New Hurricane policies at WDW


Disney has new hurricane policy for guest.

Storms to be less threatening to vacation plans
Disney, Universal unveil new policies about hurricanes

Scott Powers | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted August 4, 2006

Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World want to ease tourists’ fears about hurricanes by promising that if a storm gets in the way, people can get their money back.

Both parks announced new policies Thursday that allow vacationers to reschedule or cancel their theme park vacations, without any penalties, in the event of a hurricane.

SeaWorld also has a general policy allowing people to cancel or reschedule because of hurricanes, but it’s informal. Still, SeaWorld officials insisted that they consider tropical storms and hurricanes “exceptional circumstances” that call for special consideration.

In Disney’s case, vacationers can cancel or reschedule if the National Weather Service posts a hurricane warning for Orlando, or for their hometowns, within seven days of their planned arrivals.

Universal is offering people a chance to cancel or reschedule anytime a named storm threatens, whether or not a specific hurricane warning is issued for Orlando or their hometowns. Universal calls it a “no questions asked” policy.

Both companies said the new policies reflect their old practices, but now are formalized so that people booking vacations can be assured in advance that they can opt out if a hurricane bears down. Both companies posted their policies on their Web sites this week.

“The goal here is to eliminate stress and worry in the way people plan their vacations,” Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said. “We’ve been doing the right thing for a long time. This just formalizes it.”

Disney’s policy covers people who booked their vacations through Disney, and includes most Disney World resort hotels.

“This is really about our guests being able to make reservations without reservation,” Disney spokesman Rick Sylvain said.

Storms to be less threatening to vacation plans - Orlando Sentinel : Business


Wow Tigger, thanks for posting that. It only seems fair that you should be able to do that.


what happens it you are at WDW and a hurricane comes or there is a threat


That’s a great policy!!!


That’s good to know. We were there during hurricane charlie and I would have rescheduled if I had known we could do it for free.


I sure could have used this for my wasted Halloween Horror Night when Wilma came calling. As for my vacation at the Poly, I’m not so sure staying in Orlando wasn’t the best thing we could have done, although, having a vow renewal that nobody could come for was stupid. Side note, we could have rescheduled that, but, when it’s your actual 10th anniversary, the urge to move it was too small to consider.


This is great! I think they should have had this policy for a long time now. I feel so awful for anyone who spent tons of $$ on a trip and had to spend it hiding from a hurricane! :sad:


I love that policy. I was hesitating on booking a late August trip next year due to hurricane season. At least I know should the worse happen, I can rescedule the fun. thanks for posting that tigger.


thanks for the info.


thanks for posting this. that really puts my mind at ease knowing this. my trip is the first week of september, and i knew that a hurricane could be a huge factor in our planning that time of the year.

being from chalmette, LA (just outside of new orleans to the southeast of it), i am all but too familiar with hurricanes. still dealing with katrina now after almost a year, we REALLY need this vacation. good to know that if another charts course for either orlando or southeast LA, i can reschedule with no worries.



Wow, for Corporate Disney this is very decent!


This may add something to this discussion: Florida Hurricane Info

I’ve been going to WDW since I was a small child and I don’t ever remember anything about a hurricane hitting Orlando. Of course, there’s a first time for everything.


In 2004 Orlando took 3 direct hits from hurricanes, the worst being Charley which roared right over WDW as well as the eye passing right over my friend’s house on Little Lake Conway (near Orange Blossom Trail and Florida Mall) as well as Jeanne and Francis. Wilma left a glancing blow to Orlando last year, most action being in Dade and Broward Counties to the south.


Great policy!


This is a great policy. But something needs clarification. It states “Disney’s policy covers people who booked their vacations through Disney, and includes most Disney World resort hotels.” Would this also cover people who booked thru AAA, or Expedia, or any other agency, and not strictly direct thru the Disney Travel Co.?


Wow Good for them. Thanks Tigger


And what damage did it do? I sure don’t remember Disney being closed but refresh my memory. But anyhow, other than 2004 which was much more active than a normal hurricane season, what else? I’m trying to find something online but I keep coming up with only 2004.

My point is, statistically speaking, it doesn’t seem that Orlando is hit very often.


We were there for Wilma. The outer bands of Wilma went through WDW. We had been watching it but we went anyway. We were at Fantasmic when it hit and they shut the parks and took us back to our resorts. The parks were closed the next day but after it had passed (about 1:30) they opened two parks for resort guests. The bad thing was that there was not much open in the parks as a lot of CM’s could not make it to work.

It was scary having never been in a hurricane but we felt very safe at WDW.


We were staying at Pop Century may "05 and I remember seeing some of the signs that had been damaged from the hurricanes of 2004. Some had not been put back up yet. Also, riding the buses back and forth to the parks, you would look out and see the trees were all leaning over from the winds of the hurricanes. So yes, there was damage.


I’m thinking more about things that would affect your vacation. For example, Space Mountain collapses. A few trees bent over wouldn’t bother me. Of course, since, like most men, I refuse to read a map or ask directions, I’d probably get lost without the signs.