Disney World can direct most things about your magical vacation- but the one thing they can’t manage is the weather in Disney World. That, my friends, is out of Mickey’s control! Be sure you know about the Walt Disney World Hurricane Policy and how it might affect you in the future.
Alright, Disney fans. Concerns about the weather in Disney World are real; it is located in Florida so severe weather can impact your vacation. I know you have a lot of questions about the Walt Disney World Hurricane Policy in particular.
I get it.
Who wants to see all that money, time, effort, and planning get blown away? It’s not very magical, Mother Nature!
The good news is that Disney World has a plan in place and, like everything they do, they want to cater to their guests with safety in mind. They know you will be worried about, well, everything if you are trapped on site when a hurricane hits.
Know your options if the weather in Disney World turns bad (or a hurricane warning is issued) before you travel.
Here is the official policy Walt Disney World Hurricane Policy and what it might mean for you.
Walt Disney World Hurricane Policy
First of all, hurricanes are predictable- and not-so-predictable. While a weather in Disney World forecast can look daunting for Florida, these storms can and do change course, often at the last minute.
So don’t panic.
As a side note- I lived in central Florida during the summer of 2004 when we were hit 4 times by hurricanes. And Disney still stood strong!
I remember how shocked the community was when Disney World decided to close for one day in anticipation for Hurricane Jeanne because, well, Disney World never closes.
In fact, Disney World has only closed four times previously due to hurricanes, and usually for just one or two days at a time. The likelihood that your vacation can continue is high, even if you’ll get a little wet in the process.
Current Weather in Disney World
You might be heading there shortly! If so, be sure to check out the current weather in Disney World. And I’ll admit it- I do a little weather stalking myself. I can’t help it! When I’m not there, I’m often Disney dreaming that I am there!
This information on the current weather in Disney World is fairly accurate and updates hourly.
Travel Insurance In Case Weather in Disney World Goes Wrong
While it’s likely too late to hear this for trips planned during Irma, if you have any travel to the Orlando area scheduled through the remainder of hurricane season (runs from June 1 to November 30), you might want to consider travel insurance.
It is non-refundable, but it’s also invaluable should a major event like a hurricane interrupts your travels.
Disney sells it with their packages and it costs $77.50 per adult.
There are other reputable stand-alone providers available as well such as Allianz and Travel Guard.
Disney World Hurricane Policy Cancellation Options
Here’s the scoop from the Disney World website.
To sum up: if you or your travel agent booked directly through Disney, you could reschedule or cancel without fees.
Q. What does it mean for my vacation plans if a hurricane warning is issued within 7 days of my arrival date?
A. 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.
If you have products and services provided by third-party suppliers included in your vacation—such as airlines, hotels, car rental agencies or vacation insurance companies—you will continue to be responsible for any non-refundable payments, as well as cancellation or change fees assessed by those suppliers.
You can read more in detail on Walt Disney World’s Hurricane FAQ page.
Can I Keep My Free Dining Due To Bad Weather in Disney World?
Or any other discount that I am currently booked with if I change dates?
Unfortunately, Disney will not be able to honor discounts such as free dining if you need to reschedule for another date.
If the same discount is available on your new date, then yes, of course, you can book it! But Disney won’t create a free dining opportunity if one does not exist due to the hurricane.
Your travel agent can help you navigate those waters and rebook.
If Weather in Disney World Cancels Your Plans: Don’t Forget to Cancel Those Dining Reservations
When you booked your dining reservations, you provided a credit card and clicked a box saying that a no-show would end up costing you $10 per person.
Welp. That is still the case with inclement weather.
Be sure you cancel any reservations you will not be able to make.
Third Party Resort and Air Reservations
If you booked through a third party such as Expedia or Orbitz, the Walt Disney World Hurricane Policy will not extend to these reservations.
The same applies to your airline reservations.
You’ll need to contact each one and see what their policy will entail.
You Can Stay At Disney World Through the Storm
It’s not a bad idea, honest!
Last year Disney World was impacted by Hurricane Irma.
As a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations, I witnessed firsthand the good (and bad) of weathering the storm at Disney World.
- most didn’t lose power
- everyone was safe
- food and water were generally available
- the parks opened as soon as possible for guests to enjoy
- the communication among cast members varied from resort to resort
- reports that some folks were able to order from the kitchens; but some were only offered the opportunity to purchase pre-made sandwiches.
- some resorts requested guests stay in their rooms; others embraced the storm with activities and characters in the lobbies
The usual hurricane suggestions will remain in play: keep phones or IPads charged, listen for announcements, stay away from windows when possible, and go ahead and fill the bathtub with water so you can keep flushing as needed!
While the likelihood of a hurricane making a direct impact on Walt Disney World is not huge, it’s always wise to be prepared and know your options.
SUPER IMPORTANT: If you need to make changes, it’s best to wait until the hurricane watch is actually in effect for the area; at that point, Disney will be able to work with you on your travel needs.
Until then, your reservation will be under regular operating policies.
While the weather in Disney World can’t be controlled, you can still have a good time (and remain safe) while on your Disney World vacation. Stay safe, travelers!
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Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)