Hurricane season is a scary time of year for the residents of Florida, but Hurricane Matthew is giving the Sunshine State a real reason to panic!
On Thursday, Disney announced it is taking the rare step of shutting down its Orlando theme parks due to forecasts for the powerful Category 4 storm, which is predicted to hit land Thursday night or early Friday.
The company said on its website that parks and other attractions in the area, like Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, will remained closed through Friday, releasing the statement:
"Based on the most recent forecasts for Hurricane Matthew, Walt Disney World theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs, miniature golf courses and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will all be closed today by 5 p.m. and will remain closed through Friday, Oct. 7."
This park-wide shutdown is only the fourth time Walt Disney World has been closed since its 1971 opening, and each time was because of a threatening hurricane — Floyd in 1999, Frances in 2004, and Jeanne in 2004.
President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency for Florida on Thursday afternoon, and Governor Rick Scott said Florida could see its biggest evacuation ever.
Authorities in the state have issued an emergency alert urging residents to seek shelter immediately: