Florida theme parks prepare to reopen after Nicole: Disney World, Universal Orlando opening later Thursday

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Orange County through Thursday afternoon as forecasters warn of the possibility of 45- to 55-mph peak winds. Walt Disney World Resort parks and Universal Orlando will reopen Thursday later in the day. Seaworld Orlando remains closed Thursday.

FOX Weather's live coverage of Tropical Storm Nicole continues Thursday as it moves inland across Florida. Follow the FOX Weather Wire for the latest information.

Tropical Storm Nicole washed out plans for some theme parkgoers in Central Florida ahead of the storm's landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on Florida's east coast Thursday morning.

Nicole made landfall near Vero Beach, Florida, around 3 a.m. Thursday, bringing 75-mph winds to Florida's east coast. After landfall, the storm was downgraded to a tropical storm and continues to make its way across the peninsula.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Orange County through Thursday afternoon as forecasters warn of the possibility of 45- to 55-mph peak winds.

Around 11 a.m. the Orlando International Airport recorded a wind gust of 47 mph, according to the National Weather Service.


On Wednesday, Central Florida's most popular theme parks closed early due to Nicole.

Walt Disney World Resort theme parks closed early Wednesday evening and remain closed through Thursday morning.

Disney is planning a phased opening of its park Thursday afternoon once the worst of Nicole's wind and rain has passed.

Here's a look at the schedule:

  • Animal Kingdom: Opens Thursday at 1 p.m.
  • Hollywood Studios: Opens Thursday at 2 p.m.
  • Magic Kingdom: Opens Thursday at noon.
  • EPCOT: Opens Thursday at 1 p.m.

Disney Springs will reopen at noon Thursday.

Walt Disney World Water Parks and Miniature Golf locations remain closed Thursday, including Winter Summerland Miniature Golf, Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf.

Guests staying at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and the Teehouse Villas at Saratoga Springs Resort were told to leave by 3 p.m. Wednesday. Disney said it worked to find alternate accommodations for those guests. 

Keep checking this link for additional closures and park hours.

Universal Orlando's Volcano Bay water park closed Wednesday.

Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and CityWalk remained open for most of Wednesday and closed at 5 p.m.

Once park officials can assess the conditions, Universal Orlando Resort will reopen in a phased or delayed capacity on Thursday.

Universal Orlando guests can check this link for any updates on hours and operations.

Seaworld Orlando, Aquatica and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will remain closed on Thursday. The parks will reopen on Friday. For park hours, click here.

Legoland and Peppa Pig Theme Park in Winter Haven, Florida delayed opening until noon on Thursday. The Legoland Water Park will be closed Thursday.