Walt Disney World to close ahead of Hurricane Matthew

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Walt Disney World and other Disney attractions in Orlando, Florida, will close on Thursday at 5 p.m. and remain closed through Friday, due to Hurricane Matthew's expected landfall in the state.

Matthew already has swept through parts of the Caribbean, killing more than 100 people. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has called for immediate evacuation in areas expected to be affected by the storm.

Disney was among the last to announce closures, as Universal Orlando Resort said Thursday morning that its theme parks and CityWalk entertainment complex will close at 5 p.m. Thursday and stay closed Friday. SeaWorld in Orlando announced Wednesday that it will close at 2 p.m. Thursday and stay shuttered Friday. Legoland will close at 4 p.m. and will also remain closed through Friday, though the Legoland Hotel will be open to admit arriving guests.

Closures of theme parks are rare, but do happen when the safety of park visitors is in question. Theme parks have closed in 2004 for Hurricane Charley, for example, and in 1999 for Hurricane Floyd, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

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Florida prepares for Hurricane Matthew
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Florida prepares for Hurricane Matthew
People line up to fill their LP propane gas cylinders in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew, in Coral Springs, Florida, U.S. October 5, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
Downtown Miami is pictured in this aerial photo as clouds begin to form in advance of Hurricane Matthew in Miami, Florida, U.S. October 5, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri 
A man carries tanks filled with gas while other people line up to fill their cars with gas in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew, in Coral Springs, Florida, U.S. October 5, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
Workers remove umbrellas at Caffe Milano in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew in South Beach, Florida, U.S., October 5, 2016. REUTERS/Javier Galeano
Workers put up plywood in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew in Miami Beach, Florida, U.S., October 5, 2016. REUTERS/Javier Galeano
People line up to fill their LP propane gas cylinders in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew, in Coral Springs, Florida, U.S. October 5, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
Workers remove umbrellas at the Starlite Hotel in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew in South Beach, Florida, U.S. October 5, 2016. REUTERS/Javier Galeano
Workers tie chairs in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew in South Beach, Florida, U.S. October 5, 2016. REUTERS/Javier Galeano
People queue as they flock to the supermarket to take care of last minute shopping in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew, in Coral Springs, Florida, U.S. October 5, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
People line up to fill their cars with gas in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew, in Coral Springs, Florida, U.S. October 5, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
People line up to fill their cars with gas in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew, in Coral Springs, Florida, U.S. October 5, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
People line up to fill their LP propane gas cylinders in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew, in Coral Springs, Florida, U.S. October 5, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
Residents buy wooden boards at a store in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew, in Coral Springs, Florida, U.S. October 5, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
DELRAY BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 06: Danny Askins and Brenden Kavana (R) put up hurricane shutters as they prepare the Sandwiches Sea restaurant as Hurricane Matthew approaches the area on October 6, 2016 in Delray Beach, United States. The hurricane is expected to make landfall sometime this evening or early in the morning as a category 4 storm. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 06: Kevin Forde (L) and John Haughey put up plywood on a window as they prepare for Hurricane Matthew as it approaches the area on October 6, 2016 in Miami Beach, United States. The hurricane is expected to make landfall sometime this evening or early in the morning as a category 4 storm. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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