How hotels, theme parks are preparing for Hurricane Ian

Disney World and others have prepared to shelter in place.

September 28, 2022, 12:40 PM

As much of Florida prepares for Hurricane Ian to make landfall, the hospitality world is bracing for impact.

Famed theme parks and hotels across the state in the path of the Category 4 storm are working fast to minimize potential damage.

PHOTO: A hotel is boarded up ahead of Hurricane Ian in St. Petersburg, Fla., Sept. 27, 2022.
A hotel is boarded up ahead of Hurricane Ian in St. Petersburg, Fla., Sept. 27, 2022.
Tristan Wheelock/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer warned that the storm is predicted to hit the city with an expected 10-20 inches of rainfall and wind gusts up to 60-75 mph. Dyer told ABC News the biggest concerns locally are flooding and wind damage, and the city is preparing for downed trees and power lines.

Garbage collection in the area was a big part of the preparation as well to mitigate the risk of debris, which could turn into airborne projectiles in the hurricane-force winds.

PHOTO: People stay at Castle Hotel at the bay of St. Pete Beach, as the winds from Hurricane Ian arrive on Sept. 28, 2022 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
People stay at Castle Hotel at the bay of St. Pete Beach, as the winds from Hurricane Ian arrive on Sept. 28, 2022 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Orlando and Legoland all announced closures for Wednesday and Thursday out of an abundance of caution.

Disney World announced the closure of its Florida theme parks on Wednesday, Sept. 28, and Thursday, Sept. 29. This includes Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course and Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf.

"Partially used multi-day theme park tickets with a validity window impacted by closure due to Hurricane Ian will be automatically extended to allow use of the remaining unused ticket days through September 30, 2023," the company wrote in a statement. "In order to enter a park, both a park reservation and valid ticket for the same park on the same date is required."

PHOTO: A hotel sign is displayed ahead of Hurricane Ian in St. Petersburg, Fla., Sept. 27, 2022.
A hotel sign is displayed ahead of Hurricane Ian in St. Petersburg, Fla., Sept. 27, 2022.
Tristan Wheelock/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PHOTO: A man brings his belongings into the Holiday Inn Tallahassee East Capital on  Sept. 27, 2022, after evacuating the Tampa area in anticipation of Hurricane Ian.
A man brings his belongings into the Holiday Inn Tallahassee East Capital on Sept. 27, 2022, after evacuating the Tampa area in anticipation of Hurricane Ian.
Chasity Maynard/Tallahassee Democrat via USA Today Network

Disney World hotels have asked all guests to check in before 3 p.m. local time on Wednesday, Sept. 28, or to reschedule or cancel their trip with cancellation fees waived.

"Guests that are checked in by 3 p.m. Wednesday will be asked to shelter in place at their resort for the duration of the storm, this includes any resort-to-resort transfers," the company said. "Dining options for Guests staying in our Resort hotels will vary, and in some cases may be very limited. Where available, restaurants will accept walk-ups only; Guests will not need dining reservations."

PHOTO: A young girl with Disney ears sits in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria hotel at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. Sept. 28, 2022.
A young girl with Disney ears sits in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria hotel at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. Sept. 28, 2022. obby of the Waldorf Astoria hotel at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. on Sept. 28, 2022. Disney World has closed for the next two days in anticipation of Hurricane Ian.
Jason Andrew/The New York Times via Redux
PHOTO: Jim Connors, a resident of Tampa and member of the Florida Orchestra, practices his cello in the cafe of the Waldorf Astoria hotel at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., Sept. 28, 2022.
Jim Connors, a resident of Tampa and member of the Florida Orchestra, practices his cello in the cafe of the Waldorf Astoria hotel at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., Sept. 28, 2022. Disney World has closed for the next two days in anticipation of Hurricane Ian, which was upgraded to Category 4 shortly before 5 a.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, and could strengthen to Category 5.
Jason Andrew/The New York Times via Redux

SeaWorld Orland announced its closure Wednesday through Thursday and offered an extension on guests' tickets for those days. They ensured the safety of the animals and encouraged fans to check the park's social media channel for updates.

PHOTO: The entrance to the Sea World theme park is seen as the park is closed today and Thursday as Hurricane Ian bears down on the state, Orlando, Fla., Sept. 28, 2022.
The entrance to the Sea World theme park is seen as the park is closed today and Thursday as Hurricane Ian bears down on the state, Orlando, Fla., Sept. 28, 2022.
John Raoux/AP

This is a developing story check back for updates.

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