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What Does Disney World Do During a Hurricane?

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Disney World, known for its magical experiences, is also renowned for its meticulous planning and preparedness in the face of natural disasters, particularly hurricanes. So, what does Disney World do during a hurricane? Let’s delve into the details.


Disney World prepares extensively for hurricanes. They closely monitor weather conditions, secure vulnerable areas, and communicate regularly with guests about park operations and safety measures. During a hurricane, they operate with ride-out crews and provide designated storm shelters. After the storm, they prioritize quick and safe recovery and reopening, and offer support to those affected. Their evacuation plan usually involves asking guests to shelter in place until the storm passes.

Monitoring Weather Conditions

Disney World’s first line of defense against hurricanes is its close monitoring of weather conditions. The resort’s safety team keeps a vigilant eye on any potential threats and makes timely decisions regarding park operations, closures, and the safety of cast members and guests.

Preparations Before a Hurricane

Before a hurricane hits, Disney World takes several specific preparations. This includes pulling down banners, tarps, flags, or anything attached to a building that could be blown away by strong winds. They also secure any construction or maintenance equipment.

Disney World Resorts are designed to withstand storms and have backup power supplies. Furthermore, Disney World offers designated storm shelters throughout the park and resort hotels, providing a safe haven for guests and staff.

Communication with Guests

Communication is key during a hurricane. Disney World uses various channels to keep guests informed, including their official website, mobile app, and social media. They provide regular updates on park hours, any operational changes, and safety measures.

Employee Safety

Disney’s top priority is the safety of its employees and guests. During a major hurricane, the resorts operate with ride-out crews – employees who choose to stay through the hurricane. These brave cast members work long hours to keep guests entertained, safe, and happy.

Handling Vulnerable Facilities and Attractions

Certain facilities and attractions are more vulnerable during a hurricane, particularly those in low-lying coastal areas or flood-prone areas. Disney World takes preventive measures and adopts strong resilience policies to mitigate the risks associated with hurricanes for these facilities.

Past Hurricane Experiences

Disney World has had to close a few times due to hurricanes. For instance, during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Irma in 2017, Disney World closed theme parks, water parks, and other attractions as needed. They also provided accommodations for evacuees and first responders, offering discounted rates at Disney World Resort hotels.

Post-Hurricane Recovery and Reopening

After a hurricane, Disney World prioritizes returning to normal operations as quickly and safely as possible. The resort also offers support to evacuees and first responders by providing discounts on hotel stays and waiving cancellation/change fees for guests affected by the storm.

Evacuation Plan

If a hurricane hits, Disney will ask guests to shelter in place until the storm passes. During a hurricane, Disney provides food options and may set up events in the hotel lobbies to help pass the time.

In conclusion, Disney World is well-equipped to handle hurricanes, prioritizing the safety and well-being of its guests and employees while offering support to those affected by the storm. Their comprehensive hurricane preparedness plans, combined with their commitment to guest safety, ensure that even in the face of a hurricane, the magic of Disney World continues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to the animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom during a hurricane?

Disney’s Animal Kingdom has detailed emergency plans for the animals. They are moved to secure locations to ensure their safety during a hurricane.

Does Disney World offer refunds or rescheduling options if my trip is canceled due to a hurricane?

Yes, Disney World offers a Hurricane Policy that allows guests to reschedule or cancel their vacation packages and most room-only reservations without any cancellation or change fees if there is a hurricane warning for the Orlando area or the guest’s residence within 7 days of the guest’s arrival.

What happens to the nightly fireworks and parades during a hurricane?

Safety is Disney’s top priority. If there is a hurricane or severe weather, Disney may cancel outdoor shows, parades, and fireworks to ensure the safety of guests and cast members.

How does Disney World handle food and beverage services during a hurricane?

During a hurricane, Disney World ensures that food and beverage services are available to guests. They may adjust their offerings based on the situation, but they strive to provide options for guests even during severe weather conditions.

What if I’m staying at a Disney World campground during a hurricane?

Guests staying at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground may be relocated to other accommodations within the resort in the event of a hurricane. Disney works to ensure the safety and comfort of all guests during severe weather.

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