Disney World and Universal Orlando will reopen their resorts in a “phased manner” starting Friday after Hurricane Ian closed both Wednesday and Thursday.
Disney, which announced plans to reopen Thursday around 2:45 p.m., unveiled the reopening hours on Friday. At the Magic Kingdom, early entry is at 8 a.m. General admission is at 10 a.m. Early entry at Epcot is at 9 a.m. and the park opens to all guests at 11 a.m. Early entry at Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom is at 10 a.m. and At 11 am respectively, general admission will start two hours later.
Disney Springs will be open from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m
“We thank our first responders and community leaders for their courageous efforts to prepare for and manage the impact of the storm. To our cast members in Florida and South Carolina, thank you for selflessly caring for our guests,” Disney said in a statement.
Universal Orlando announced its intention to reopen Thursday before 7 p.m., with a spokeswoman saying in the afternoon the resort was undergoing a detailed inspection to assess storm damage.
Universal will initially open only to hotel guests, according to the resort. Further details were not immediately available Thursday night.
Universal began recalling employees to work that night, according to its employee website. Before announcing a phased reopening on Thursday, Universal told scheduled employees on Friday that they should be ready to return to work.
It was not clear what damage the resort may have sustained in the storm.
Photo by Universal Jurassic Park River Adventures at the Islands of Adventure theme park show a hole torn in the paneling on the side of the building, but a Universal spokesperson has not commented on it.
Areas near Universal saw major flooding Thursday morning as Ian hit the region.
Video taken by Spectrum News 13 reporter Jeff Allen The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel near the entrance to the resort showed several feet of standing water.
Footage posted on Twitter by Spectrum reporter Jerry Hume At 7:45 a.m. the westbound lanes of the I-4 Expressway were flooded at Kirkman Road near Universal.
SeaWorld Orlando, along with its Aquatica and Discovery Cove parks, will be closed Friday with plans to reopen Saturday.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, operated by SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, will also be closed on Friday.
Visitors with tickets to SeaWorld-owned theme parks between the closing dates can use them through December 31.
Those with tickets to SeaWorld or Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream Halloween events will be allowed to visit on another date through Oct. 31.
Pass holders whose passes were due to expire on September 30 and October 2 can now visit till October 16.
Legoland Florida in Winter Haven said it will be closed through Friday. Resort Wednesday, September 28 to Sunday, Oct. 2. Allows guests with tickets for this date to redeem tickets for another date later in the year.
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