What to Do If a Hurricane Hits While I’m at Disney World
Leave it to Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald—they have a plan.
You’ve saved all year long to take your family on their dream Disney vacation. You’ve had the reservations booked for months. And then it happens. A hurricane develops in the Atlantic and is aimed towards that most magical place on earth. What now? Disney has closed the parks due to weather less than 10 times since it opened in 1971. But sometimes, the weather just isn’t a match for Mickey and friends.
“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 Magic Your Way vacation package and most room only reservations (booked directly with Disney) without any cancellation or change fees imposed by Disney.”
Of course, this does not apply to any travel arrangements you’ve made with airlines or rental car companies. You will have to handle those individually with whichever airline or company you used for your booking.
But what if you don’t cancel? What if you carry on with your trip and chance the storm? Well, several bloggers have done just that and lived to tell the tale. In fact, some say it was a great experience. Blogger, Ziggy Knows Disney, rode out Hurricane Irma at Disney’s Beach Club resort and shared his experience in a post. He explained that he decided to carry on with his trip despite the forecast because he knew if he didn’t go then, due to his schedule, he couldn’t reschedule it for another year. He also said that he felt safe there as Disney has taken great care to build their resorts specifically to withstand the conditions a big storm brings. Right at check-in, Ziggy said he and his family were reassured that “the structures themselves are very strong and they would have plenty of food and drinks, and lots of entertainment to keep us occupied.” He also noted that in the days leading up to the storm making landfall, the parks were practically empty so there was nary a long line in sight. Once weather began to roll in and a state of emergency was declared for Florida, the Disney cast mates, as all employees are referred, swung into very well-planned action. Ziggy noted (and has photos on his blog to illustrate) that all guests received written instructions about what would happen and that they would be confined to the hotels until the weather cleared and outside conditions were deemed safe. And for those two days that the parks were closed and it wasn’t safe to go outside, the cast mates brought Disney inside the hotels with activities ranging from Disney trivia to a dog talent show to all the character visits you’d hope to have in the park itself. The restaurants inside the resort were stocked and ready too. While it’s always best to have a stash of survival items in a storm, including food and water, Ziggy noted that they didn’t even need theirs. You can read Ziggy’s full report of his trip here.
WATCH: 10 Essential Things To Do Before A Hurricane
But it appears that while a hurricane could derail your plans, you may still end up with a pretty magical adventure and one heck of a story to tell.