by Marvel Diva
At the end of May, the suburbs of southwest Ohio were hit by tornadoes. While I was luckily largely unaffected, I’ve had emergency preparedness on my mind. When I worked for Walt Disney World, we had plenty of severe weather pass through our area and it taught me a lot about preparing for emergencies. Hurricane season begins in June and ends in November and while they don’t come around often, it’s always good to be prepared! Not to mention, WDW has a fantastic system in place to keep everything running smoothly. Obviously, nobody likes an emergency crop up on their vacation, but contrary to popular belief – cast members do not control the weather. Here are some things to consider if you’re in the Most Magical Place on Earth when severe weather hits.
If you’re already in Orlando…
Disney has a plan.
When I lived in Orlando in 2016, Hurricane Matthew forced Walt Disney World to close – and everything after that was by the book. Disney has a system in place for fastpasses, customer service, buses, dining – of course, they have a system in place for hurricane season! Cast members have a whole slew of tasks to prepare for severe weather – it starts with securing any item that could be picked up by heavy winds.
What can you do?
Listen to the instructions you’re given by cast members. Your safety is their priority! They’ll still try their best to make as much magic as they can for you, but safety is their first priority. Be patient, stay calm, and you’ll have ridden out the storm in no time. If you’re staying on resort property, once the danger has passed, resorts will typically offer extra activities to keep everyone entertained.
If your vacation hasn’t started yet…
You have options.
There’s plenty to read up on in Disney’s Hurricane Policy FAQ. If the National Hurricane Center for Orlando has issued a formal warning and you’ve booked through Walt Disney World and it’s within 7 days of your arrival date, you can call Disney and they will reschedule/cancel your vacation without imposing any fees. 3rd party planning and packages are at the discretion of those companies – but Disney lays out their policy very clearly online. You may not be able to receive the same accommodations, especially in incidents like special events, but every Cast Member I’ve spoken to is always willing to pull whatever strings they can when possible to make magic happen.
Pack extra everything.
Even if the weather report is only calling for rain, pack extra clothes and plenty of raingear! When I lived in Florida we had plenty of severe weather warnings that passed without too much bluster, but it still rained cats and dogs! Even when the rain stopped, there were still plenty of puddles to soak my socks. Consider bringing a backup pair of shoes to alternate wearing – then the wet pair can dry back at your resort the following day.
The cast at Walt Disney World always has a close eye on the weather and doesn’t take warnings lightly. If the park has to close, they just want to make sure they can keep everyone safe. Listen to their instructions and know that they want to help you get back to enjoying your vacation as soon as they can too!
If you need help planning around the weather or other great tips, try booking with Patricia at All for Dream Travel.