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Hurricane Irma batters Florida attractions

hurricane irma

As Hurricane Irma moves up the West Coast of the Florida, the Sunshine State’s many attractions have been coping with the strong winds and flooding.

Walt Disney World

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Walt Disney World’s four parks and entertainment district – Disney Springs – have remained closed to guests since Saturday evening through till today.

Saturday’s end-of-night finales at Disney parks, such as “Rivers of Light” show at Animal Kingdom and the “Happily Ever After” fireworks at Magic Kingdom, were also cancelled.

Disney also cancelled the Sunday edition of its Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom.

Disney theme parks were also closed last year due to Hurricane Matthew.

Universal parks

Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios closed at 7pm on Saturday and remain closed through Sunday and Monday. The parks will reopen on Tuesday.

“We have an affirmative, no-questions-asked policy for guests who tell us they want to change plans or seek a refund because of a named storm involving the Orlando area or where they are traveling from,” Universal’s Tom Schroder told The Orlando Sentinel.


WESH reports that SeaWorld Orlando closed at 5 p.m. Saturday and will remain closed through Monday.

The parks said on Twitter that several trainers would be taking care of the killer whales and other animals during the hurricane.

Aquatica Orlando and Discovery Cove are also closed.

Busch Gardens

Workers at Busch Gardens have moved around 12,000 animals to safe locations ahead of Hurricane Irma, according to WKRG.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island, its water park, have been closed Sunday through Monday.


Legoland Florida theme park and its water park in Winter Haven will be closed through Monday. Guests at Legoland Beach Retreat will be relocated to Legoland Hotel.

Legoland also said it was encouraging guests to seek other accommodations “as we cannot guarantee resort amenities or access to electricity during severe weather.”

Zoo Miami

USA Today reports that the Zoo will not be evacuating any of its 3000 animals.

Most of the animals will stay in their normal “night houses.” These sturdy structures are located behind the normal enclosures that most visitors see. Zoo Miami spokesman Ron Magill said they’re strong enough to withstand a hurricane – since they’re designed to contain powerful tigers and gorillas.

In 1992, during Hurricane Andrew, the zoo had to place a flock of flamingos in a men’s bathroom: that won’t be happening this time around, Magill said.

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

All of the facility’s 2,000 animals will stay in their night houses during Irma. The night houses have been bulked up with plastic and plywood. Video surveillance to keep an eye on the animals. In addition, a team will be present there throughout the storm.

Brevard Zoo

The zoo will house larger animals in their night houses and smaller animals in the veterinary hospital.

Orlando attractions

  • The Orlando Eye will not re-open until Hurricane Irma passes.
  • Madame Tussauds Orlando and Sea Life Aquarium will be closed through Monday.
  •  I-Drive 360 complex closed on Saturday with no reopening date set.
  • Orlando Science Center will be closed through Monday. If schools are still closed on Tuesday they will offer break camp for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
  • The Orange County Regional History Center is closed through Monday.
  • Gatorland closed on Sunday and is closed today.

Image courtesy of NASA.

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Michael Mander

Michael Mander

I am a journalist from Essex, England. I enjoy travelling, and love exploring attractions around the world. I graduated from Lancaster University in 2018. Twitter @michael_mander.

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