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 August 30, 2023: We are tracking a new hurricane, Hurricane Idalia, that is predicted to hit the Gulf Coast on Wednesday as it intensifies into a strong hurricane. It is expected to make landfall north of Tampa but could potentially shift in the trick which is a common occurrence with hurricanes.
Florida officials are giving locals the warning to close schools, prepare for evacuations, and potentially close airports ahead of the storm hitting the coast while the National Guard stands on call. This is expected to be a “major hurricane” according to Florida officials.
Walt Disney World has activated its hurricane policy so any change and cancelation fees will be waived for check-in dates of August 28, 2023, through September 5, 2023. This was extended from previously ending on September 4, 2023.
Currently, Walt Disney World has announced that “Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park and miniature golf courses will be closed on Wednesday, Aug. 30. The remainder of Walt Disney World Resort continues to operate under normal conditions. We are closely monitoring the path of the projected weather as we continue to prioritize the safety of our Guests and Cast Members. ”
They have also offered some recommendations for guests staying at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground to secure any loose items that may blow away due to high winds. We will keep updating this article as we track the hurricane and how it might impact guests visiting Walt Disney World. You can read the full update below from Walt Disney World.
Walt Disney World Theme Parks
Walt Disney World Resort is currently operating under normal conditions. We are closely monitoring the path of the projected weather as we continue to prioritize the safety of our Guests and Cast Members.
Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
- For Guests staying at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground: As we continue to monitor the weather, we are asking that all Fort Wilderness Guests remove and stow all outside items, including tents and décor, and take in camper awnings by 6 PM on Tuesday, August 29. If you’d like to depart early or discuss alternate options for your vacation, please contact us at (407) 939-2744.
Last updated on August 30, 2023 at 9:00 AM
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.
Discount for Florida Residents Evacuating
Walt Disney World has announced a discount for Florida residents evacuating from the storms and first responders assisting in storm-related recovery efforts of 50% off Disney Resort stays on the evenings of August 29-31, 2023.
For evacuees, please call 407-W-DISNEY for details. For first responders, please call 407-828-3200 (Option 3). This applies to new bookings only and is based on availability.
Walt Disney World has commonly acted as a staging area for storm-related recovery efforts during hurricanes and tropical storms in Florida.
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 nonrefundable 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 the 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 the 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 the 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.
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