Tags: Hurricane Irma | disney world | reopening | hurricane | irma

Disney World Reopening After Hurricane Irma

Image: Disney World Reopening After Hurricane Irma

Sunlight breaks through clouds near Disney World ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irma, in Kissimmee, Florida, Sept. 8, 2017. (Gregg Newton/Reuters)

By    |   Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 09:56 AM

Walt Disney World reopened Tuesday along with Universal Orlando after Hurricane Irma forced the amusement parks to close for two days.

All businesses, excepted for hotels, remained closed Monday, but that did not stop tourists who had been sheltered in their rooms since Hurricane Irma passed through to hit the streets once the sun came out, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

In attempt to enforce a 6 p.m. curfew Monday, Orange County Sheriff's deputies drove up and down the main tourists areas from the Orlando County Convention Center and Universal Boulevard to blare: "Go back to your hotels. Nothing is open," the Sentinel said.

That changed Tuesday with the reopening of the parks. Magic Kingdom Park and the Epcot Center both opened at 9 a.m. All the attractions, except for Blizzard Beach and the Typhoon Lagoon opened Tuesday, according to the Disney website.

All of Disney's resorts, except for the Fort Wilderness Campground and Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villas reopened Tuesday as well.

Hurricane Irma hit Florida as a Category 4 storm, but the eye passed well west of Orlando and had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 85 miles per hour when it arrived there, USA Today reported.

"Our destination saw relatively minor damage overnight involving fences, trees, signage and building facades," Universal Orlando said in a statement on its blog Monday. "We are hard at work inside our parks and we can confirm an on-time opening for Tuesday … for Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure, and Universal's Volcano Bay."

SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica Orlando planned to stay closed Tuesday "to allow for additional debris clean-up from Hurricane Irma," but will open Wednesday, according to Sea World's blog. The park has not announced a reopening of its Discovery Cove.

The theme parks are important economic drivers for Orlando and the central Florida area, attracting millions of visitors annually, according to the website The Park Catalog. The website said in 2015 that Florida estimates that tourism brings in $82 billion in spending and $4.9 billion in tax revenue annually.

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Walt Disney World reopened Tuesday along with Universal Orlando after Hurricane Irma forced the amusement parks to close for two days.
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2017-56-12
Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 09:56 AM
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