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Disney World dodges major Hurricane Irma damage

Disney World dodges major Hurricane Irma damage

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Irma may longer be a hurricane, but the tropical storm still poses threats to Florida, Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas.
USA TODAY

The entrance to the Magic Kingdom at Disney World is empty as the theme park was closed because of Hurricane Irma approaching the central Florida area, Sept.

10, 2017, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Other tourists attractions including Universal Studios and Sea World were also closed and planned to reopen Tuesday.

(Photo: John Raoux, AP)

Walt Disney World and neighboring attractions at Universal Orlando  will reopen Tuesday after missing a major hit from Hurricane Irma.

The Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Disney Hollywood Studios will all open at 9 a.

m. ET Tuesday.

The Disney Springs shopping, dining, and entertainment complex will open at 10 a.m.

ET.  

Disney resort hotels remained open during Irma, but the parks were closed Sunday and Monday.

“We hope to resume normal operations on Tuesday, September 12,” advised Disney’s site Monday morning. 

Disney has had full-day closures of the Magic Kingdom only four other times in its history: in 1999 for Hurricane Floyd, 2004 for Hurricane Frances, 2004 for Hurricane Jeanne and last year for Matthew.

The Magic Kingdom was also closed for part of the day Oct. 24, 2005 for Hurricane Wilma.

After making landfall in Florida early Sunday morning as a Category 4, the center of the storm passed west of Orlando early Monday morning. At that point it had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane, with winds of 85 miles per hour.

Seeing hurricane force gusts over the Orlando metro area with this intense rain band + intense rainfall!

— NWS Melbourne (@NWSMelbourne) September 11, 2017

The park did not lose power, but was hit with high winds and rain. Many trees were downed across its properties and some buildings had water leaks, according to reports on Twitter.

Electric transformers near Disney’s Contemporary Resort reportedly exploded.

Disney World parking areas had served as a staging ground for electrical repair crews and utility trucks coming to help restore power to the region.

In Orlando, Walt Disney has not only its amusement parks, but also more than 25 resort hotel to house vacationers.

All of these popular attractions are just south of Orlando, with Universal Orlando Resort, which includes The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and SeaWorld Orlando just northeast of Disney.

Universal Studios said its parks “saw relatively minor damage overnight involving fences, trees, signage and building facades,” in a statement to USA TODAY. Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay were scheduled to open at 9 a.

m. ET Tuesday.

 

SeaWorld Orlando had no significant damage “discovered as of initial checks on Monday morning,” according to a statement from the park. “But park teams are still assessing.

All facilities have electricity and personnel and animals are safe (there and at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay).”

 

More: Hurricane Irma forces Disney World to close for the 5th time in the park‘s history

Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.

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CLOSEHURRICANE IRMA: A VIEW OF THE IMPACT FROM ABOVE
Aerial tour shows damaged buildings in Key Largo | 1:11

The full breadth of the damage from Hurricane Irma remains unclear, particularly in the hard-hit Keys, where communications and travel were still difficult.

An aerial tour of Key Largo showed toppled buildings and damaged boats. (Sept.

11)
AP

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CLOSEHURRICANE IRMA: A VIEW OF THE IMPACT FROM ABOVE
Drone video shows Hurricane Irma damage in Naples | 1:25

Flooded streets and ripped roofs can be seen above the Holiday Manor neighborhood in East Naples, Fla.

Des Moines Register

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CLOSEHURRICANE IRMA: A VIEW OF THE IMPACT FROM ABOVE
Evacuees arrive in droves at Florida shelter ahead of Irma | 1:14

Raw drone video shows evacuees arriving at Germain Arena in Fort Myers, Fla.

, ahead of hurricane Irma’s arrival.
USA TODAY

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CLOSEHURRICANE IRMA: A VIEW OF THE IMPACT FROM ABOVE
Drone footage reveals Florida ghost towns before Irma hits | 1:24

In wake of Hurricane Irma reaching Florida, drone footage shows how desolate Florida cities have become.
USA TODAY

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CLOSEHURRICANE IRMA: A VIEW OF THE IMPACT FROM ABOVE
Hurricane Irma evacuation traffic on I-75 and Florida‘s Turnpike | 1:00

Thousands crawl along Interstate 75 out of Tampa and and Florida‘s Turnpike north of Orlando near Wildwood, Florida, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, to escape before Hurricane Irma hits the state.

Michael Zamora and Rodney White/The Des Moines Register

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CLOSEHURRICANE IRMA: A VIEW OF THE IMPACT FROM ABOVE
Raw: Drone footage shows devastation on Tortola | 1:18

Drone footage shows widespread devastation on Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands.

(Sept. 8)
AP

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CLOSEHURRICANE IRMA: A VIEW OF THE IMPACT FROM ABOVE
Drone video reveals Florida‘s flood threat | 0:55

This drone video from Marco Island, Florida shows the close proximity between many homes in Florida and significant bodies of water. Proximity alone is a major reason why so many Florida communities face an imminent flood threat from Hurricane Irma.

USA TODAY

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