, dates, and details, as well as a summary of all operational updates for Central Florida theme parks and attractions.
Regarding the storm system itself, Hurricane Ian was downgraded to Tropical Storm Ian Thursday morning — but has since reverted to hurricane status now that it’s back over the ocean. The system dumped record amounts of rain and brought “catastrophic floods” across Florida while packing devastating winds across a 415-mile stretch of the state.
Walt Disney World saw nearly a foot of rain, with the Osceola and Orange regions reporting 12 to 16 inches of rain. Some roads around Central Florida are still underwater, and Orlando International Airport remains closed at this time. Governor DeSantis described the storm as a “500-year flood event” and noted that it remained a “dangerous condition.”
Here’s the latest news from Walt Disney World: “We are seeing the effects of Hurricane Ian across Florida and thinking about our neighbors in Central Florida and across the state. We will be sharing more information about our plan to support relief efforts for our neighbors in Florida soon.
We thank first responders and community leaders for their courageous efforts in preparing for and managing the impact of the storm. To our Florida and South Carolina cast members, thank you for selflessly taking care of our guests.
We continue to monitor weather conditions closely as we assess the impact of Hurricane Ian on our property. While the theme parks and many operating areas remain closed to guests today, expect improved weather this evening. Walt Disney World Resort will resume theme park and Disney Springs operations in a phased approach beginning Friday, September 30.”
Opening hours are now announced by Walt Disney World for Friday, September 30:
- Early entry: 8 a.m.
- Regular park opens: 10am
- Regular park closure: 6pm
- Mickey’s Not Scary Mickey’s Halloween Party: 4 PM
- Mickey’s Not Scary Halloween Party: 7pm to 12am
- Early entry: 9 am
- Regular park opens: 11am
- Regular park closure: 9pm
- Early entry: 11 a.m.
- Regular park opens: 1 p.m.
- Regular park closures: 7pm
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Early entry: 10 a.m.
- Regular park open: 12 noon
- Regular park closure: 9pm
Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf
Winter Summerland mini golf
In addition, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Copper Creek Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, and bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort will remain closed through Friday, September 30.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is currently scheduled to reopen with its next scheduled flight on October 1, 2022.
Honestly, I was a little shocked that all four parks are open tomorrow and that this is happening so early in the day. This doesn’t line up with what Universal and SeaWorld are doing, but the floods seem to have been worse.
When it comes to the gradual reopening of Walt Disney World, it’s not what I expected. My guess was that only Magic Kingdom and EPCOT will be back on Friday, with the former opening early due to MNSSHP but the latter not welcoming guests until around noon. I expected a “slight opening” for the guests on site, so I guess I got that part right!
We’re not in Florida, so we’re not going to Walt Disney World this weekend to check things out, but this isn’t the first post-hurricane rodeo. How this will happen is relatively predictable with crowds and waiting times.
Even without full hours or releasing everything on all discs, it should be a relatively quiet Friday at Walt Disney World – and a similar story over the weekend. There are some variables that lead us to this prediction.
Orlando International Airport has not been open for about two days, and therefore, no new tourists have arrived during that time frame. While it is also true that no one left, there was a mass exodus before the storm started.
This will continue to be largely the case when MCO reopensAnd the Because those who are stranded won’t (mostly) be able to extend their travels any longer. (When the MCO reopens it is still TBD. Several Friday flights have already been cancelled. Here’s the latest update from the airport, which came out Thursday morning.)
In addition to airline cancellations, there is also the issue of ongoing vacation cancellations for current and future visitors to Walt Disney World. With so much uncertainty, many visitors who planned their trips until early October have already canceled or rescheduled.
Accordingly, the incoming numbers will be lower – not higher – than usual over the next several days. This is it Not It will be a suppressed order status. People simply didn’t take their flights back a week – many flights were rescheduled for Christmas, early 2023, or other dates in the future.
When it comes to the locals, the dynamic is less predictable. Some will continue to recover and clean up from the storm, make repairs to their homes, clean up debris, etc. This may cause many of those who planned to visit Walt Disney World over the weekend to change their plans.
Conversely, Florida residents have been stuck indoors for two days in a row. Many will be restless and ready to go out and do something. This means visiting amusement parks, especially EPCOT to blow off steam. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the morning started slowly, but the World Showcase is busier on a Saturday night.
