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2023 Disney World Hurricane Policy: What to Do If You Have a Trip

Really bad storms are not uncommon for Florida and Walt Disney World, but sometimes hurricanes come and cause them to close. Does Disney World shut down for hurricanes? Sometimes. It’s rare, but it will. In fact Disney World closed in 2022 for Hurricanes Ian and Nicole. You can brush up on Disney World’s hurricane policy since we’re in the thick of hurricane season now and especially if you have a trip planned soon.

Disney World Hurricane Policy

How Many Times Has Disney World Closed for Hurricanes? 

Although Florida often gets hit by hurricanes, Disney World has only closed 10 times due to bad weather. Two of those times were in 2022. Orlando is in Central Florida, so we often get a lot of rain, but as long as parks can safely stay open, Disney World will try its best. 

With Hurricane Idalia on the way, many are asking will Disney World close again? There has been no official announcement so far (August 28 at 2:10 p.m.), but keep your eyes on the My Disney Experience app and Disney World’s social media channels for the latest updates. 

Also, living so close to Disney, schools haven’t officially closed yet either, so that’s a positive sign. Models are showing wind and rain on the coast, so if you arriving soon, then check out Disney World’s hurricane policy. 

2023 Disney World Hurricane Policy

Normally Walt Disney World will only offer refunds if the National Weather Center issues a hurricane warning.

It is unlikely that Disney World will close during a hurricane. Hurricanes are fairly common in Florida and Disney World has only closed a few times due to them. However, Hurricane Ian was an exception and Walt Disney World closed Wednesday, 9/28/2022 and Thursday, 9/29/2022.  Also Tropical Storm Nicole closed Walt Disney World early in November 2022. 

As a local Floridian resident, if a hurricane was coming, then I’d want to be at Disney, because they are equipped to handle emergencies, power outages, etc. However, as a vacationer, no thank you.

Cancellation and Change Fees for Hurricanes at Disney World

According to Disney World’s website, here are the 2023 Disney World Hurricane Cancellation Policies. The gist is that the National Hurricane Center for Orlando must issue a hurricane warning for you to receive a refund and you must have booked directly with Disney, not a 3rd party. 

Will You Get Charged Cancellation or Change Fees for a Hurricane?

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 reschedule or cancel your Walt Disney Travel Company Disney Resort hotel packages and most room only reservations (booked directly with Disney) without any cancellation or change fees imposed by Disney. Most room-only and vacation packages can be modified, or cancelled online, including changes to travel dates.

If you have products and services provided by third-party suppliers included in your vacation—such as air transportation, hotels, car rental agencies or travel 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.

This policy also applies to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort or Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort in the event a hurricane warning is issued for those destinations.

If you have questions, are unable to modify or cancel online or you need additional help rescheduling your vacation due to a hurricane warning, please call (407) 939-7675. Guests under 18 years of age must have parent or guardian permission to call.

What if You Booked Your Disney World Vacation Through a 3rd Party or Not Directly With Disney?

The Disney World Hurricane Policy would not be extended to you if you did not book directly 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.

What if you Booked a Special Offer or Discounts for Disney World?

Cast Members will be able to reschedule your vacation to your new desired travel dates if the same special offer is available for those dates. If the same special offer is not available Cast Members will assist by identifying alternate offers, if any, during your new desired travel dates. All amounts you paid to the Walt Disney Travel Company for rooms, park tickets and other Disney products and services will be applied toward your new reservation.

Any discounts or special offers applicable to your original confirmed vacation may not apply to the rescheduled vacation travel dates. You are responsible for applicable package pricing for the new vacation dates.

If You Reschedule Your Vacation to Will You Get the Same Accommodations?

If you are scheduled to arrive within 7 days of a hurricane warning, you may call us in advance to reschedule without a Disney imposed change fee. Most room-only and vacation packages can also be modified, or cancelled online, including changes to travel dates. We cannot guarantee availability of similar accommodations for the new travel dates. All amounts you paid to Disney for rooms, theme park tickets, and other Disney products and services will be applied toward your new reservation.

Any discounts or special offers applicable to your original confirmed vacation will not apply to the rescheduled vacation travel dates. You are responsible for applicable package pricing for the new vacation dates.

The policy does not apply to certain special events and dining experiences.

Should You Cancel Your Disney World Vacation During a Hurricane?

You can never predict what’s going to happen with the weather. Florida weather is fickle. Add in a hurricane and it’s all kinds of crazy. If this is a once-in-a-lifetime Disney trip, then I would reschedule if you’re able to get a refund, etc.

If you’re going to lose out on a lot of money, maybe make lemons out of lemonade, and take the trip if it’s safe. Especially if maybe the rain will only effect a day or two of the trip.

Make it a resort day, especially if you have a Disney World family suite or if the weather isn’t dangerous, then go shopping at the Orlando Disney Outlets. During hurricanes, Disney tries to have characters or other entertainment in the Disney Resort hotels for guests as long as it’s safe for Cast Member. Some CMs stay at the hotels. 

As a Floridian, I check out Mike’s Weather Page for the best updates on hurricanes.

I have been at Disney World during torrential downpours, and if it’s a few hours, sure, it can be fun. But if it’s a monsoon all day, it’s really not a good time, and people get grumpy. Even the animals weren’t coming out during the rain during the safari below.

If the Disney World Hurricane Policy is in effect, then it most likely is not the time to come on vacation. Walt Disney World Resort vacations are expensive, so if you can reschedule, then I recommend rescheduling. Stay safe out there!

Universal Orlando’s Hurricane Policies are pretty similar to Walt Disney World’s! And if you still have a sense of humor about the hurricane season, then check out these funny Florida hurricane memes. If it’s too soon, then skip it.

Animal Kingdom During Storm