Hurricanes at Walt Disney World: Everything You Need to Know!

Hurricanes at Walt Disney World is something to prepare for when planning your Disney vacation during hurricane season in Florida. Hurricane season typically takes place September-November so if you plan on a vacation during these months there's a chance your travel could be impacted by severe weather.

Keep reading for information on Walt Disney World's hurricane cancellation policy, updates on the most current storm impacting the resort and tips on how to plan your trip.

Walt Disney World Hurricane Updates

Updated November 9th, 2022 at 6 pm Eastern: Here is the latest operational update from Walt Disney World in regards to Hurricane Nicole.

Walt Disney World Theme Parks

Walt Disney World Resort theme parks will reopen in a phased approach beginning at 12:00 PM Thursday, November 10. Planned theme park operating hours based on current projections are as follows.

  • Magic Kingdom Park: Noon to 6:00 PM (Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is scheduled for 7:00 PM to midnight.)
  • EPCOT: 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park: 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios: 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM (Fantasmic! will not be presented on Thursday, November 10.)

Transportation to theme parks will begin 30 minutes prior to the scheduled park reopening time.

Reservations for bookable experiences within the theme parks will resume at the scheduled park reopening time

As previously shared, extended evening theme park hours at Magic Kingdom will be cancelled Wednesday, November 9.

To align with modified theme park hours, nighttime spectaculars will be cancelled Wednesday, November 9, including Disney Enchantment at Magic Kingdom park, Harmonious at EPCOT, and Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Partially used multi-day theme park tickets with a validity window impacted by Hurricane Nicole will be automatically extended within 24 hours to allow use of the remaining unused ticket days through September 20, 2023. In order to enter a park, both a park reservation and valid ticket for the same park on the same date are required.

WATER PARKS AND MINI GOLF

  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park will remain closed Thursday, November 10. (Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park is currently closed.)
  • Winter Summerland Miniature Golf and Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf will remain closed Thursday, November 10.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is anticipated to reopen Thursday, November 10, following an assessment of storm impacts.
  • Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa will reopen for Guests checking in Thursday, November 10.
  • At this time, all other Walt Disney World Resort hotels remain open to Guests.
  • Character breakfasts at Disney Resort hotels will not include Characters Thursday morning, November 10, so we can accommodate more Resort Guests staying at these locations for breakfast.

For Guests looking to modify or cancel their Disney Resort hotel reservations, please visit DisneyWorld.com/Plans.

Other Walt Disney World Experiences

The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser voyage scheduled to begin Thursday, November 10 will be cancelled. We are contacting Guests with reservations.

Dining and Enchanting Extras

Effective immediately, we will not enforce cancellation policies until further notice for dining and other experiences like Savi’s Workshop and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Guests with pre-paid reservations will be cancelled and refunded to the original form of payment.

Performances of Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground have been cancelled for Wednesday, November 9 and Thursday, November 10.

Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise has been cancelled for Wednesday, November 9.

Disney Springs

  • Disney Springs will begin a phased reopening at 12:00 PM, Thursday, November 10.
  • Disney Bus transportation from Disney Springs will resume at 2:00 PM Thursday, November 10.

This is the 10th time ever that Walt Disney World has closed for a hurricane over the last 50 years. The last time that the resort closed for a hurricane was only a month ago for Hurricane Ian.

You can find Walt Disney World's weather updates on their website which will cover any upcoming closures to be aware of and if this will impact the theme parks.

How Disney Goes Above and Beyond During Hurricanes

Take a look at this heartwarming photo of Disney characters comforting children at their hotel during Hurricane Ian at the Walt Disney World resort.

In response to our above post we received additional photos from inside the hotels where box meals were served, movies were playing the lobby, and characters were on hand to bring a lighter tone.

Over at the Disney Beach Club Resort Mickey and Pluto were out greeting guests.

And of course the Country Bear Jamboree.

And finally, my favorite, Doug and Russell from Up playing Uno with guests.

Walt Disney World Hurricane Cancellation Policy

If a hurricane warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center for the Orlando area—or for your place of residence—within 7 days of your scheduled arrival date, you may call in advance to reschedule or cancel your Walt Disney Travel Company Disney Resort hotel packages and most room only reservations (booked directly with Disney) without any cancellation or change fees imposed by Disney. This policy does not apply to certain special events or dining experiences.

Keep in mind if you have products/services from third-parties included in your vacation- airlines, hotels, car rentals- you will be responsible for any non refundable payments.

This policy also applies to Disney's Vero Beach Resort or Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort in the event a hurricane warning is issued for those destinations. The policy only applies to Walt Disney Travel Company Disney Resort hotel packages, as well as rooms and packages for sports groups.

The policy does not apply to rooms or packages for youth groups, other groups and special events. It also does not apply to meetings and conventions.

If you booked with a third party travel agency, you need to contact them directly as they may have different policies in place than Disney.

You can call (407) 939-7675 with any questions and to reschedule your vacation in the event of a hurricane warning.

I received a special offer when I booked my vacation with the Walt Disney Travel Company. If a hurricane warning is issued within 7 days of my arrival date and I reschedule, will I get the same special offer?

Cast Members will be able to reschedule your vacation to your new desired travel dates if the same special offer is available. If the same special offer is not available Cast Members will assist by identifying alternate offers during your new desired travel dates. All amounts you paid to the Walt Disney Travel Company for rooms, park tickets, dining plans and other Disney products and services will be applied toward your new reservation.

Any discounts or special offers applicable to your original confirmed vacation may not apply to the rescheduled vacation travel dates. You are responsible for applicable package pricing for the new vacation dates.

If I reschedule my vacation to a different date because of a hurricane warning, will I be able to get my same accommodations?

If you are scheduled to arrive within 7 days of a hurricane warning, you may call us in advance to reschedule without a Disney imposed change fee. We cannot guarantee availability of similar accommodations for the new travel dates. All amounts you paid to Disney for rooms, theme park tickets, dining plans and other Disney products and services will be applied toward your new reservation.

Any discounts or special offers applicable to your original confirmed vacation will not apply to the rescheduled vacation travel dates. You are responsible for applicable package pricing for the new vacation dates.

The policy does not apply to certain special events and dining experiences.

Should You Cancel Your Disney World Vacation?

This is a hard question to answer for a number of reasons.

Largely, this is subjective as everyone will have different preferences on how they will want to handle a potential impact of a hurricane at Walt Disney World. Hurricanes are also extremely unpredictable. The good news is that Orlando doesn't often get hit as hard as coastal towns since it's located in the middle of Florida so most of the storm has the possibility to tamper down before it reaches Walt Disney World.

While I can't speak to what you should or shouldn't do, I recommend reviewing Walt Disney World's cancellation policy (above) and tracking the weather as it leads up to your trip.

If the hurricane does not pose a safety risk, it will at the least have the impact of high winds and torrential rain during your visit and that may be enough for some guests to take advantage of the 7 day cancellation policy Walt Disney World offers and reschedule.

Ready to Plan Your Walt Disney World Vacation?

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About Lindsay Brookshier

Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the editor of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and writing Disney culture pieces on DisneyDose.com- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Visit Anaheim, Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.

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