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Idalia closing theme parks in Florida? What to know about Busch Gardens, Disney, SeaWorld

Were you planning to ride a roller-coaster this week? Idalia might wreck your adventure.

The National Hurricane Center predicts that the storm will hit somewhere along Florida’s Big Bend area early Wednesday. Idalia will bring 115 mph sustained winds and up to 15 feet of storm surge. The heavily populated Tampa Bay area could see 4 to 7 feet.

Here’s what to know about popular theme parks in the state — and if they’re open or closed.

Busch Gardens

The Tampa-area park will close 3 p.m. Tuesday and will reopen on Thursday, the amusement park announced Monday evening on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Precautions are in place following the park’s comprehensive weather preparedness plan to ensure the safety of our animals and ambassadors during this time,” the statement said.

In the post, the theme park, known for its roller coasters, encouraged visitors to check its website and follow its social media accounts for updates on the reopening.

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Resort’s four main parks — Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, EPCOT and Hollywood Studios — will be open Wednesday.

However, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park, Winter Summerland Miniature Golf and Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf will be closed on Wednesday

“Walt Disney World Resort is currently operating under normal conditions,” according to a Tuesday afternoon statement on the Disney website. “We are closely monitoring the path of the projected weather as we continue to prioritize the safety of our Guests and Cast Members.”

Universal Orlando Resort

The parks will be open Wednesday, but early park admission will not be offered. So all gates will open at 9 a.m.

“We will not offer our usual Early Park Admission benefit for on-site hotel guests, select Annual Passholders and other select travel trade clients on this day while our teams prepare the parks for opening after the storm,” the park said in a statement.

Guests are encouraged to follow the park on X or check its website for updates.

Legoland Florida

The park, which is located between Tampa and Orlando, will be open Wednesday but have limited operations.

“At this time, LEGOLAND Florida Resort will remain open on Wednesday, August 30, as we continue to monitor Hurricane Idalia,” the park said on its website. “While LEGOLAND Theme Park, Water Park, Peppa Pig Theme Park and our LEGOLAND hotels will be open as planned, guests may experience limited park operations on Wednesday due to changing weather conditions.”

In the statement, the park urged guests to visit the website to learn more about its hurricane policy.



SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld announced that it isn’t closing — at least for now.

“SeaWorld Orlando continues to carefully monitor weather conditions and forecasts,” a statement provided to the Miami Herald said. “We will take all necessary precautions to protect the safety of guests, employees and the animals who live in our park. We will communicate any updates on our website and social media platforms as soon as they are available.”

Aquatica Orlando and Adventure Island

Aquatica Orlando and Adventure Island, two water parks run by SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, will be closed on Wednesday. Adventure Island will reopen Friday, and Aquatica will open on Thursday.

“Precautions are in place following the park’s comprehensive weather preparedness plan to ensure the safety of our animals and ambassadors during this time,” SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the storm and guests are encouraged to check back here and follow our social media channels for updates.”

This report will be updated as more information becomes available.