I’m Heading To Disney World. Should I Be Worried About Hurricane Dorian?
Hurricane Season can certainly be a tense time for Disney travelers. Though there has yet to be a storm in 2019 that has impacted Disney World, during the next few months it is always a possibility. With meteorologists carefully tracking Dorian as it heads toward the US coast, we here at MickeyBlog though we’d preempt any questions you may have about what to expect regarding the storm and its potential impact for visitors.
As of going to print, reports are that Dorian will continue to gain strength as it moves towards the eastern Caribbean and could become a hurricane as it passes Puerto Rico which is slated to happen later this week. Though Tropical Storm Warnings have currently been issued for Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the projected path of the Tropical Storm is currently forecast to make landfall on the east coast of the Dominican Republic early Thursday morning and weaken after that with no heavy impact set for the U.S.
However, as many Hurricane watchers know, anything can change. If it does make landfall in Florida it could increase the chances of rain for Disney World visitors. Disney is very good at keeping guests updated as to the potential impact of inclement weather but here are a few things it may be helpful to know.
Walt Disney World sits approximately 50 miles from Florida’s east coast. Various tracking models suggest that Dorian may make landfall in Florida in the area of Port St. Lucie to Port Canaveral. However, it’s still early days. Here’s a quick look at projections.
— Andrew Wulfeck (@andrewwulfeck) August 26, 2019
The spaghetti models show the predicted paths of Dorian. As you can see, most of the tracks take the storm over Florida. There are a couple of exceptions that would see Dorian making a turn due north (in pink) or due south (in navy).
What days could be impacted by the storm? As far as timing goes, Dorian is anticipated to impact Florida on Sunday, September 1st likely making landfall on Monday, September 2nd.
So What Should You Expect If A Hurricane Impacts Your Disney Stay?
Can I re-book or get a refund if Walt Disney World closes due to a Hurricane? If the National Hurricane Center for the Orlando area officially issues a Hurricane Warning within 7 days of your scheduled arrival date, guests are able to reschedule or cancel your Walt Disney World vacation package.
For those opting to reschedule: Disney will make every attempt to match the booking that you are cancelling to a new booking. However, Disney cannot guarantee you that the same resort/room category will be available. Also a word to the wise: 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.
Guests should also note that Disney can only re-book the Disney portion of your stay (including accommodation, ticket and dining.) Flights, car rentals, and any other bookings made with outside companies are subject to the hurricane policies of those individual companies.
Will rides and attractions still be open in bad weather? This varies depending on the impact. It’s safe to assume that Walt Disney World will remain open even if the weather is a bit on the nasty side. However, Disney will close rides and attractions especially those outdoors should the weather take a turn. So don’t be expecting to ride Expedition Everest during a bad storm.
Does Walt Disney World offer travel protection? If you are travelling during Hurricane Season and are worried about the impact that inclement weather may have on your trip then you can always take out a travel insurance policy just for that extra little bit of security. Disney offers insurance for $82.50 per adult and $6 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.
As of going to print, it doesn’t look like early September Walt Disney World visitors have too much to worry about when it comes to Dorian. However, in the event that you do find yourself in Walt Disney World during a severe storm or hurricane, its always good to familiarize yourself with the policies and to keep communicating with Cast Members and your Travel Agent who are there to assist you and keep you and your family safe. But, we here at MickeyBlog hope at the same time that we have placated your fears over your vacation being drastically affected by bad weather and in the case of a Hurricane Warning, given you the reassurance that you do have options.
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