Disney reopens after closing for two days as Hurricane Ian blasted across Florida

Walt Disney World is gradually reopening its theme parks on Friday after closing for two days as Hurricane Ian flattened homes and businesses across Florida.

Disney theme parks, including the Magic Kingdom, began opening their doors at 10 a.m. Epcot will reopen at 11 a.m., with Hollywood Studios set to reopen at noon and the Animal Kingdom theme park reopening at 1 p.m.

Guests staying at Disney hotels may access the theme parks before they reopen to the public, Disney said on its website. People whose park passes were valid for the days during which Disney was closed this week may use them through the end of the day on Friday.

Some Disney hotels, including the Copper Creek Cabins and the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, remain closed due to weather concerns, Disney said.

Disney on Tuesday said its theme parks would be closed Wednesday and Thursday due to the storm.

Ian also shuttered many other Florida businesses and temporarily closed international airports in Tampa and Orlando. Preliminary estimates predicted the storm could cause up to $70 billion worth of damage in the state, which would rank it as one of the most destructive hurricanes in U.S. history.

Ian made landfall in southwestern Florida on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane before tearing across the state. On Friday, it was heading toward South Carolina, where the National Hurricane Center said it could bring “life-threatening storm surge” and hurricane conditions to the state’s coastal region.

But Ian may not be done with Florida. “Major to record river flooding will continue across central Florida through next week,” the hurricane center predicted.

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