Walt Disney World Theme Parks to Close Ahead of Hurricane Matthew

Florida’s Walt Disney World theme parks will close at 5 p.m. Thursday and remain closed through Friday, Oct. 7. in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew, according to theme park officials.

The Category 4 hurricane is predicted to make landfall in Florida around 2 a.m. Friday. The storm could strengthen to a Category 5 hurricane before that, ABC News meteorologist Max Golembo warned.

The closures include Walt Disney World theme parks (Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios), water parks, Disney Springs, miniature golf courses and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Dining and Disney Resort hotel cancellation fees imposed by Disney will be waived for all Guests, according to the resort’s help page.

Disney World gets nearly 150,000 visits each day.

Universal Orlando and SeaWorld will also close at 5 p.m. today.

Orlando airport plans to cease operations at 8 p.m. tonight, according to the airport’s official Twitter page.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of both ABC News and Walt Disney World.