Tropical Storm Fay forms on the horizon with Florida in her sights.

The National Hurricane Center has officially named Fay as the 6th major tropical storm of the season. Right now Walt Disney World and the rest of Florida is in the 5-day forecast cone. Which means that sometime this coming Tuesday things could get a little rough around here.

One should never take lightly the powerful storms that can hit the south eastern United States. It’s best to be prepared and be safe. Extra water, flashlights, and food for a few days is recommended if you’re staying in the Orlando area. It’s also a good idea even if you’re staying on Disney property.

Past storms that came through, have shown that Walt Disney World is one of the safest places to be in a storm. Disney has been known to close the parks for the day if the forecasts shows a storm heading their way. They almost always have one or two parks open immediately afterwards, and since the storms keep off-site visitors away, guests staying on property typically have those parks to themselves.

In 2006 Disney implemented a Peace of Mind Tropical Weather policy for vacation reservations. If you feel this applies to you call your travel agent or Walt Disney World Travel Co. depending on who you made your reservations through.

Would you let a forecast hurricane keep you away from Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments.

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8 Responses to Tropical Storm Fay forms on the horizon with Florida in her sights.

  1. JeffG says:

    Hurricane Wilma hit Florida during our WDW vacation a couple years ago. We did know it was heading in that direction before we left home and gave some consideration about whether to change our plans. Having heard reports on how WDW had fared during the previous storms of the season, we decided to go ahead with our trip.

    It was a bit scary being there as the storm came through, but ultimately it wasn’t that huge a disruption. The storm hit on Sunday evening and came through overnight, basically having completely cleared the area by mid-day on Monday. We were at Disney/MGM Studios most of the day on Sunday, heading back to our hotel an hour or two before park closing when the weather was starting to look really threatening. It actually started pouring rain while we were on the bus back to the hotel.

    We did stock up on some pre-packaged food from the hotel shop (we were staying in a DVC Villa at the Wilderness Lodge) to be safe before riding out the storm in our room. We were certainly very aware of the heavy wind and rain and we did watch a lot of the coverage on TV, but otherwise we never really felt unsafe in our room.

    On Monday, the parks didn’t open until around noon (and Animal Kingdom and, I think Studios, didn’t open at all). We basically slept in that morning, grabbed lunch at Roaring Fork (in the hotel) and then headed over to the Magic Kingdom. The park was the most uncrowded that I’ve ever seen for any WDW park. Every attraction was completely a walk-on and we were able to walk right up and find uncrowded spots in the hub for both Spectromagic and Wishes pretty much right before the shows. We already had reservations at Tony’s for dinner that night, but probably could have pretty easily gotten in via walk-up if we hadn’t.

    The rest of the week, the parks continued to be fairly uncrowded (although much more crowded than on Monday), but the weather remained very nice. In fact, the hurricane largely seemed to have an effect of blowing away a lot of the heat and humidity, making for a rather comfortable week.

    I’m not saying that I would recommend specifically scheduling a trip for when a hurricane is coming through or that there is anything remotely close to a guarantee of a good experience (certainly a hurricane hitting Orlando more directly could cause a much bigger disruption), but our experience definitely wasn’t a strongly negative one at all.

  2. Sarah says:

    Interesting. I’m a new CP-er here and hope that this doesn’t turn out too bad.

    Clearing the parks some would be nice. I came in early Augusts in 2005 and 2006 and the parks were not as crowded as they are right now. If the parks do close, I will make sure and hit everything up after my training on Tuesday! Thanks for the tip!

  3. davey says:

    This tropical storm is slightly worrying us. We are scheduled to arrive in wdw when the cone is nearest! We are continuing with our plans however. We know how good wdw is with these storms. Thx for the info!

  4. Pingback: Bigbeaks Blog » Blog Archive » Our Hurricane Wilma Experience (October, 2005)

  5. JeffG says:

    My earlier comment inspired me to write up a full-length blog post on our experience with Hurricane Wilma.

  6. Dan says:

    Having been at Disney during Hurricane Erin about ten years ago, yes it was scary, but we made it through ok staying in the villas over in what is now the saratoga springs resort. i remember the rain pounding the back window during the night as it hit. the next day though, the studios opened up with debris still all over the park and we walked on all the rides. so, disney does take care of you when there’s something coming.

  7. Shannon says:

    I was a new CP in fall of 2004. I arrived in Orlando just after Hurricane Charlie left and was there for Hurricanes Frances, Jeanne, and Ivan. WDW are pros at keeping guests safe and happy during the storms. In the rare occasion they do close the parks, they make sure their on property guests are well taken care of. A few of my co-workers were disbursed to various hotels to make special apperances in guest’s rooms. The hurricane threats are scary, but it isn’t stopping me from coming down in September.

    • John Frost says:

      Agreed. They actually sent characters around to various Disney resorts to entertain guests in the lobby and restaurants while the parks were closed. A very classy move by Disney.

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