Florida theme parks are taking no chances when it comes to Hurricane Irma.
Walt Disney World Resort and several other theme parks have decided to temporarily close in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Disney World in Orlando will close its doors early on Saturday and it will remain closed through Monday.
The company released details of all closures and entertainment adjustments on its website.
“Based on the latest forecasts for Hurricane Irma and keeping safety top of mind, Walt Disney World Resort will be closing early on Saturday, Sept. 9 and will remain closed through Monday, Sept. 11. Resort hotels will remain open. We hope to resume normal operations on Tuesday, Sept. 12. We will provide regular updates to our guests on all operational changes,” the statement read.
Disney World is just one of several theme parks in the Orlando area to shutter as a safety precaution. SeaWorld is also closing early on Saturday and will remain closed until Tuesday. The marine park posted a video to Facebook including details of their closure and the safety precautions they take for the animals in their care.
“We’re gonna keep them in their pools, have crews here around the clock throughout the storms and as long as it’s safe we’re going to come out and check on our animals and make sure they’re good,” explained a staff member.
The Orlando theme park has also received five bottle-nose dolphins from the Florida Keys who are taking refuge in the park. Smaller animals like baby manatees, otters, and birds have been relocated to more secure enclosures.
Universal Studios Orlando will maintain a similar schedule, closing at 7 p.m. on Saturday and intending to re-open on Tuesday.
The Orlando Sentinel also reports that Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island, its water park, will be closed Saturday through Monday, as well as Legoland Florida.
Hurricane Irma is expected to hit swaths of Florida and the southeastern United States over the weekend, having already caused significant damage in the Caribbean.