Tourists disappointed as storm shuts Orlando theme parks

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Tropical Weather Florida_367175

Park guests depart from Universal Studios, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. Leaving more than 100 dead in its wake across the Caribbean, Hurricane Matthew steamed toward heavily populated Florida with terrifying winds of 140 mph Thursday, and 2 million people across the Southeast were warned to flee inland. In inland Orlando, Walt Disney […]

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Tourists who flock to Orlando’s major theme parks were disappointed Thursday when all of them closed early because of Hurricane Matthew and planned to stay shut down until Saturday.

“I never get time off,” said Amber Klinkel, 25, of Battle Creek, Michigan, who was visiting the Universal park with her mother and younger sister. “I’m a little sad.”

Universal and Walt Disney World both planned to close down at 5 p.m. Thursday, with SeaWorld shutting its gates at 2 p.m. The parks are among the most-visited tourist destinations in the world.

Anthony Leotta, who arrived Thursday from Long Island, New York, said he was going to try to get a refund at Universal. Leotta, who is visiting with his wife, said they are leaving on a cruise Sunday and will probably have just a single day at the theme park.

“I paid for three days at the park and I’m only going to be able to use one,” Leotta said.

Carlos Rodriguez, who said he lives in New Jersey but didn’t give a hometown, planned to do as much as possible at Universal before it closed Thursday.

“We will try not to walk away empty-handed,” he said. “Can’t blame them for a hurricane. But you can blame them for closing too early.”

Facebook has activated its Safety Check for areas affected by the storm. Click here to check on your family and friends.Do you know any Southern New Englanders currently in Florida or the Carolinas who are impacted by the storm? If they’d be willing to be interviewed for a news story, please contact Eyewitness News at (401) 438-3310 or email desk@wpri.com.Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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