One of Disney’s Most Famous Rides Was Badly Damaged by Hurricane Irma

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida has finally re-opened its doors to visitors following the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma. Guests visiting the park, however, will still not be able to access a few of its most treasured rides.

As the Orlando Sentinel reported, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are all open and running on a normal schedule. But Disney’s water park Typhoon Lagoon and the Fort Wilderness Campground remain closed. Blizzard Beach just re-opened to the public on Thursday.

How Hurricanes Get Their Names
Who knew?!
Play Video
Though Irma could have spelled doom for the beloved park, cast members and crew worked tirelessly before the storm to ensure it was as protected as possible from the elements.

According to HelloGiggles, as soon as the storm clouds cleared, cast members got to work cleaning up leaves and fallen trees to ensure Disney looked as pristine as ever.

Sadly, according to cast members sharing details on social media, the World Famous Jungle Cruise will remain closed for the rest of the week. Cast member reported that the maintenance dock backstage was badly damaged in the storm and boats can no longer get to the track, meaning it will need extensive repairs.


Additionally, HelloGiggles reported, the Walt Disney World railroad is closed due to debris on the track, along with Tom Sawyer’s Island.

Over in the Animal Kingdom, several attractions remain offline including Kilimanjaro Safaris, Kali River Rapids, Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, and Rafiki’s Planet Watch, but this appears to be due to cleanup efforts and not actual damage to the rides. And don’t worry — all the animals who live in the park were safely housed during the storm.

Thankfully, the park’s biggest attractions including Space Mountain and Tower of Terror remain unaffected, as they are both housed indoors. For more updates, travelers should regularly check Disney’s own blog.

While the Walt Disney World resorts escaped major damage from Hurricane Irma, cleanup efforts on some attractions are taking a little longer than expected to get up and running.

Both the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villas resorts remain closed. So does Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park.

That means two popular attractions held at Fort Wilderness – the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ – have been cancelled up to and including Sept. 19. The park is offering refunds to all guests who had planned to attend the dinner theater shows.

Originally, Disney expected to reopen Treehouse Villas on the 14th. Updated estimates from the company now tentatively schedule that for Sept. 17. Fort Wilderness will remain closed until next week as the company continues cleanup operations.

Among park rides, the official Disney World app lists a few attractions as “temporarily closed”. These include the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom and Gorilla Falls Exploration Trial and Kali Rover Rapids in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Three other attractions – the Jungle Cruise, Splash Mountain and the Hall of Presidents – were already closed for refurbishments. (Disney officials did not immediately reply when asked if the storm caused any ride closures.)

The good news is Walt Disney World, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are all operating under normal hours and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, which was closed after Irma, has once again reopened.

Outside of the Orlando area, Disney’s Vero Beach and Hilton Head Island resorts will remain closed for an undefined period.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *