Disney, cruises, parks and more; what opens in Florida after Hurricane Ian

(CNN) — Major Florida theme parks were closed Thursday as Hurricane Ian left a trail of destruction on the peninsula and headed out into the Atlantic Ocean toward the Carolinas.

Although Disney World and some locations plan to reopen on Friday, most will remain closed. Here’s a report on the latest plans for various theme parks, other sites of interest to tourists, and what’s happening with various cruise ships:

Disney World (Orlando)

Walt Disney World announced Thursday night that its four major theme parks will reopen on Friday at the following times:

Magic Kingdom’s iconic Cinderella Castle. (John Raoux/AP)

• Magic Kingdom Park: 10 am (Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will be offered as scheduled and is sold out)

• EPCOT: 11 a.m.

• Disney’s Hollywood Studios: noon

• Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park: 1 p.m.

Disney Resort hotel guests and those staying at other select hotels will be allowed check-in two hours earlier than the previously posted times.

Fantasia Gardens Minigolf will also reopen at 3 pm on Friday.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will be open from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Typhoon Lagoon water park has a planned reopening for Sunday

Walt Disney World transportation will begin operating as normal on Friday, but is subject to weather protocols, the park said.

Disney Springs, the entertainment, dining and shopping complex, will open at 10 am on Friday.

Click here for more details on reopenings, including information on hotels and camping sites.

Busch Gardens (Tampa)

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay said on its website late Thursday that it would be closed through Friday.

That’s also true for other Florida parks held by the SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment company:

• Adventure Island (Tampa)

•Sea World Orlando

• Aquatica Orlando

•Discovery Cove (Orlando)

The company said Discovery Cove will reschedule or refund reservations made online or through the call center without cancellation or change fees. For any additional information, call 407-513-4600.

People with a reservation made through a third-party reseller can rebook visit dates with the specific park, but people who want a refund will need to contact their reseller partner.

Busch Gardens and SeaWorld Howl-O-Scream tickets for September 30 have been extended through October 31.

Click here for more details.

Universal Resort (Orlando)

Universal Orlando Resort, including CityWalk, was closed Wednesday and Thursday, and a “phased reopening” for hotel guests will begin Friday, the resort said in an email to CNN Travel late Thursday.

“We continue to conduct assessment and recovery efforts at our destination, with the safety of our guests and team members as our top priority,” Universal said.

“We expect to begin a phased reopening of portions of our destination to our hotel guests only beginning Friday, September 30. We will update our website and social channels with information on park hours as conditions allow.

Click here for more information and Universal FAQs.

LEGOLAND (Winter Haven)

LEGOLAND Florida Resort and associated parks will be closed Friday, according to the resort’s website.

“LEGOLAND Hotel and Pirate Island Hotel will remain open for guests with existing reservations,” the park said.

Park tickets for Wednesday, September 28 through Sunday, October 2 will automatically be extended through December 31, 2022, LEGOLAND previously said.

People can rebook vacation stays without penalty once the park’s call center reopens Friday. The number is 888-690-5346. Guests with questions about the resort’s hurricane policy can click here.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (Cape Canaveral)

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Merritt Island will remain closed Friday, but the facility plans to reopen Saturday, according to the center’s website.

Icon Park (Orlando)

All Icon Park attractions are still closed, according to the attraction’s website.

“When it is safe to do so, select restaurants will open to serve locals who have lost power or guests staying at nearby hotels,” the entertainment destination said.

Crayola Experience (Orlando)

The popular children’s attraction will reopen at noon Friday, according to Crayola’s website on Thursday night.

Cruise ships

Florida ports have very active cruise ship schedules. Here is the status of some of those ships’ routes:

Norwegian Cruise Line: The company has canceled its 10-day sailing of the Norwegian Getaway, which was scheduled to depart Thursday from Port Canaveral.

The company also changed ports on Norwegian Sky’s eight-day voyage, which departed from Miami on Sunday, the cruise line tells CNN. Instead of its scheduled stops in the Western Caribbean, the ship will now make stops in the Eastern Caribbean.

“The safety of our guests and crew is always our number one priority,” the cruise line said. Shore excursions booked through the cruise line at affected ports will be refunded to guests’ onboard accounts.

MSC: The company has changed course on at least one of its ships and is monitoring the possibility of changing others, a spokesperson tells CNN. The MSC Seashore, which was originally scheduled to be in the Western Caribbean, has been redirected to ports in the Eastern Caribbean.

The cruise line is also monitoring the MSC Divinia, which departed Port Canaveral on a four-night voyage to Nassau and the Ocean City Marine Reserve on Sunday. MSC says both cruise ports are off Ian’s projected route, but warned passengers before departing that conditions could prevent the ship from returning on Thursday. The cruise line says that if there is a delay in her return, the cruise will be extended at no additional cost to guests.

The cruise line does not expect Ian to impact the MSC Seashore, which will depart the Port of Miami on Saturday, October 1.

Carnival Cruise Line: The company has announced changes to its schedule. With the ports of Tampa Bay, Canaveral and Jacksonville affected by Ian, the following voyages have been cancelled:

• Carnival Paradise: four-day cruise from Tampa on Thursday.

• Carnival Elation: Four-day cruise from Jacksonville on Thursday.

• Carnival Liberty: three-day cruise from Port Canaveral on Friday.

Guests will receive a full refund and a 25% future cruise credit, Carnival said.

The following ships have changes to their schedules and ports of call to weather the storm and its effects: Carnival Liberty, Carnival Horizon, Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Paradise, Carnival Elation, Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Glory.

Click here to see the specific changes to each ship’s itinerary.

National and state parks

Everglades National Park in South Florida was closed Wednesday and Thursday with no reopening time set. “After the storm passes, staff will assess park conditions to determine when it is safe to reopen,” the park’s website said.

All National Park Service employees were evacuated from Dry Tortugas National Park, on the western edge of the Florida Keys in the Gulf of Mexico, before Hurricane Ian approached, according to NPS spokeswoman Allyson Gantt. No employees will be out during the storm. The park remained closed Thursday.

As of Thursday night, more than 100 Florida state parks were closed, including Alafia River State Park (Hillsborough County), Bahia Honda State Park (Monroe County), Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park (Hillsborough County), Collier), Don Pedro Island State Park (Charlotte County), Lake Manatee State Park (Manatee County), and Rainbow Springs State Park (Marian County).

See here for a full list of closed state parks, as well as information on cabin and campground closures.


Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens: Officials announced that both the zoo and botanical gardens would be closed through Friday.

“Our priority is the safety of our animals, staff and customers. We are following our protocols and closely monitoring the storm. We will reopen when it is safe to do so. Please keep an eye on our social media for updates,” the official Twitter account said. from the zoo.

ZooTampa at Lowry Park: The attraction will resume regular hours on Friday, it said on its website.

Brevard Zoo: Melbourne Zoo will reopen on Friday barring any damage. “Boo at the Zoo is also scheduled to start this weekend,” the zoo said in a post on Twitter in your verified account.

Jamiel Lynch, Frank Pallotta, Amanda Musa and Aya Elamroussi contributed to this report.

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