ORLANDO -- Walt Disney World and neighboring attractions at Universal Orlando reopened Tuesday after missing a major hit from Hurricane Irma.
The Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Disney Hollywood Studios opened at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
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.
Destroyed :( pic.twitter.com/eBlU7mIWeJ— Belle (@FiBelleFi) September 11, 2017
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.
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 and Aquatica Orlando will remain closed Tuesday "to allow for additional debris clean-up from Hurricane Irma," but is expected to open on Wednesday, the park said.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will also remain closed Tuesday, to allow for debris clean-up from Hurricane Irma. but is expected to reopen Wednesday.
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