Hurricanes, Severe Weather, and Thunderstorms at Walt Disney World and Shades of Green.
Walt Disney World Rarely Closes for Inclement Weather
But rest assured that they have plans in place to shelter their guests if it is required! Shades of Green which is a military facility also has plans for these situations.
If a hurricane is heading somewhere near Central Florida the Disney World area will be in store for very heavy winds and lots of rain at the least!
If you decide to continue with your vacation plans you can expect lots of hard driving rain and probably very low attendance in the Disney theme parks.
I visited Walt Disney World just after Hurricane Irma passed through Central Florida in September 2017. This was shortly after Avatar – Flight of Passage opened and 3 hour standby wait times were the standard. In the couple days after the storm wait times were down to 15 minutes!
Now rain isn’t out of the ordinary at Disney World during the summenr and fall. In the summer it can rain every day at WDW. But a hurricane will dump lots more water than the Orlando afternoon rainstorms can. So you should be prepared to be very wet all day!!!
There are things you can do to prepare for rain at Disney World and work with it.
- Bring or buy ponchos or rain gear for in your backpack – Disney sells ponchos for under $10
- Pack lots of socks and extra foot wear, you’ll want to start the day with your feet dry
- Bring ball caps or hats
- Hole up in a restaurant or shop during the worst of the rain
- Ride the rides – While others are holed up in restaurants & shops
- Spend a day inside Disney Quest & see a movie at the Downtown Disney AMC Theatre
- Spend time having a table service meal in a theme park restaurant
- Most importantly though, stay inside if there is any lightning! You can spend that time shopping, eating, or enjoying a beverage.
What if It’s So Bad That I Want to Cancel My Vacation?
Walt Disney World has established policies for just this situation. Disney’s Hurricane Policy says: That it is a temporary policy that is effective in the event a hurricane warning is issued no more than 7 days before your scheduled arrival date by the National Hurricane Center for the Orlando area or for your place of residence.
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. The policy does not apply to certain special events or dining experiences.
You may call in advance to reschedule without a Disney imposed change fee. All amounts you paid to Disney for rooms, Theme Park tickets, Disney Dining Plans and other Disney products and services will be applied toward your new reservation. Any discounts or free offers applicable to your original vacation will not apply to the rescheduled vacation. We cannot guarantee availability of similar accommodations for the new travel dates. Any discounts or free offers applicable to your original vacation will not apply to the rescheduled vacation.
If you made your reservations through a travel agent versus through Disney you should contact your travel agent or tour operator directly for information relating to the cancellation and change policies that apply to your package.
So some key info in Disney’s policy that you should be aware of is that if you are on a special rate like the Armed Forces Salute room discounts, those rates are not guaranteed on dates or at the same resort that you may reschedule to, as they are based upon availability.
Also please be reassured that any reservations made through my recommended Disney specializing Travel Agent, Ears of Experience, will not incur any extra charges!
Shades of Green has no published Hurricane/Inclement Weather Cancellation Policy. But will cancel reservations due to a coming storm without penalty. Contact their reservations department to inquire: 888-593-2242. They are refunding for Dorian!
Hurricanes are unpredictable so be sure to keep checking to see what the latest info is. Then decide what you think is right for you and your family!
Here are some links for you to stay informed:
Here is a fantastic chart from Dave at YourFirstVisit.net for those trying to plan when is the best time during Hurricane Season to take a WDW vacation. It gives the chances of a cyclonic storm affecting Florida during a 9-day vacation.
Keep informed, stay safe, and keep dry!!!
Will a Hurricane keep you away from WDW? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Planning a Disney Trip? Want to get the best military discounts that are available? Feeling a little confused? See our:
Learn about the Disney Armed Forces Salute the best military discount that there is for Disney. For where to stay see our Resorts/Hotel Overview Page. Disney doesn’t discount dining for the military, but there are a few places on property that do, see the Dining Overview Page to learn where plus more dining info. You can also learn about Transportation Options. Be sure to check out our Technology Overview to learn about Magic Bands and My Disney Experience to see how they work with military tickets. Walt Disney World visitors might be interested in staying at Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort.