Home Disney World Update on Hurricane Matthew as it could affect the theme parks

Update on Hurricane Matthew as it could affect the theme parks

Statement concerning the expiration issue on new Disney World ticket purchases

You’ve probably heard that Hurricane Matthew is churning in the Caribbean as of 10/5/16 and is said to be strengthening again after crossing Haiti and Cuba.  Current forecasts are showing the storm racing along the Eastern Coast of Florida.  Here’s some news from the theme parks and local area.

Update 11:39 am 10/5 – All Theme Park areas are now under a Hurricane Warning as issued by the National Weather Service.  Still awaiting news from the actual theme parks on operational changes.

As many of you know, I’m local to the theme park area, but fortunately more westward than Walt Disney World, so I have a pulse on what is occuring locally.  Here’s a few things that have taken place in the last 24 hours as Hurricane Matthew approaches.

October 5, 2016
“Walt Disney World Resort is currently operating under normal conditions as we continue to monitor Hurricane Matthew. Recent forecasts indicate that there could be rain and wind in the Central Florida area as early as Thursday evening, October 6, 2016. Please continue to monitor news outlets for the latest weather information.”

Walt Disney World is offering to waive the cancellation fee for those planning to arrive between October 5 and October 9, 2016.  It’s not guaranteed that they will waive the fee, but it’s likely if you can demonstrate that you are cancelling your trip.  Disney is also working with guests on re-booking guests to other more prefered times.

Walt Disney World is working with guests staying in the Fort Wilderness campground to allow them to stay in a fixed room on property for at least Thursday, October 6.  Disney would like to have the campground cleared by Thursday evening to avoid issues with possible falling limbs from potential high winds.

It is expected that Disney World will likely offer character meet and greets at their hotels at some point on Friday to encourage guests who are riding out the storm.  Walt Disney World rarely closes, but should that occur on Friday, expect Disney to do it’s best to assist its thousands of guests.  I am guessing that the water parks will surely close on Fridday.  IF any of the main parks should close Friday or subsequent days, I’ll post here and on social media to inform you of the plans.

If the parks remain open, you should expect that all outdoor attractions and meet and greets will be closed and no photopass photographer will be available for Magic Shots on Friday.  This is standard operating procedure for any rain, lightning and wind event including normal thunderstorms.  Monorails and boat transport will likely be closed as well.

All area schools including the main districts of Osceola and Orange Counties have now announced that school will be closed and no activiites will take place Thursday or Friday in any form and no employee is to report to work.

Port Canaveral will be closed beginning tonight through at least Friday and Disney Cruise Line is working to accomodate its guests and assures us that none of its ships and guests will be placed at risk.

October 5, 2016

Disney Cruise Line is closely monitoring tropical weather systems in the Caribbean.
At this time, no itinerary changes have been made to the following sailings:

  • October 7 – Disney Dream & Disney Magic
  • October 8 – Disney Fantasy

We’re all praying that this storm will only bring some rain and winds to our area, but preparations should always be made for the worst case scenario in order to be best prepared.

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  1. Flying into Orlando on Friday 10/07 from UK. Do you think this is still going to happen. Not heard from tour operator if going to be cancelled or not. I don’t know if Orlando international will be open

  2. Appreciate the info! Like some others that have commented, our family is scheduled to fly down on Sat. I spoke with Disney and they said we had until Friday to reschedule or cancel the trip. We are trying to be cautiously optimistic because it is our first trip and we have a few days at the end of next week at Unvisersal, making any rescheduling crazy.

  3. Thank you Kenny! On our dream trip right now and hoping for the best but if we have to miss a day, so be it. This has been an incredible week so far and I’m thankful for all the things I learned ahead of time thanks to you.

  4. Thanks so much for the updates, Kenny! I feel somewhat reassured now as we are supposed to arrive on Saturday and DH is waffling on whether to cancel or not. Will be looking forward to more updates and praying for all those in the storm’s path!!

  5. We had to cancel our plans due to the storm and I just called Disney. The Halloween parties for Thursday and Friday are still on at this point but they are offering refunds if you wish to cancel and can’t make it due to the storm. Disney is the best!

  6. What is the worst that Disney has ever seen? We are supposed to fly in Thursday afternoon. Just hate to see this thing go more inland and be in the eye of the storm come Friday.

    • Best part of WDW is how far inland it is. It’s been affected by a few hurricanes, but usually only in a very minor way.

  7. My family and I are scheduled to arrive on the 9th. I did not think it would impact our trip too much. Do you think I am being too optimistic?

    • It’s likely the hurricane effects will be over by then, but unsure if it will create further travel problems. I’ll update as I hear.

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