Disneyland and Walt Disney World were both located where they were in large part due to the fact both Southern California and Florida have generally good weather year-round. Many theme and amusement parks in other parts of the country close down for months at a time due to weather, but the Disney Parks are open year-round. However, weather can still wreak havoc on both coasts and following Disneyland’s historic early closing due to weather and potential flooding earlier this month, Disney World is now bracing for another potential hurricane.
Hurricane Idalia is on its way to Florida and while it is still unclear how powerful it will be when it makes landfall in Florida, or exactly where that will happen, guests planning to be a Walt Disney World this week should take note.
Disneyland’s First Tropical Storm Warning Ever Forced An Early Closure
Hurricanes are one of those things that have always been seen as an “east coast problem.” While the West Coast got hit with some pretty impressive storms earlier this year, they were nothing close to actual hurricanes, until that’s exactly what they were. Hurricane Hilary hit California last week, leading to the first-ever Tropical Storm Warning at Disneyland.
The last time a storm of that magnitude hit Southern California, Disneyland didn’t even exist, making this a historic situation. While many parks in the area chose to close for a day, Disneyland Resort did not, with the park only closing early one night. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, there were only a few days in history when Disneyland did not open for business.
Disney World Has Closed Due To Hurricanes Several Times
Like Disneyland, Walt Disney World attempts to remain open as much as possible, even through significant weather. In 2019 Walt Disney World closed for Hurricane Irma. According to Today, the park has only been closed five times in its history. In 2020, Disney World closed early for Hurricane Dorian. In 2017 Walt Disney World closed for a weekend due to the damage caused by Hurricane Irma. As we've recently seen, however, even large storms don't close Disney World.
Guests who are already in the parks or, planning a trip, are able to reschedule some of their plans if the parks are actually closed by a hurricane. Disney World usually has a very limited cancellation policy, but when weather like this causes problems, it usually relaxes things to give guests a bit more freedom if they’re not willing to risk the weather.
For any guests that end up “stuck” at Disney World during a hurricane, the park does still try to make the experience special. During previous closures, we’ve seen the resort hotels open up special experiences and be visited by characters to keep families entertained in that Disney way, even under unusual circumstances.
What Walt Disney World Is Doing For Hurricane Idalia
As of this writing, Walt Disney World parks are still set to remain open throughout the incoming storm. However, the Typhoon Lagoon water park and the two miniature golf courses at Disney World will be closed on August 30. It's possible we could still see early closure or late opening of the theme parks due to the storm, even if the parks do open for business. We can be sure Disney World will take whatever storm precautions are possible. Though, contrary to the popular myth, Cinderella Castle will not be taken apart.
However, change and cancellation fees from stays with check-in dates between August 28 and September 4 have been waived, so any guests planning to stay this week who don’t want to risk any weather-related issues can make the appropriate changes.
At this point, the only place at Disney World with a weather-related advisory is the Fort Wilderness Campground, guests are being advised to stow any outdoor items by 6 PM on August 29.
In addition, any Florida guests who are looking to evacuate their homes during the storm are being offered a 50% discount on a stay at Disney World Resort hotels from August 29-31.