Why You Want to Stay at a Disney World Resort during a Hurricane


Should you stay or should you go with a hurricane in the forecast???

Let’s take a moment and talk about what happens when a hurricane decides to take a Disney World Vacation.

If you find yourself stuck in Florida with a hurricane bearing down on you, you might want to consider booking a room at a Disney World Resort hotel.

Every trash can at every Park and Disney Resort is tied down or filled with water ahead of the storm.  Think about those numbers for a minute!

Safety & Security

Disney World boasts some of the best infrastructure found in Florida’s Hurricane Territory. Every window and doorway of each building is built to withstand hurricane-force winds, up to major Category 4 winds.

Plan on arriving 12 hours before the storm as you will be asked to stay safely sheltered inside your home-away-from-home resort until the hurricane passes.

Disney’s Hurricane Rideout Teams will be activated to provide 24 hour service, entertainment, and security to guests. The cast members are asked to commit to a minimum 72 hour shift!  The resort’s exterior doors will be locked and some will be zip-tied shut.

sign Dorian
Signs advising Disney resort guests to keep exterior doors closed during Hurricane Dorian’s approach.

The gates in the parking lots will be down barring admittance.  (The security guards don’t man the guardhouses during hurricanes.)  Everything outside that could be blown around will either be removed or tied down.

Everything that can be blown around or damaged in high winds is securely tied down.
When Disney moves the Grand Floridian car into safe storage you know a bad storm is coming!!!

The parking lots having relatively good drainage and you’re possibly less likely to experience flooding at a resort than at home.

We think you’re probably safer staying at Disney World than staying at home!

Don’t expect to be able to fly into or out of Orlando International Airport for the 12 hours before or 24 hours after a hurricane. Expect 1,000s of flights to be cancelled ahead of a storm.

Quality Care & Crowd Control

If your flight home or Disney cruise gets canceled and you find yourself stranded in the path of a hurricane, cast members will do everything in their power to find you and your family a room or two to extend your stay. There are over 36,000 rooms on property, all very nice, and some are very, very nice!!!

swansDisney has it’s own power plant and emergency generators all over the property.

hurricane flashlight
Hurricane Irma, Sept. 2017: Cast members went door to door in all the resorts and personally handed out flashlights to guests. They also handed out small boxes of cereal and shelf stable milk. Characters were in the resort lobbies meeting guests until the late evening.

During Hurricane Irma in Sept. 2017, cast members went door to door at the resorts and handed out free flashlights, along with single serving boxes of cereal and shelf stable milk in case the power went out overnight.  Nice!

Pet Friendly

Disney World compassionately adopts a very pet-friendly policy during hurricanes. Pets are welcome to stay in your room with you at no extra charge.

Artist Point at Wilderness Lodge is normally a very pricey place to dine!

Buffet Food

To ease waits at restaurants, the quick service locations stay open in the resorts, along with the onsite convenience shops.  At least one restaurant will try and serve food buffet style to feed the stranded hordes.  During Hurricane Dorian in Sept. 2019, Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge served delicious buffet breakfasts for just $12.

mickey hurricane
Mickey and Minnie in their safari gear visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge during the storm.

Magical Memories with Characters

Despite the pouring rain and the howling wind outside your window, you’re still in a Disney World Resort hotel. The magic doesn’t stop just because the parks are closed.

Expect unannounced character appearances in the lobby. Guests trapped in their hotels are treated to marathons of Disney Classic Movies and Mickey Mouse Cartoons, and cast members set up board games and scavenger hunts to keep the little ones entertained.

Yes, hurricanes are scary, especially for those who are visiting Florida for the first time. But, if you do find yourself facing one on your Disney World vacation, remember that you are in one of the safest, nicest, and definitely the most magical place on earth!

hurricaneDisney World’s Hurricane Policy

Check out Disney World’s official Hurricane Policy for more information regarding cancelling or rescheduling your vacation during a hurricane. During hurricane watches or warnings, this is where Disney will post updates at least 2x/day.

Disney Hurricane Policy:  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 Package and most room only reservations (booked directly with Disney) without any cancellation or change fees imposed by Disney.


September 4, 2019 8am:  Update on Hurricane Dorian’s position and wind speed.

Want to read more about how Disney Parks prepared for Hurricane Dorian over Labor Day Week 2019?  Read our blog about it:  How Disney World kept the Magic Alive for Guests as Hurricane Dorian threatened Florida


We’ve written two books about our time working and playing at Disney World.

Both are available on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!




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