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Disney World closing early as Hurricane Matthew approaches

By Sandra Pedicini • Oct 7, 2016 at 8:09 AM

ORLANDO, Fla. — Walt Disney World closed at 5 p.m. Thursday and will not open Friday as Hurricane Matthew approaches.

The closures affect theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs, miniature golf courses and ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.

No decision has been made yet about Saturday operations.

Disney had already evacuated its Fort Wilderness campground. The resort had been helping guests make other lodging arrangements if they were staying in the Polynesian Village bungalows and Saratoga Springs treehouse villas. Disney World had also announced earlier that its Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party for Thursday night at the Magic Kingdom had been canceled.

Disney World was the last of the major theme parks to announce closures. SeaWorld had announced Wednesday its three theme and water parks would close early Thursday and remain shut down Friday. Universal Orlando on Thursday morning announced its theme parks and CityWalk entertainment complex would close at 5 p.m. Thursday and stay closed Friday.

It is rare for theme parks to close, but they have done so in the past for major storms including Hurricane Charley in 2004 and Floyd in 1999.

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©2016 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

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