The term “busy” is still a relative term. Tourists are still motivated to attend Walt Disney World and there will be far fewer visitors to the country over the weekend. Tourists are not going back in full force for a good week.
We’re pretty confident with that prediction because that’s how Irma and even Imminent Storm Systems have played lately. (Although there is a different dynamic, it is also what we saw after the reopening of COVID. The recovery didn’t really begin until travel resumed in earnest.)
In short, the lack of tourists in the coming days will offset the ongoing closure, reduced working hours, and reduced capacity.
Speaking of which, please be patient if you head to Walt Disney World this weekend. Staff members who have just returned to work have had a potentially traumatic experience, and are still likely to deal with the fallout at home. Kindness and grace are always the best policy, but especially at a time like this.
There is also the fact that their stress due to the effects of the storm is likely to be exacerbated by the lack of staff. It is understood that not all members of the cast will be able to return to work this weekend. This means that those who have returned are required to do more, and will be overburdened. Don’t be surprised if mobile orders take longer, service is slower at table service restaurants, etc. Hopefully, the lower demand means there’s enough bandwidth so that this never becomes a big problem.
Another thing to note is that Walt Disney World has removed the Park Pass reservation for Friday. This actually happened yesterday, but it hasn’t been restored yet.
Modernization: It is now restored and is only available for EPCOT. this is Not An indication of the expected crowding levels in other parks. Disney is driving people to EPCOT. We’ve seen this over and over in the past several months – this is just a more extreme example of Disney manipulating or redistributing attendance.
When the parks reopen, don’t be surprised if some attractions don’t reopen immediately. Anything with a lot of trees is an obvious candidate for prolonged shutdown. If I remember correctly, it took a day or two for the Jungle Cruise to reopen after Hurricane Irma.
It might be a similar story with the tracks and attractions in the animal kingdom. Outside of parks, there may be resorts that are completely out of service or areas that are closed due to fallen trees. Fort Wilderness is the most obvious example, but not the only one – many resorts have a lot of trees.
Until that point, Walt Disney World had extended the ban, or ban, on new reservations at resorts. while he It seems Check-ins will resume tomorrow at 3pm, for current bookings only.
New resort reservations through October 2, 2022 are suspended at this time. New reservations can be booked again starting October 3, 2022. (Maybe not relevant to many of you – you can’t imagine so much interest in last-minute vacations to Orlando.) They will want or need to extend their stay due to flooding in their homes.
Here’s the latest look at all the shutdowns at Central Florida’s other theme parks…
Universal Orlando continues to conduct assessment and recovery efforts across its entire resort with the safety of our guests and team members the highest priority. Universal issued a statement that it “expects to begin a gradual reopening of parts of our destination for hotel guests only beginning Friday, September 30.”
Universal will release information about the opening hours of Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Park, and Universal CityWalk Orlando as soon as conditions permit. Although nothing is official, it is highly likely that Halloween Horror Nights will be canceled at least September 30, 2022.
All resort hotels at Universal Orlando Resort are operational. The Universal Orlando Resort Guest Call Center is currently experiencing higher than expected wait times and is currently assisting guests whose travel was directly affected by the hurricane. If your travel dates are after September 30, please call back at a later time.
Due to Hurricane Ian, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Adventure Island, SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando, and Discovery Cove, their parks will remain closed through Friday, September 30. The parks are expected to reopen on Saturday, October 1.
Busch Gardens and SeaWorld Howl-O-Scream tickets have been extended for September 30 through October 31. All date selected tickets for September 27 (at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay) and 28, 29, and 30 (all parks listed above) have been extended through December 31.
Similarly, LEGOLAND Florida Resort and Peppa Pig Theme Park will be closed on Friday, September 30, 2022 due to Hurricane Ian. LEGOLAND Hotel and Pirate Island will remain open to guests with existing reservations.
Any tickets dated September 28 through Sunday October 2 will be automatically extended through December 31, 2022.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn more about hotels on the Walt Disney World hotel reviews page. To find out where to eat, read Walt Disney World restaurant reviews. To save money on tickets or decide which type to buy, read our tips for saving money on the Walt Disney World tickets post. The “What to Pack on Disney Cruises” post takes a unique look at the smart items to take. Regarding what to do and when to do it, Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help you. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our site Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide For everything you want to know!
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