Walt Disney World and neighboring attractions Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando were on track to reopen Tuesday after missing a major hit from Hurricane Irma.
Disney resort hotels remained open during Irma, but the parks were closed Sunday and Monday. “We hope to resume normal operations on Tuesday, September 12,” advised Disney's site Monday morning.
Signs posted inside its resorts on Monday afternoon indicated that the theme parks would be back open Tuesday at 9 a.m. but the Disney water parks would remain closed.
Disney has had full-day closures of the Magic Kingdom only four other times in its history: in 1999 for Hurricane Floyd, 2004 for Hurricane Frances, 2004 for Hurricane Jeanne and last year for Matthew. The Magic Kingdom was also closed for part of the day Oct. 24, 2005 for Hurricane Wilma.
After making landfall in Florida early Sunday morning as a Category 4, the center of the storm passed west of Orlando early Monday morning. At that point it had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane, with winds of 85 miles per hour.
Seeing hurricane force gusts over the Orlando metro area with this intense rain band + intense rainfall!— NWS Melbourne (@NWSMelbourne) September 11, 2017
The park did not lose power, but was hit with high winds and rain. Many trees were downed across its properties and some buildings had water leaks, according to reports on Twitter. Electric transformers near Disney’s Contemporary Resort reportedly exploded. Disney World did not immediately return comment to USA TODAY.
Disney World parking areas had served as a staging ground for electrical repair crews and utility trucks coming to help restore power to the region.
In Orlando, Walt Disney has not only its amusement parks, which include the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, but also more than 25 resort hotel to house vacationers.
All of these popular attractions are just south of Orlando, with Universal Orlando Resort, which includes The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and SeaWorld Orlando just northeast of Disney.
Universal Orlando on Monday was inspecting its property "across our entire destination in preparation for an anticipated on-time opening tomorrow morning," the park said in a statement to USA TODAY.
SeaWorld Orlando had no significant damage "discovered as of initial checks on Monday morning," according to a statement from the park. "But park teams are still assessing. All facilities have electricity and personnel and animals are safe (there and at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay)."
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