Hurricane Dorian is still off-coast, but guests at Walt Disney World are already looking ahead to how the storm might affect their trip — either with a Florida coast impact, or just a week’s worth of rain. We know there’s a lot to be concerned about when a storm is approaching — particularly if you’re not from an area that typically gets large, active systems like a hurricane.
So we’re bringing you some basics of what you need to know if a hurricane threatens Walt Disney World.
Logistics of Hurricanes in Florida
Hurricane season in 2019 officially runs from June 1 through November 30 (though the first storm of the 2019 season was named on May 20), with the bulk of the action taking place in August through October. Though Florida is frequently in the path of tropical storms and hurricanes, the entire hurricane season on average sees six hurricanes, three of which are (on average) major (meaning category 3 and up).
But even if hurricanes manage to reach central Florida, they’re often significantly weakened at that point.
Hurricane Impacts at Walt Disney World
That said, Disney World does consider closing the Parks if a serious storm approaches. And in 2017, they did close the parks when Irma hit as a category 4 hurricane. During Irma, Park and Resort personnel secured loose items like pool chairs, and wrapped light fixtures.
What Happens If You’re At Disney World When A Hurricane Hits?
During Irma, Disney instructed guests with external rooms — rooms not in the same building as the lobby and dining — to remain in their rooms. They provided flashlights in guest rooms as well.
Guests could also purchase packaged meals and snacks in Resort food courts and dining locations (these included items like sandwiches, chips, and fruit). And if your room was in the same building as the lobby and common guest areas, Disney also provided amenities like movie marathons, character meets, and things for the kids to do.
Special and discounted meals were also offered at resort table-service locations. For example, Yachtsman Steakhouse in Disney’s Yacht Club resort opened to offer extra meals to those staying at the resort.
Hurricane Cancellations and Travel Cost Refunds at Disney World
Disney World has a Hurricane Policy that answers FAQs about cancellations and refunds — click here to read Disney’s hurricane policies.
And if you’d like to read about Disney World’s precautions during Hurricane Irma, click here for info about:
- how Disney handled Advance Dining Reservations during a Hurricane,
- how Disney managed cancellations around the Resort during the Hurricane, and
- how long it took the Disney World Parks to reopen after the Hurricane.
DFB Guide also put together this YouTube video with information about weather at Disney World — including hurricane tips!
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Have you endured a hurricane or major storm while at Walt Disney World? Share your experiences below!