Florida Theme Parks: Update as Hurricane Ian Approaches

(CNN) — As Hurricane Ian made landfall in western Cuba early Tuesday morning, Floridians kept an anxious eye on the rapidly intensifying storm. This included operators of popular Florida theme parks.

Here’s a state of play as of 7:25 a.m. ET Tuesday with various major theme parks and water parks:

Busch Gardens (Tampa):

Ian’s path remains uncertain, but on Tuesday morning the Tampa Bay area looked likely to be in the crosshairs.

As a result, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay announced it would be closed Wednesday and Thursday.

« Due to the forecast path of Hurricane Ian, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has enacted its Named Storm Policy…Precautions are in place following the park’s comprehensive weather preparedness plan to ensure the safety of our animals. and our ambassadors during this time, » the park said on its website.

“All admission tickets have been extended through December 31,” the park said. Additionally, “Annual Pass member guest tickets with an expiration date of September 30 will be extended through October 16.”

Discovery Cove (Orlando)

The all-inclusive day resort with animal encounters and tropical waterscapes also closes Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The parks said they « will reschedule or refund reservations booked online or from the call center. We will not apply any cancellation or change fees for this service. » You can call +1 407-513-4600 to find out more.

Disney World (Orlando)

Most Disney World properties remain open.

The station said on its website that it is « currently operating under normal conditions as we prepare to make necessary adjustments based on the latest information from the National Weather Service. »

However, some properties and units are closing. The following are closed from Wednesday to Friday:

• Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
• Copper Creek Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
• Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
• The bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Closed from Wednesday to Thursday:

• Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon (Blizzard Beach is currently closed anyway)
• Winter Summerland Miniature Golf and Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf

Disney Springs, a shopping, dining and entertainment area, remains open.

Universal Resort (Orlando)

The movie-themed thrill ride park is currently continuing with normal operations. The park’s extreme weather policy provides free rescheduling or cancellation policies in the event of closure.

“In the event a hurricane or tropical storm warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center or a state of emergency is declared for the Orlando area or your place of residence, within seven days of your arrival, you may contact our team in advance to reschedule or cancel your Universal Parks & Resorts vacation package, hotel room only, and Universal Orlando theme park tickets booked directly with Universal Orlando, without cancellation or change fees imposed,” the park said on its website.

cruise ships

Florida ports have busy cruise schedules. Here’s the status of some of those ships’ routes as of 8:15 p.m. ET Monday:

Norwegian cruise lines: The company changed five ports on the norwegian sky, who left Miami on Sunday, the cruise line told CNN. The ship was to call at George Town, Grand Cayman; Roatan, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; and Cozumel in the Western Caribbean and will now call at San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas, to avoid Ian’s path.

« The safety and security of our passengers and crew is always our number one priority. Due to the predicted path of Hurricane Ian, Norwegian Sky’s itinerary has changed as follows. Passengers who have booked shore excursions at any of the affected ports via Norwegian Cruise Line will have their excursions refunded to their onboard account,” a spokesperson for the cruise line said.

CSM: The company has changed course on at least one of its ships and is monitoring the possibility of changing others, a spokesperson told CNN. The MSC Seashorewhich was originally to be in the Western Caribbean, was diverted to ports in the Eastern Caribbean.

The cruise line also monitors the MSC Divina, which departed Port Canaveral for a four-night sail to Nassau and the Ocean City Marine Reserve on Sunday. MSC says the two cruise ports are off Ian’s planned route, but advised passengers before leaving that conditions could prevent the ship from returning on Thursday. The cruise line says that if there is a delay in their return, the cruise will be extended at no additional cost to guests.

The cruise line does not expect Ian to have an impact on the MSC Seashorewhich is scheduled to leave the Port of Miami on Saturday, October 1.

Carnival Cruise Lines: The company has made adjustments to two of its crossings.

The boat carnival ecstasy, who departed Mobile, Alabama, on Monday for a six-day sail, will visit Progresso Mexico on Wednesday before visiting Cozumel on Thursday. The change rearranges tours, as the ship had to visit Cozumel first, the cruise line told CNN.

The Carnival Glory left New Orleans on Sunday for an eight-day sail, and will now be in port at Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico. The ship’s initial itinerary was to visit Key West as well as Freeport and Nassau, Bahamas.

National and State Parks

As of 8:30 a.m. ET Tuesday, Everglades National Park in South Florida remained open. The National Park Service has advised people to monitor the latest weather updates before heading to the park, a wilderness area without many escape routes.

As of 8:30 a.m. ET, the following Florida state parks were closed:

• Anclote Key Preserve State Park (Pasco and Pinellas counties)
• Caladesi Island State Park (Pinellas County)
• Egmont Key State Park (Pinellas County)
• Honeymoon Island State Park (Pinellas County)

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