Some states have a rainy season, where it drizzles off and on throughout the spring. Other states are known for their particularly harsh winters. Florida, on the other hand, has a hurricane season — and it’s no joke.
It’s easy to say, “Don’t go to Disney World during a hurricane,” but the truth is, sometimes bad weather can sneak up on you faster than you expect! What may seem like the perfect mid-September Disney vacation could turn out to be a total disaster when a hurricane suddenly makes landfall. So, you think you want to go to Disney World during hurricane season? Let’s talk about it.
How can you prepare?
To start, it helps to know exactly what we’re talking about. Per the National Weather Service, hurricane season is “The part of the year having a relatively high incidence of tropical cyclones.”
Florida’s hurricane season lasts from June 1st to November 30th, and the peak of the season is typically mid-August to mid-October, according to Visit Florida. That’s a pretty big portion of the year, so there’s a good chance your upcoming trip could land in hurricane season.
After you’ve committed to a date, it’s time to start planning your vacation. If your trip happens to take place during hurricane season, there are a few extra steps you may want to take to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario.
First, it’s a good rule of thumb to plan for rainy weather in Disney World no matter what month you visit the parks. A sudden downpour can come out of nowhere, even without an impending hurricane! Pack ponchos, umbrellas, rain jackets, and waterproof shoes. Trust us — there’s nothing worse than trudging through the parks with soggy socks and puddle-filled sneakers.
Next, consider booking a Disney hotel better suited for a hurricane or hurricane-like weather. We’re talking hotels with fully enclosed access to restaurants, shops, and the lobby. Luckily, we’ve got a handy list of all the best hotels to stay in during a hurricane!
The BEST Hurricane-Ready Hotels in Disney World!
Finally, it’s a good idea to mentally prepare yourself and manage your expectations. Disney World has earned a reputation through several major hurricanes as a safe, secure place to be during a hurricane. That said, the parks and resorts will look a little different in the event of an emergency. Even after the storm, attractions may be shut down and restaurants may be closed.
PHOTOS: See Inside Disney World After Hurricane Ian
Often, outdoor attractions like Kali River Rapids, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Test Track will close down thanks to bad weather. In the rare instance that a hurricane makes its way to Orlando, Disney will close the parks to protect guests and cast members.
See What Happened When Disney Announced a MAJOR Closure Due to Hurricane Ian
What happens if there is a hurricane?
As you may expect, Disney makes sure that its guests are taken care of in the event of a hurricane. Most recently, in 2022, Hurricane Ian caused a multi-day closure in the parks. During the hurricane, hotel guests were instructed to stay in their rooms.
PHOTOS & VIDEOS: What Orlando and Disney World Look Like Ahead of Hurricane Ian
In the past, Disney has also provided flashlights in guest rooms and offered packaged meals and snacks in Resort dining locations. Sometimes, cast members will facilitate movie marathons and character meet and greets during the storm. In short, you can rest assured that Disney will not leave its guests high and dry (or wet) in the event of a hurricane.
PHOTOS: See Inside Disney World After Hurricane Ian
How can I cancel my trip?
When disaster strikes, the best option might be to cancel your trip. Luckily, Disney makes it pretty easy to cancel your trip in the event of a hurricane.
According to the Disney World website, “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 Disney Resort Hotel Package and most room-only reservations (booked directly with Disney) without any cancellation or change fees imposed by Disney.”
Further, Disney states, “Most room-only and vacation packages can be modified, or canceled online, including changes to travel dates.” Keep in mind that if you did not book your package directly through Disney, the cancellation policy may work differently. For a full list of questions and answers, you can read up on Disney’s hurricane policies.
How To Cancel Your Disney World Hotel Reservation
Let’s talk trip insurance
For an additional fee (and additional peace of mind), you can also purchase trip insurance on your flight and additional bookings. If you’re traveling to Disney World during hurricane season, you might want to check out Disney’s travel insurance. Make sure to read over the details before you commit so you know exactly what is — and isn’t — covered by insurance.
Read This to Learn How to Cancel Your Hotel Reservation at Disney World!
Despite the warnings, don’t let the thought of a hurricane scare you away from traveling to Disney World during hurricane season. Often, rainy weather in Florida blows through pretty quickly, and you’ll be back to feeling the sunshine in no time!
8 DFB Reader Tips for Riding Out a Hurricane in Disney World
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Have you ever experienced a hurricane in Disney World? Let us know in the comments!
The post So You Think You Want To Go To Disney World During Hurricane Season… first appeared on the disney food blog.