Universal Orlando Resort, including CityWalk, will close on Wednesday, the company announced today. The closure will continue on Thursday — when the storm is expected to be at its peak in Central Florida — and be lifted Friday.
Seminole County director of the office for emergency management Alan Harris told the Orlando Sentinel that, as Ian is a slow-moving storm, its winds and rain would likely start by Wednesday afternoon and continue until early Friday.
“Regardless of where the storm goes exactly, this will be a flooding event,” said Harris. “We could see some areas receive up to 15 inches of rain.” Seminole is just northeast of Orlando.
The National Weather Service today warned Orlando and surrounding areas to prepare for “major flooding rain,” winds from 75-110 mph and scattered tornadoes.
Universal’s move gives out-of-state guests a small window to get on a flight before Orlando International Airport ceases commercial operations at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Here is the full statement resort officials released to Deadline:
Due to Hurricane Ian, Universal Orlando Resort, including CityWalk, will close on Wednesday, Sept. 28. We will remain closed on Thursday and anticipate reopening on Friday, Sept. 30 as conditions permit. Our hotels are currently at full capacity and will remain operational as they focus on taking care of our guests.
Also, our Halloween Horror Nights event at Universal Studios Florida will be canceled Wednesday, Sept. 28 and Thursday, Sept. 29. We anticipate reopening the event on Friday, Sept. 30 conditions permitting.
For more information and FAQs from Universal, click here.
The resort’s neighbor, Walt Disney World, announced closures of some attractions yesterday, but has made no announcement of a closure before the storm’s arrival tomorrow.
“Walt Disney World Resort is currently operating under normal conditions as we prepare to make necessary adjustments based on the latest information from the National Weather Service,” according to the resort’s weather updates page.