Disney During a Hurricane


Hurricane season isn’t just a few weeks in Orlando it’s months – running from the 1st of June until the 30th of November. Just as we discussed what to pack, what to bring, and what to wear in another blog post, it’s essential to know how your trip might be affected if you decide to book your Walt Disney World vacation during hurricane season. 

First, hurricane season is half the year! You can’t avoid some of the warmest months to travel and some of the slowest crowd months to travel based on hurricane precautions alone. Fortunately, Disney is flexible and has multiple options built into reservations to allow tickets and travel plans to be rescheduled for any reason personal or meterological. If a hurricane warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center for the Orlando area within one week of your arrival date you may call in advance to reschedule or cancel. This also applies to a hurricane warning for the area of your home. When booking with Walt Disney Travel Company such as through the WDW website, changes or cancellations to your vacation can be made until 31 days in advance of your trip without a fee. If you cancel your reservation 30 days or less in advance there will be a cancellation fee of $200. If you cancel within one day of arrival or do not show up for your reservation there is no refund. Changes to reservations that result in a lower rate for hotel, tickets, or airfare within 30 days or less prior to arrival will result in a $50 fee. Advanced dining reservations, FastPass+, and discounts will be lost but can be rebooked.

But what if you’re already at your hotel and suddenly Hurricane Thanos is approaching over warm  waters. What do you do? WDW is very prepared to deal with weather. And no they don’t deconstruct Cinderella’s castle (#Mythbuster). During a storm all guests will stay in their hotels as the theme parks will be closed. Water and food will be provided – mostly in food court style areas or as directed by Cast Members. Entertainment such as table top games, dvds, performers, activities and characters will be available as entertainment in the resort hotels for guests. When deciding whether to weather the weather (#punnyaren’tI) or reschedule a Disney reservation, remember that although Disney is prepared for extreme weather that does not make it safer. If you are able to reschedule your Disney trip to another time once a hurricane is forecast it is worth it to maximize your trip, keep your family safe, and help your loved ones sleep at night.

Photo from WDW Radio
The build up to a hurricane causes traffic jams as people leave the area; food and water shortages as people stock up on supplies; and long lines at gas station as people fuel their vehicles and emergency power generators. Flights in and out of area will be cancelled and rescheduled. Spaghetti models can be wrong and hurricanes are a force of nature which Disney cannot control – despite its growing influences. Being at Disney during a storm means missing out on 2-3 days of rides, attractions, and food – including costly Dining Dining Plan credits (especially if you’re using the Free Dining Program). Disney provides the opportunity to reschedule or cancel trip plans and is not an option that should be overlooked. Take advantage of their flexibility and be flexible in return! Visit Disney again when you can enjoy the parks, foods, and fun without the threat of Big Purple Chin breathing down your neck.

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