If you are in the Central Florida area on vacation or planning to travel here in the next few days, here is the latest information we have from Walt Disney World regarding temporary closures and operational changes related to Hurricane Ian.
As of tonight, as the cast and staff at Walt Disney World prepare to respond to the most recent data from the National Weather Service, most of the resort is currently operating as normal.
With guest and cast member safety in mind, Walt Disney World has made the following announcements regarding closures related to Hurricane Ian:
- Disney Resort Hotels: Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Copper Creek Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort will temporarily close Wednesday, Sept. 28 through Friday, Sept. 30 due to the forecasted severe weather.
- Disney’s only operating water park, Typhoon Lagoon, will close temporarily Wednesday, Sept. 28 and Thursday, Sept. 29.
- Winter Summerland Miniature Golf and Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf will also temporarily close Wednesday, Sept. 28 and Thursday, Sept. 29.
- If you have reservations for Disney dining or other experiences that require a deposit, Disney will not enforce cancelation policies until further notice. This includes experiences like Savi’s Workshop and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
- Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue has been canceled Sept. 28-30 as the temporary closure of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will prevent guests from accessing the property. Guests with pre-paid reservations will be automatically canceled and refunded.
- The Disney Skyliner gondola system has rules in place for closing before severe weather arrives (because it takes a while to unload every guest and they don’t want to shut down with guests suspended above a body of water or a road if they can avoid it). When this happens, guests will be offered alternative transportation via Disney motor coach to get between the impacted resorts, EPCOT, & Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
- The Friendship boats that run in EPCOT and between EPCOT area resorts and DHS and EPCOT also typically close ahead of the storm. Same situation with alternative transportation from the resorts.
Although there is no information on the website now, Disney will add news about other temporary closures or important changes to the operating schedule at DisneyWorld.com/Weather and via the My Disney Experience app for your mobile phone or smart device.
So far there have been no announced changes to park operating hours or special events, but park management has said those announcements will be coming at a later time. Also note, as of tonight, you can no longer make a reservation for Disney resort hotels through the rest of the week via the website.
What to do if you’re visiting Orlando right now
If you are on vacation at Walt Disney World, or any of the other local theme parks, resorts, or hotels, remember that the employees of those establishments all live in the area. They have friends, family, pets, and property they are worried about, but they are at work so you can be safe, and provided food and entertainment. Don’t go outside in the middle of severe weather. That’s how you get hurt.
Further information on Walt Disney World’s Hurricane Policy is available on the Walt Disney World website.
Keep your eye on the latest forecast from the National Weather Service Hurricane Center and their forecast for possible impact of Hurricane Ian. Note that in the 8pm Monday forecast below, the eastern side of the storm is typically the strongest and the current map has Walt Disney World and Central Florida to the east side of the cone. It could miss us to the east or be a bulls-eye. It’s too early to know.
We hope everyone in town stays safe as Hurricane Ian approaches the stage of Florida. Everyone in the forecast cone should take it seriously and prepare. If you are staying at a resort that may include bringing in some snacks and extra water for any time on Wednesday and Thursday that you might be asked to shelter in place. Pre-pack your luggage in case you have to make a swift evacuation.
Be extra nice to Central Florida’s workforce this week and when, hopefully, if, they ask you to shelter somewhere for your safety or otherwise relay important information, please listen.