What to Do When A Hurricane Threatens Disney World
Hurricane Michael is churning and strengthening in the Gulf of Mexico while making its way to Florida. It is supposed to make landfall on the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday. As of right now, there is no immediate threat to Orlando other than some possible heavy rain and strong wind gusts. But since it is still hurricane season until November 1st, here are some things you may want to know if you were to visit Disney World during an impending hurricane.
More than likely, Disney World will remain open if the weather becomes nasty, but that doesn’t mean some of the attractions won’t be closed. Any outdoor rides that are open to the elements will close. So don’t expect to ride Slinky Dog Dash if it starts thundering and lightning. It’s best to head to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, or Hollywood Studios, as a lot of the attractions are indoors and they will remain open.
Disney has surprisingly only closed just a handful of times for hurricanes, most notably Hurricane Irma last year and Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Full park closures don’t happen very often.
If you are within 7 days of your scheduled arrival and the National Hurricane Center issues a Hurricane Warning for the Orlando area, Guest who call in advance will be able to reschedule or cancel your vacation with no penalty. For those looking to reschedule- Disney will make every attempt to match the booking that you are canceling to a new booking.
However, Disney cannot guarantee you that your same resort/room category will be available. When cancellations and re-bookings do happen, Disney can get swamped and rooms for subsequent dates book up really quickly. Guests are advised to try to make changes as soon as possible. Similarly, if guests booked under a discount offer, but the new travel dates fall during offer blackout dates, the original discount offer may not be applied.
If you are traveling during Hurricane Season and are worried about the impact that inclement weather may have on your trip then take out travel insurance just for that extra little bit of security. Disney offers insurance through Aon Affinity and the cost is $77.50 per adult and $5.50 per child. If booking your vacation directly through Disney or working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, get in touch to have insurance added to your package. Policy details can be found here.
In the event that you do find yourself in Walt Disney World during a severe storm or hurricane, familiarize yourself with the safety procedures, pack lots of rainy day clothes and ponchos, and keep communicating with Cast Members who are there to assist you and keep you and your family safe. But, I hope at the same time, this article has placated your fears over your vacation being drastically affected by bad weather or at least helped you find comfort in the fact that in the case of a Hurricane Warning, you do have options.
Are you ready to start planning your magical Disney vacation? As an agent with MickeyTravels, (designated with Platinum Earmarked status by Disney), I’ll be available to help with everything from finding your perfect package to nabbing those hard-to-get dining and Fastpass reservations. Best of all my services are absolutely FREE! Get in touch at 843-288-1130, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow along on Facebook.