Disney World closed: Hurricane Ian becomes ninth storm to shut park, stranding some tourists without refunds

Disney has shuttered its Florida parks as Hurricane Ian verged on becoming an “extremely dangerous” Category 5 storm on Wednesday with sustained winds of 155mph.

The company released a statement on Tuesday saying that Walt Disney World Resort theme parks and water parks would be closed on Wednesday and Thursday.

At 8am (EDT) on Wednesday morning, Hurricane Ian was around 55 miles west of Naples and expected to make landfall in a matter of hours.

It is the ninth time that a hurricane has shut Walt Disney World since the park opened in 1971.

Other theme parks, including SeaWorld and Universal Studios Orlando, have also closed.

According to Disney’s website, “if a hurricane warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center for the Orlando area – or for your place of residence – within 7 days of your scheduled arrival date, you may reschedule or cancel your Walt Disney Travel Company Disney Resort hotel packages and most room only reservations (booked directly with Disney) without any cancellation or change fees imposed by Disney. Most room-only and vacation packages can be modified, or cancelled online, including changes to travel dates”.

The policy does not apply if their stay was not booked through the Walt Disney Travel Company, NBC News reported.

The Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Copper Creek Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort will also close from Wednesday until Friday due to the weather, Disney said.

The company told visitors that they “will not enforce cancelation policies until further notice for dining and other experiences like Savi’s Workshop and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique”.

This article is being updated