By Janine Puhak
Published September 04, 2019
Take heart, Mouseketeers - Walt Disney World reopened to the public on Wednesday morning, resuming a mostly normal schedule of operations, as Hurricane Dorian churns in the Atlantic, roughly 95 miles east of Daytona Beach, Fla.
“The Happiest Place on Earth” was forced to close its theme parks on Tuesday in response to the storm, shutting down in the mid-afternoon.
On Sept. 4, the company announced that Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs, Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and miniature golf at Winter Summerland and Fantasia Gardens would all be open as of 10 a.m. An online notice detailed that Blizzard Beach Water Park remains closed, while Extra Magic Hours will not be available today.
"We continue to track the progress of the storm and are making operational adjustments as needed, because nothing is more important than the safety of our guests and cast members,” Disney said.
Theme park visitors are advised to check back for updates.
In response to Dorian’s serious devastation in the Bahamas, reps for the entertainment giant announced that the Walt Disney Company and Disney Cruise Line will be donating $1 million to recovery and relief efforts in the area.
“The Walt Disney Company stands with the people of The Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian,” Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said of the news. “We hope our $1 million donation will provide much-needed relief and help our neighbors, colleagues, and all those impacted by this devastating storm begin the long process of recovery as they work to put their lives and communities back together.”
“The Bahamas is such a special place to us and our guests, and we have watched the devastation created by Hurricane Dorian with concern and heartache,” added Jeff Vahle, president of Disney Cruise Line. “We stand with the Bahamian people, and especially those in Abaco and Grand Bahama, as they recover from the worst storm to ever make landfall in The Bahamas.”
“As the needs in these communities are assessed, we are prepared to aid the relief and recovery efforts through funding, the provision of supplies and by providing support to our Bahamian Crew Members,” Vahler said.
The funds will be given to non-profit relief agencies tackling “recovery and rebuilding efforts,” including the provision of food and basic construction supplies to those in impacted areas, the release detailed.
Dorian's punishing winds and torrential rain have battered the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, which have a combined population of about 70,000 and are known for their marinas, golf courses and all-inclusive resorts.
The Grand Bahama airport was under 6 feet of water and at least five deaths have been reported.
The United Nations and the International Red Cross began mobilizing to deal with the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the wake of the most powerful hurricane on record ever to hit the Bahamas.
After leveling the Bahamas with deadly and destructive force, Hurricane Dorian is heading toward the Southeast coast on Wednesday, hitting Florida with tropical storm conditions along the state's northeastern coast and threatening a potentially powerful landfall in the Carolinas later this week.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said at 8 a.m. EDT Wednesday the Category 2 storm’s maximum sustained winds were at 105 mph. Dorian was located about 95 miles east of Daytona Beach, Fla., moving north-northwestward at 8 mph.
Dorian's center is tracking offshore and nearly parallel to Florida's Atlantic shoreline, but is still bringing heavy rains and wind to the Sunshine State.
Over 18,000 people in Florida were said to be without power as of 6 a.m. on Wednesday, with the greatest number of outages being reported in Volusia and St. Johns counties, according to an update from the state's division of emergency management.
Fox News’ Travis Fedschun, Michael Hollan and The Associated Press contributed to this report.