We hate hurricanes. In the wake of the devastation that Hurricane Harvey just brought, people are once again eyeing the monster storm, Irma. For those traveling to, or finding themselves at Walt Disney World, this storm is of particular interest due to the fact that it’s supposed to hit Florida by this weekend (Sept 2017).
So what should vacationers do or expect when they find themselves traveling to or in the Walt Disney World Resort during a hurricane? Well, here’s a few things you should do:
1. Don’t Panic
Understand that Disney has a great plan in place for natural disasters such as these. They’ve had their share of hurricanes, and rest assured, Disney will do all it takes to make sure it’s guests are taken care of. This includes offering alternative entertainment options such as games in the lobby, movie marathons, and character meet and greets. Know that cast members have been prepped for disasters and you’ll be in good hands.
2. Order groceries for your room
While Disney will make sure it’s guests have enough food, it’s probably not a bad idea to have some groceries still delivered before the storm hits. After all, you’ll probably do better paying the cheaper prices at the grocer than the overpriced food Disney offers. Just go to GardenGrocer.com. There’s a delivery fee, but the convenience is well worth it. We suggest you start off with some water and items to make easy meals.
3. Know Your Cancellation Policy about Hurricanes
If you haven’t already made your way to the Walt Disney World Resort, there is a chance that you can back out of your vacation without penalty. Here’s how the actual cancellation policy reads for hurricanes:
“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.”
Now, it’s important to know, that this doesn’t cover 3rd party vendors such as flights, Ubers, stroller rentals, or anything else you have booked. You will have to check with each vendor to determine the policy.
4. Fill Up on Gas
Before the storm hits, it’s always a great idea to make sure your gas tank is full. You never know what gas stations will or will not be open after the storm hits. If the devastation is widespread, then it could be a while before you find a gas station that is open. Not only that, but people are going to need to be filling up as well, so you can expect that a lot of stations are going to be crazy trying to get in and out of.
5. Make Sure Your Chargers and Phones Are Charged
For any Disney vacation, we suggest that you bring a portable phone charger with you, and for hurricanes, this is an especially good idea. Make sure that your charger and phones are all charged. You never know how long power will be out if the storm is really bad.
6. Be Patient if the Parks Stay Open
Understand that Disney wants not only you, but it’s cast members to be safe. So, if there’s inclement weather, just understand that some attractions and outdoor activities may be canceled or postponed. Don’t get upset. Disney didn’t cause the hurricane, and it’s best that they err on the side of safety anyway.
7. Notify Your Friends and Family
If you find yourselves at the resort when the storm hits, it’s always a great idea to let your friends and family know how you’re doing. Pick up the phone, send a text, or update social media to let them all know where you’re at and how things are going. Trust me, they’ll be extremely grateful you did.
So, with all that said, hurricanes at Disney aren’t the end of the world. It’s certainly a pain though. Make sure you’re well stocked and be patient. Things can quickly get out of hand when people lose their tempers. You’re at Disney, go and make some memories…even during a hurricane.