What to Know About Visiting Florida in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ian

Much of Florida is still open for business

Florida's Southern Gulf Coast Continues Clean Up Efforts In Wake Of Hurricane Ian
Sean Rayford / Getty Images

Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc on the Sunshine State last week when it made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in Cayo Costa, Flotrida, leveling the small communities of Fort Myers Beach, marooning residents in Sanibel Island, and stirring up flood and wind damage in Central Florida. Ian made history, in a multi-way tie, as the fifth-largest storm in U.S. history.

After Ian, much of Florida is still open for business, but some of the areas most affected by Hurricane Ian are asking for a timeout while they piece their communities back together; others may need a little leeway as they work to get fully back online. Many residences and businesses are still without power in affected areas. 

In a Sept. 30 Twitter post, the Fort Myers tourism board asked travelers to reschedule their travel plans to the area: “Hurricane Ian has devastated many of our islands, beaches, and neighborhoods. To our visitors, please refrain from entering the region until further notice.” 

As of Oct. 2, Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), which serves the Fort Myers area, announced plans to reopen on Oct. 5 on a limited schedule. Currently, Miami International Airport (MIA), Tampa International Airport (TPA), Orlando International Airport (MCO), and Key West International Airport (EYW) are all open and fully operational. 

Orlando theme parks are also up and running, some with slightly different schedules. SeaWorld Orlando will be open with the nightly Halloween-themed program "Howl-O-Scream" running from 7 p.m. to midnight. Aquatica Orlando is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Discovery Cove has its doors open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. All Disney theme parks, including the Typhoon Lagoon water park, are open, except for Blizzard Beach. 

In Tampa, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with "Howl-O-Scream" hours running from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Adventure Island, meanwhile, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m on weekends.

Key West sustained most of the damage along the island chain due to storm surges and fallen trees, the tourism authority said in a statement. “[The] major Florida Keys and Key West infrastructure remains intact throughout the 125-mile-long island chain,” the statement added. “Traffic is flowing as usual along the Florida Keys Overseas Highway, including all 42 bridges.” 

Ian also caused closure for a few of Florida’s cruise ports, including Port Canaveral (near Orlando), JAXPort in Jacksonville, and Port Tampa Bay. As of Oct. 3, 2022, all three closed ports have reopened with business as usual. 

Anyone traveling to parts of Florida heavily affected by Hurricane Ian should continue to check the status of their individual airline, cruise ship, and destination before departing. 

Article Sources
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  1. NBC New York. "Where Does Ian Rank All-Time? These Are Strongest Hurricanes to Make US Landfall." September 29, 2022.

  2. Southwest Florida International Airport. "Operational Updates: Hurricane Ian." October 2, 2022.

  3. Official Florida Keys Tourism Council. "After Ian, Florida Keys Infrastructure Intact; Key West Airport Open." October 2, 2022.