Walt Disney World during Hurricane Season can be a little tough. But, as avid travelers committed to visiting every September we deal with it. This means we learn more things about hurricanes and Walt Disney World than 3 girls from Ohio should know. In the wake of yet another hurricane in Florida we wanted to share all the links and things to know we’ve learned so far for the Disney Hurricane Season in Florida.
Disney World Hurricane Information
This post is meant to be a one stop shop for some quick tips on Hurricane Season at Walt Disney World. Since we are NOT Floridians and know nothing about what it actually means to board up a window in preparation for a Category 4 Hurricane, just know that we are defaulting to the experts here in the hopes that it may be helpful to you. Whether you’re escaping to Walt Disney World for top-notch protection or just wondering how a hurricane affects your vacation know that you are not alone!
Walt Disney World Weather Updates and Hurricane Policy
Walt Disney World has a Weather Updates Page that keeps you up to date of closings of the parks and resorts. If visiting Walt Disney World during Hurricane Season this is the page where they will announce closings. Additionally be sure to follow @waltdisneyworld on twitter, and the hashtag for whatever hurricane is present. This is your best bet for the most up to date information.
Hurricane Season in Florida lasts June 1- Nov 30th.
Changing Disney Vacation Plans
Walt Disney World additionally has all the Hurricane FAQ’s here for cancellations, airline issues, rescheduling a vacation and more! This pertains primarily to vacation arrivals and departures within 7 days of the National Hurricane Center issuing a Hurricane Warning. If needing to cancel, or change your reservation know that phone wait times could be up to 2 hours in some cases as everyone will be changing their vacation plans to either stay longer or leave earlier.
National Hurricane Center Radar and News
Whether your’e in Florida, traveling or actually at Walt Disney World during the storm season keep an eye on the NHC website. And be sure to follow the NHC Twitter feed here: @NWSNHC for minute to minute updates!
Walt Disney World Hurricane Best Practices
Walt Disney World is no stranger to damaging hurricane storms. While we’re sure each one provides it’s own set of challenges, there are a few things to know about how Walt Disney World adjusts during a hurricane threat.
- Guest Safety is top priority and the parks will close if needed
- Sometimes Walt Disney World will make resort adjustments depending on the hurricane situation. Again, always refer to the weather updates page for details. In the past guests staying at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Copper Creek Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort were affected.
- Ride-out teams are put in place for the resorts and the parks. Cast members on these teams are responsible for the safety of guests. Resort ride-out teams will often prepare games, activities and other things to occupy guests during storms. And help keep the mood cheery during scary times.
- Curfews for Resort guests are put in place and guests are encouraged to stay put at their own resort.
- Sandbags, concrete blocks to hold down fences and construction elements are in place days before a possible Hurricane landfall
- Resort guests will receive hard copies of the resort plan- where to access food, operating hours and game plan. You will also receive a flashlight.
- The channel your Disney Resort TV defaults to will also have up to date information, so make sure to tune in for news.
Walt Disney World May be the Best Place to Be
In 2017 when we arrived right after Hurricane Irma, so many people shared that their communities had no power, and that coming to Walt Disney World just seemed to be the next best option. You get hot showers, electric and access to food. Cast members additionally shared this before we left Florida this week and take pride that they know what they are doing and can clean it up fast! They also shared that the iconic Disney monuments like Cinderella’s castle and Spaceship Earth should be safe and sound as they are built to withstand hurricanes.
Hurricane Things Floridians Know
In general many situations become less scarier if you know what to do. Since Orlando sees a lot of transplants from other states each year, we know many that are still learning the ropes in regards to Hurricane Prep. Whether you’re trying to figure out what to do next from your new home in Florida, or just a vacationer wondering how better you can prepare yourself and your family, here’s a little checklist of things to read up on.
- Hurricane Preparation Shopping List
- State of Florida Hurricane Details and Preparation Tips
- Basic Hurricane Survival Packing List
- Hurricane Safety by the American Red Cross
Hurricanes and Walt Disney World
By no means comprehensive, we hope this post gives you a few more details than you had before on how Walt Disney World handles hurricanes. We’ll be sure to update this post as we learn more so that you can be better prepared for your Hurricane Season travel.
Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.