Ian Expected to Become Major Hurricane, Disney Theme Parks Still Opening

Hurricane Disney World

Latest Update: 9/30/22 8:57 pm EDT – Disney World Theme Parks Return to Normal Operation Saturday

Published: 9/26/22 11:24 pm EDT
Previous Updates: 9/27/22
8:45 am EDT – Ian Now a Category 3, Disney World Still Open Today
11:34 am EDT – Ian Still Cat 3, Disney World Under Hurricane Watch
5:43 pm EDT – Hurricane Ian Eyes Orlando, Disney World Confirms Multi-Day Park Closure
11:27 pm EDT – Hurricane Ian Set to Make Landfall, Still Locked on Disney World Area
Previous Update: 9/28/22
8:43 am EDT – Hurricane Ian Nearing Cat 5 Strength – Disney World Weather Update
12:38 pm EDT – Disney World Guests Hunker Down as Hurricane Ian Makes Landfall
6:02 pm EDT – Hurricane Ian Makes Landfall, Passing Through Disney World Area Tonight
11:30 pm EDT – Storm Center Moves into Disney World County
Previous Updates: 9/29/22
9:03 am EDT – VIDEO: Record Flooding Hits Central Florida — Disney World Status Update
12:20 pm EDT – Ian Leaving Florida, But Storm Still Rages in Orlando Area
7:10 pm EDT – Disney World, Disney Cruise Line Assess Damage Reopening Plans
Previous Updates: 9/30/22
8:47 am EDT – Storm has Passed – Disney World, Universal, MCO Begin Reopening
12:34 pm EDT – Post-Storm Update: Crowds Return to Parks, Disney World Weekend Weather Forecast


The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has released its 11:00 pm full advisory update on Hurricane Ian. It has gotten slightly stronger, recording winds of 105 mph, and it is expected to evolve into a Major Hurricane overnight. The track also appears to be moving further east and making landfall south of Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and the rest of Central Florida.

According to the NHC,

At 1100 PM EDT (0300 UTC), the center of Hurricane Ian was located near latitude 21.3 North, longitude 83.4 West. Ian is moving toward the north-northwest near 13 mph (20 km/h). A turn toward the north with a slightly slower forward speed is expected on Tuesday. A turn toward the north-northeast with a further reduction in forward speed is forecast on Wednesday… Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 105 mph (165 km/h) with higher gusts. Rapid strengthening is expected during the next day or so, and Ian is forecast to become a major hurricane overnight or early Tuesday when it is near western Cuba, and remain a major hurricane over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday.

While this storm can still make some changes to its course, visitors and residents of Central Florida should be expecting heavy rains and tropical storm force winds Wednesday-Thursday with high risks of flooding, severe storms, and wind gusts. Tornados could also be a factor. The chance of storm surge remains small.

The Walt Disney World Resort recently announced that they are currently tracking the weather system, saying,

“Walt Disney World is preparing for necessary operational adjustments based on the latest information from the National Weather Service. You can find the latest information about temporary closures and impacts on To all of our cast members and guests, please be safe!”

Disney World has already closed several Resort hotel options like the Bungalows and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, as well as waiving cancelations fees for certain experiences. Disney World also eliminated all new availability for its Resort hotels. 

At the time of this article’s publication, though, all four Walt Disney World Theme Parks–Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom–are expected to run normal operations. It is still unclear what type of operational change Hurricane Ian will have on Disney Cruise Line.

We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on Hurricane Ian and how it can effect the Walt Disney World Resort and the rest of Central Florida as more developments come to light.

Previous Coverage

About T.K. Bosacki

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, TK Bosacki is a professional writer, amateur adventurer, and lifelong Disney Fanatic. His Disney Park days include Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Nomad Lounge. He believes in starting at the Canada pavilion (IYKYK), and the Monorail is superior to all Ferry Boats.

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