Hurricane Idalia is taking Florida theme park visitors for a ride.
Florida’s major theme parks have closed some attractions and modified schedules to prepare for storm — which barreled toward the state’s Big Ben region as a Category 3 monster early Wednesday.
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, EPCOT and Hollywood Studios will be open Wednesday, but the Typhoon Lagoon water park, Winter Summerland Miniature Golf and Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf will be shuttered.
“We are closely monitoring the path of the projected weather as we continue to prioritize the safety of our Guests and Cast Members,” the resort announced.
Universal Orlando Resort will also be open Wednesday but its early park admission will not be offered, so all its gates will open at 9 a.m.
“We will not offer our usual Early Park Admission benefit for on-site hotel guests, select Annual Passholders and other select travel trade clients on this day while our teams prepare the parks for opening after the storm,” the park said in a statement.
The resort’s attractions include Universal Studios Florida, Universal Islands of Adventure and Universal Volcano Bay.
SeaWorld remains open – with a caveat.
The Orlando park “continues to carefully monitor weather conditions and forecasts,” it said in a statement to the Miami Herald.
“We will take all necessary precautions to protect the safety of guests, employees and the animals who live in our park. We will communicate any updates on our website and social media platforms as soon as they are available,” it added.
Legoland Florida also will remain open Wednesday but with limited operations.
“While LEGOLAND Theme Park, Water Park, Peppa Pig Theme Park and our LEGOLAND hotels will be open as planned, guests may experience limited park operations on Wednesday due to changing weather conditions,” it said on its website.
Busch Gardens was closed Tuesday but plans to reopen Thursday.
“Precautions are in place following the park’s comprehensive weather preparedness plan to ensure the safety of our animals and ambassadors during this time,” the Tampa-area park said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Aquatica Orlando and Adventure Island will be closed Wednesday.
“Precautions are in place following the park’s comprehensive weather preparedness plan to ensure the safety of our animals and ambassadors during this time,” SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, which runs the sites, said in a statement.
Aquatica plans to reopen Thursday and Adventure Island plans to reopen Friday.
Residents living in vulnerable coastal areas have been ordered to pack up and leave as Idalia gained strength in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The hurricane is projected to make landfall later Wednesday morning as a Category 4 storm with winds of at least 130 mph in the lightly populated Big Bend region, where the Florida Panhandle curves into the peninsula.
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