Disney World Has Weathered Hurricanes Before. Here’s When and What Happened.

Tropical Storm Ian is heading towards Florida, leaving many worried about the fate of their Disney World trip.

Mickey caught in the rain!

We’ve been monitoring the storm, which is anticipated to strengthen into a hurricane. Though things can change, Orlando is currently in the projected cone, and the resort is always prepared for the possibility of a hurricane or big storm hitting. Let’s take a look at what happens when Disney World faces a hurricane.

We’re days away from Tropical Storm Ian making landfall, so it’s difficult to know for sure if this hurricane threat will affect Disney World. In the past, some hurricanes have actually hit the Orlando area, disrupting Disney’s operations. So, let’s take a look at those hurricanes, and what happened.

Hurricane Floyd – 1999

Hurricane Floyd hit Disney World on September 14th, 1999. As the Category 4 hurricane approached the resort, Disney closed all of its theme parks, water parks, and Downtown Disney (known today as Disney Springs). The closure took place in the early afternoon, and most parks remained closed through the following day.

Rain in Disney World

However, as the storm changed course, both Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney reopened on September 16th. On September 17th, all parks resumed normal operations.

Hurricane Charley – 2004

Category 4 Hurricane Charley closed down the parks on August 13th, 2004.

Stormy day in Magic Kingdom

Most parks reopened the following day; however, damage from the storm kept some attractions closed for a bit longer. (Yes, storm damage occurred from this hurricane!)

Hurricane Frances – 2004

Shortly after Hurricane Charley, Hurricane Frances closed the parks again on September 4th, 2004.

Storm over Frontierland

The parks remained closed the following day, and normal operations resumed on September 6th.

Hurricane Jeanne – 2004

Not even a month later, Hurricane Jeanne closed the parks on September 26th, 2004.

Hiding out from the rain

The parks reopened the following day, fortunately.

Hurricane Matthew – 2016

At 5PM on October 6th, 2016, Disney World closed all parks due to the approaching Hurricane Matthew.

Rain in Animal Kingdom

The parks remained closed the following day.

Hurricane Irma – 2017

The following year, the parks closed for Hurricane Irma on September 9th, 2017, starting at 9PM.

Clouds Over Space Mountain

The parks stayed closed through September 11th.

Hurricane Dorian – 2019

On September 3rd, 2019, Disney World closed its parks for Hurricane Dorian. Most parks closed at 3PM, but as the storm changed course, EPCOT was open until 7PM.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind with dark clouds

Since the storm continued to move away from Central Florida, Disney was able to reopen the parks the following day. We are on the lookout for an official statement from Disney World on the storm but one has not been made yet. We will let you know if and when a statement is made.

Check Out ALL of the Times Disney World and Disneyland Have Closed Down

And those are all of the times Disney World has weathered hurricanes. For more information on the current tropical storm heading towards Florida, check out this post here. Or take a look at the 5 must-haves for hurricane season in Disney World. 

And we’ll continue to bring you the latest on Tropical Storm Ian, so stay tuned to AllEars.

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Have you ever been at the resort when a hurricane hit? Let us know in the comments.


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3 Replies to “Disney World Has Weathered Hurricanes Before. Here’s When and What Happened.”

  1. We haven’t been there during a hurricane, but had to cancel at the very last minute due to Hurricane Mathew. It’s not just a matter of how Disney handles the hurricanes, but whether or not you can get into Orlando if you’re flying. MCO closed in our case.