Some Florida attractions close, adjust hours ahead of Hurricane Dorian

As Hurricane Dorian continues to churn in the Atlantic and reach the Bahamas as a 180-mph storm, Florida’s theme parks and attractions are monitoring possible impacts to determine closures or make adjustments to operating hours.

Hurricane Dorian approaches the coast of Florida, U.S. in this August 30, 2019 NASA handout satellite image.  NASA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.

As of Sunday morning, Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s east coast is the only attraction to close Sunday and Monday. 

Here are the notices the state’s theme parks and attractions have put out as they continue to monitor Hurricane Dorian:

Busch Gardens

As of Saturday, the Tampa theme park said it will remain open as planned for Sunday and Monday. The park will be open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday. The planned Bier Fest activities and fireworks will also go on as scheduled.

Adventure Island will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Monday.

Disney World

Walt Disney World in Orlando is operating normally ahead of Hurricane Dorian, which has intensified into a Category 5 storm. The resort canceled weekend sporting events and closed the Blizzard Beach water park on Sunday.

Those staying at these resorts have been told to plan for weather events: Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, Copper Creek Cabins, Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs and the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

Universal Orlando

Universal’s Orlando parks are also operating normally. Park hours for Sunday are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay water park. CityWalk is open until 2 a.m.

Guests with questions are encouraged to call 877-801-9720 or email [email protected]

Florida Aquarium

The aquarium in Tampa is operating normally, but it has canceled its Labor Day Weekend Luau scheduled for Sunday. The aquarium said it will refund those who already bought tickets for the event.

Regular business hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Kennedy Space Center

The visitor complex at Cape Canaveral will be closed Sunday and Monday ahead of Hurricane Dorian’s possible impacts to Florida’s east coast.

The massive crawler went out to Launch Pad 39B to bring the towering mobile launcher back inside the Vehicle Assembly Building. This is the first time the launcher has been moved inside the VAB for a hurricane since the space shuttle days.


Like sister park Busch Gardens, SeaWorld so far is operating normally. However, both parks have activated the “Peace of Mind” policy that lets guests cancel or reschedule vacation packages and park tickets booked through the parks or online. 


The Orlando attraction told the Orlando Sentinel there is no threat of alligators escaping, because the animals are naturally “hurricane-proof.” During severe weather, gators have the ability to stand underwater for long periods of time.

Other animals at Gatorland will go to a safe place if needed, like the administrative offices. 

As of Sunday morning, Gatorland doesn’t have plans to close or adjust normal business hours.

Related video: Nevada rescue team deploying to Florida to help with Dorian [via Associated Press]

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