As Hurricane Ian continues its progress toward the west coast of Florida, the state is making preparations in order to keep people safe. If you’re visiting Disney World at this time, you may be wondering how your vacation is going to be affected by the storm.
This isn’t the first time Disney World has been in the potential path of a major storm, so Disney knows how to handle preparations and safety concerns. They have already announced that several hotels will be closed from Wednesday to Friday this week. Some attractions — including Typhoon Lagoon and mini golf courses — will also be closed. For those people who were planning to travel to Disney World in the coming days, you may want to cancel or postpone your trip. Here’s everything you need to know about Hurricane Ian’s current position and Disney World’s hurricane cancelation and refund policies.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that Hurricane Ian has now strengthened into a Category 3 major hurricane. As of 8AM on September 27th, Ian is currently located in the center of the Gulf of Mexico. Its forecasted track will put Ian west of the Florida Keys later on today, and it’s expected that the hurricane will approach the west coast of Florida on Wednesday or Wednesday night, September 28th.
It’s likely that Ian will grow into a Category 4 hurricane before making landfall in Florida. Several counties along the west coast are currently under Hurricane Watch, and both Orange and Osceola counties (where Disney World is located) are under Tropical Storm Warnings and Flood Watches.
Tropical storm conditions may arrive in Flordia as early as later today (September 27th). Experts warn that those in Florida should expect flash flooding and possibly tornadoes to begin today.
Flooding continues to be a major concern.
If you would like to cancel or reschedule your Disney World vacation, you can do so now with fewer cancelation fees or restrictions. Disney’s cancelation policy during hurricanes states that “if a hurricane warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center for the Orlando area—or for your place of residence—within 7 days of your scheduled arrival date, you may call in advance to reschedule or cancel your Walt Disney Travel Company Disney Resort hotel packages and most room-only reservations (booked directly with Disney) without any cancellation or change fees imposed by Disney.”
Note that this does not cover third-party suppliers (like your airline, hotel, car rental, or travel insurance) who are not Disney. Those other suppliers likely have their own cancelation policies, which may also be relaxed due to the potential storm threat.
Disney also announced that, effective immediately, they will not enforce cancelation policies for dining and other special experiences (like Savi’s Workshop and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique) until further notice. In other words, you can cancel those reservations without any fees.
If you booked a vacation package through a different company — not Disney — then you should contact that company to learn about their cancelation policies at this time.
If you booked your Disney vacation with a special offer or discount and then a hurricane warning is issued within 7 days of your arrival, you might be able to receive the same discount if you reschedule. This will depend on the new date of your trip. Disney says, “If the same special offer is not available [on the date of your rescheduled trip], Cast Members will assist by identifying alternate offers during your new desired travel dates.”
When you reschedule, all of the money you previously paid to Disney for your room, park tickets, and other experiences will be applied to your new trip dates.
Disney also notes that they cannot guarantee the same hotel accommodations that you reserved for your first trip if you choose to reschedule.
In short, if a Hurricane Warning is issued for the Orlando area, you can cancel your trip for a full refund or reschedule without any extra fees. Currently, there is a Tropical Storm Warning for the Disney World counties but no Hurricane Warning yet. We’ll be sure to let you know if a Hurricane Warning is issued.
To cancel or reschedule, call Disney at (407) 939-5277.
UPDATE: With regards to Hurricane Ian, Disney has noted that “change and cancellation fees imposed by Disney will be waived for check-in dates of September 26, 2022 through October 6, 2022.”
Stay tuned to AllEars for all the latest updates that may affect your upcoming trip.
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Are you planning to reschedule your Disney World vacation? Let us know in the comments.