Playing in a hurricane; Disney World plans to stay open through Irma

People leave Disney's Magic Kingdom theme park, in heavy rain, after it closed in Orlando, Florida in preparation for the landfall of Hurricane Matthew, on October 6, 2016. Some three million people on the US southeast coast faced an urgent evacuation order Thursday as monstrous Hurricane Matthew -- now blamed for more than 100 deaths in Haiti alone -- bore down for a direct hit on Florida. / AFP / Gregg Newton (Photo credit should read GREGG NEWTON/AFP/Getty Images)

ORLANDO, FL (BY: BRAD TUTTLE, MONEY MAGAZINE) – Hurricane Irma has devastated the Caribbean and is causing massive evacuations in Florida, but the state’s biggest theme park resort is not panicking: As of Friday afternoon, Disney World anticipates that it will be open for business as usual, even as Irma appears ready to hit the mainland by Saturday.

An alert on the Walt Disney World Resort website states that a couple special events planned for this weekend are canceled, and the Blizzard Beach water park is closed on Friday and Saturday, and the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will be closed starting Saturday. The Orlando Sentinel reports that guests at Disney World’s Treehouse Villas—where units are built 10 feet off the ground—have also been asked to leave.

Other than that, however, Walt Disney World has no plans to shut down. The company states that it will continue “to monitor the path of Hurricane Irma as we take necessary steps to maintain the safety of Guests and Cast Members.” But for now at least, it looks like the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom theme parks will all remain open, as will nearly all of Disney World’s many hotels, gift shops, and restaurants.
Photo Courtesy: AFP/Getty Images
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