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.