World Sphere at Universal Orlando Resort – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by VIAVAL TOURS
ORLANDO, Fl. – Universal Orlando Resort, including CityWalk, has begun its phased reopening of several portions of its resort for guests on Friday after Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida and barreled through the area.
Halloween Horror Nights opened on Friday evening for those with existing tickets. Volcano Bay also reopened for all guests as of Friday morning.
Halloween Horror Nights and the Universal Orlando Resort as a whole reopened to all guests on Saturday.
“Our hearts continue to be with all those impacted by Hurricane Ian and we are grateful for the hard work of our Team Members during this challenging time,” Universal Orlando Resort said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming back all our guests and team members. Stay tuned to our website or the Official Universal Orlando Resort App for details and hours of operation.”
Hurricane Ian made its most catastrophic impact on southwest Florida but managed to bring damage and flooding to Central Florida as the storm made its way through the area as a Category 1.
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World reopened on Friday, with Magic Kingdom opening at 8 a.m. for early entry tickets and general admission at 10 a.m. Epcot reopened Friday at 9 a.m. for early entry ticket holders and all guests at 11 a.m. Early entry times at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios were at 11 a.m. and 10 a.m. respectively, with general admission allowed into the park two hours later.
Disney Springs’ hours of operation will be from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
“We thank our first responders and community leaders for their courageous efforts in preparing for and managing the storm’s impact. To our cast members in Florida and in South Carolina, thank you for selflessly taking care of our guests,” Disney said in a statement.
It was unclear what damage either resort may have endured during the hurricane.
Photos from Universal Studios Orlando depict a hole torn in a piece of paneling on the side of the building for Jurrasic Park River Adventure at Islands of Adventure theme park. Universal spokespeople have yet to comment on that.
Universal Studios’ surrounding areas appeared to experience major flooding when Ian struck the region on Thursday morning.
Jeff Allen, News 13 reporter, posted video footage showing standing water several feet deep at the DoubleTree by Hilton located near the entrance of the Universal Studios resort.
SeaWorld Orlando, including its Discovery Cove and Aquatica parks, remained closed Friday and reopened on Saturday.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, which is also run by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, also remained closed on Friday.
Click here to read more about Universal Orlando Resort’s severe weather policy.
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Melissa’s career in writing started more than 20 years ago. Today, she lives in South Florida with her husband and two boys.