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Disney World closes for 4th time ever as Hurricane Matthew nears

Disney World's Entrance Sign

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Walt Disney World is closing due to Hurricane Matthew.

The Disney World theme parks, Disney Springs, miniature golf courses, water parks and ESPN Wide World of Sports complex will all be closed starting at 5 p.m. Thursday and all day Friday.

Disney World is normally open 365 days a year. This is believed to be only the fourth time the park has closed since opening on October 1, 1971.

It also closed for Hurricane Floyd in 1999, on 9/11 and due to a power failure, in 2002.

Other area theme parks including Universal Orlando, Sea World and Legoland are also closed Friday.

The message on Disney World’s website reads:

We wanted to share an important update that Walt Disney World theme parks, Disney Springs, miniature golf courses, Water Parks and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will be closed Thursday at 5 p.m. and will remain closed through Friday, October 7, 2016 due to the latest forecasts for Hurricane Matthew. Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park was closed earlier Thursday.

Currently, our phone centers in Florida are experiencing heavy call volume with unusually extended hold times and will likely remain busy for the remainder of the week. If you’re planning a future vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort, you’re encouraged to visit

Please continue to monitor the Disney Parks Blog and the front page of for updates.