Updated Sep 30, 2022 - Economy

Florida store closures continue in Hurricane Ian aftermath, some theme parks reopen

People walk in Walt Disney World in Florida towards Cinderella Castle

Walt Disney World started a phased reopening of some of its Orlando parks Friday after being closed since Wednesday for Hurricane Ian. Photo: Laura Kerst/Axios

Florida's theme parks, including Disney World and Universal Studios, started reopening Friday, while Busch Gardens was planning to reopen Saturday after the state's major tourist attractions closed due to Hurricane Ian.

Why it matters: More than 1.8 million customers in the state remained without power Friday after the major storm made landfall in southwest Florida Wednesday and moved across the state, unleashing widespread life-threatening storm surge floods.

  • Hundreds of schools and stores across the state also shuttered ahead of the storm, though some reopened Friday.
  • Many airports said they planned to reopen Friday, including in Tampa and Orlando, after Ian canceled hundreds of flights earlier in the week.

Hurricane Ian closures

Be smart: Check with individual businesses near you to check on their status as constant changes are expected.

Busch Gardens closed through Saturday, Disney, Universal start phased reopenings

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay said on its website that the namesake park, Adventure Island, SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando, and Discovery Cove parks were closed Friday and expected to reopen on Saturday, Oct. 1.

Meanwhile, Disney said on its weather updates page that Typhoon Lagoon water park is "temporarily closed with a planned reopening on Sunday, Oct. 2."

  • Winter Summerland Miniature Golf and Fairways Miniature Golf will remain temporarily closed.

Universal Studios Orlando said on its website that it expected to "begin a phased reopen of portions of [its] destination for our hotel guests only beginning Friday" and additional updates would be posted on the website and social channels.

State of play: Legoland, also located in Orlando, remains closed Friday, the park said in a statement.

  • Kennedy Space Center's Visitor Complex remains closed Friday and will reopen Saturday.

Hurricane Ian school closings continue in Florida

More than 73% of Florida's 67 school districts remained closed Friday, according to the s Department of Education.

What's happening: The state website also now lists reopening dates with most schools saying they are closed through Friday and others noting they plan to reopen Monday.

  • Hardee and Sarasota school districts are "closed until further notice," the site says.

Walmart Hurricane Ian store closings stretch through Carolinas

Walmart has begun to reopen some of the more than 200 stores and Sam's Club locations that were listed as closed in Florida on Thursday.

  • As of Friday, 124 stores were listed as closed in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, according to a map that will be updated.

Details: For some of the closed stores, pickup and delivery are available, the map notes.

What they're saying: "Walmart, Sam’s Club and the Walmart Foundation are committing up to $6 million to recovery and relief efforts," the retailer said on a Hurricane Ian facility status page.

Separately, Lowe's said it will donate $2 million to nonprofit Pro customers and disaster relief partners, including the American Red Cross and others, to support relief efforts in Florida.

Publix store closings from Hurricane Ian

Publix, Florida's largest grocery store chain, has a map on its website with each store’s status, and as of Friday afternoon, 196 stores had modified hours, which in most cases means they are temporarily closed.

  • The map is being updated with new information such as reopening dates and times. Many stores reopened Friday throughout Florida.
  • Some Publix stores in South Carolina and North Carolina are listed as having modified hours, the map shows.

National parks hurricane closures continue

The National Park Service is updating park closures on its severe weather response website.

Details: There were park closings in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina listed on Friday.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional and new information. Some businesses and updates included in earlier versions of this story have been removed.

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