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