Here we go again. It’s been a few years since we’ve had a storm around Labor Day, but hurricanes and Florida in September are no strangers to each other. Currently, the National Weather Service is tracking Tropical Storm Dorian, which is making it’s way towards the United States and expected to turn into Hurricane Dorian. The storm could possibly be a Category 2 hurricane when it makes landfall on Monday morning around 2 a.m. Naturally, it’s eyeing Florida and will definitely have an impact on Central Florida if it makes landfall in the area. While it’s too early to tell for sure, there’s definitely a chance it will happen.
The busy Labor Day weekend being the one last chance for a lot of families to get some theme park time, but the tropical weather will definitely put a hamper on those activities.
So what do you if you are in Florida or are coming to Florida and are going to have your vacations affected?
The biggest thing is relax. Don’t panic. All Central Florida theme parks do have a hurricane policy in place, just for this reason.
Here’s the major parks that could be affected and their policies:
Walt Disney World
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. More information here.
Let’s face it, sometimes the rain just won’t go away. So, our commitment is that if the rain ruins the fun at SeaWorld in Orlando, guests will receive a complimentary return visit to the park to be used within 1 year of their initial visit. No matter how much rain — from small showers to mighty monsoons — just stop by the Information and Reservation Counter for your return visit. You will need to show your original admission ticket to receive a Sunny Day Ticket. All Sunny Day Tickets will be issued only at the Information and Reservation Counter near the park exit. More information here.
In the event that a hurricane or tropical storm warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center or a state of emergency is declared for the Orlando area or in your place of residence, within seven days of your arrival, you can contact our team in advance to reschedule or cancel your Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations Package, hotel room only accommodations and Universal Orlando theme park tickets booked directly with Universal Orlando, without any cancellation or change fees imposed. More information here
Parks will close for Hurricanes and Tropical storms. Hotels remain open, so don’t freak out that if you’re planning a stay you’ll be kicked out. However, like the rest of Florida, theme parks and hotels do lose power, so you might want to stock up on a few supplies, such as bottled water and non perishable food.
The upside to hurricane days in the parks is that right before and right after the storms, the parks are usually dead quiet and many of your favorite attractions will still be open. Big roller coasters and outdoor rides will close if lightning is in the area (around 30 miles or closer), and heavy rains will make for soggy shoes and clothes, but we have had some of the best theme park trips on stormy days.
As of August 28th, no warnings or watches have been issued. Dorian is currently a tropical storm but projected to become a Category 2 when it makes landfall some time either Sunday or Monday. Orlando is currently not in the forecast path, but as all Floridians know, it’s best to be prepared for a storm than not.
As of Thursday morning, Dorian is now a hurricane and is expected to impact Central Florida late Monday, early Tuesday. If you are looking to come into the area, but are unsure about the weather you may want to look at changing plans or at least adjusting them.