Ian Still Cat 3, Disney World Under Hurricane Watch

Hurricane Disney World

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

Published: 9/27/22 11:34 am EDT
Previous Updates: 9/27/22
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 Updates: 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) released its 11:00 am full advisory on Hurricane Ian. It is still a Category 3 with sustained winds of 115 mph and is still expected to become a Category 4 before making landfall in Florida with a Category 1 Storm potentially knocking on the door of Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and the rest of Central Florida Thursday morning.

The NHC’s advisory states,

“At 1100 AM EDT (1500 UTC), the center of Hurricane Ian was located near latitude 23.0 North, longitude 83.5 West. Ian is moving toward the north near 10 mph (17 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue today. A turn toward the north-northeast with a reduction in forward speed is forecast tonight and Wednesday… Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts. Ian is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Re-strengthening is expected later today through Wednesday. Ian is forecast to approach the west coast of Florida as an extremely dangerous major hurricane.”

Hurricane Ian Update

Credit: NHC

One of the growing concerns now is that Ian is moving very slowly and is expected to slow down even more, which can mean more rainfall for the Sunshine State. The latest track appears to show that Hurricane Ian will make landfall south of Tampa Bay as a Category 3 and then crawl inland at a northeasterly route, potentially bringing Tropical Storm and Hurricane-force winds to Central Florida. The NHC now says that Central-West Florida should prepare for 12 to 16 inches of rain this week, with possible isolated instances of 24 inches. Power outages are also likely to impact the Central Florida Counties in the coming days.

A Hurricane Watch is now in effect for Walt Disney World’s Orange and Osceola Counties, which includes the entire Orlando Metro Area, and a Tropical Storm Warning is in place for Disney Cruise Line’s homeport Port Canaveral.

Many comparisons of Hurricane Ian’s behavior have been made by locals to Hurricane Charley, which hit Central Florida and caused Walt Disney World to close in 2004. However, Ian is much bigger than Charley. Here’s a comparison.

The Walt Disney World Resort Theme ParksMagic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios–and Disney Springs remain open with only its water Park, Typhoon Lagoon, and certain hotel accommodations closing. All new Resort hotel availabilities have been removed from the Disney World website.

At the time of this publication, the Walt Disney World Resort officially states:

“Walt Disney World theme parks are currently operating under normal conditions. Please continue to monitor news outlets for the latest weather information.”

It cannot be overstated, though, that a Walt Disney World Resort hotel is one of the safest places in which to ride out this impending storm.

We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on Hurrican Ian and its projected impact on Disney World 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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