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When traveling to the happiest place on earth, the last thing you want to deal with is anything that’s not happy. But being in central Florida, Orlando does actually get many different types of weather. The best way to keep your trip a success when you run into any weather is not to freak out but to face it head on and show it who is boss. And remember, in any type of extreme weather, Disney does have safety precautions in place already. But here is a look at how you can deal with anything the weather tried to throw at ya.
Most likely if you visit Walt Disney World in the summer or early fall months you will experience rain. It’s not unusual for mother nature to dump a little rain each day during these months. But fear not, this will only ruin your day if you let it. If you see rain in the forecast and decide it’s best to stay in your room for the day, you are losing valuable time! Go for it and chance getting a little wet. For most of the day it will be cloudy (though don’t skip on sunscreen! Those UV rays can still get through the clouds!) and it will probably only rain for about an hour. This is the perfect time to stop in to get lunch or to go see a show. Figure out what you want to do for an hour, or maybe a little more, and go for it. Or, you could even just bring a poncho and act like there is no rain. If you are going during one of these months you might want to plan ahead and get a cheap poncho at a convenience store for a buck instead of waiting until last minute and paying $5 or more. Then you can just pop one of these bad boys on and go about your day. You might also consider bringing a pair of flip flops to change into. This will stop you from walking around the rest of the day with wet socks and shoes. It is worth it to note that some rides with outdoor components might be shut down, and parades and fireworks might be delayed, but they have been doing this a while and they aren’t going to let a little rain stop them from making your day magical. And when it comes to rain at Walt Disney World, remember it’s mind over matter, it’s only going to ruin your day if you let it!
This is pretty close to rain, but a few more things might be shut down. Anything on the water will stop if there is a lighting strike within a six mile radius. This means transportation too. But if water transportation is halted for more than 15 minutes, a bus will take over the route instead. Pools at all resorts will close and the water parks. At this point, it is best to ask a Cast Member what your options are. If you are already in a park, most likely it will not affect you much. Pick a ride that is fully indoors and you should be fine. Or choose to ride it out like you might with rain and you can use the time to fill your tummy and play a game with your family like 20 questions, or just take time to talk and bond. As for the water parks, if you are in one or the other for less than two hours, you can go to guest services and they might be able to transfer your tickets to one of the other non-water parks. If you are there for more than two hours, you should still talk to guest services. More than likely if it is storming at one park, the other might still be open. So if you are at Blizzard Beach you might be able to finish out your day at Typhoon Lagoon or vice versa.
Somehow by the grace of mother nature a big bad tornado has not his Walt Disney World so far. Some little ones have hit or grazed over and no one has been hurt but they do happen. Cast Members are prepared for anything to happen and are trained to deal with these situations. If you really believe that a tornado is coming your way you should attempt to get back to your room and get into a safe area. All the hotels are designed to deal with bad weather and most of the bathrooms are away from windows, so you can go to the bathroom and hide in the tub like you would at home. If you are camping you can ask a CM what the plan is but it probably involves moving you to one of the resort hotels until the danger has passed. If you are in the park and a tornado were to hit there are a couple options. Again, go to a bathroom. But be aware you might miss any instructions that are being given by Cast Members. In the event of a tornado all of the park have an area that is a safety zone. In Magic Kingdom it’s a section of the utilidors and in many of the other parks it’s one of the show spaces. Either way you should listen to Cast Members and not try to outsmart them. If you are really worried, try and do some of your own research. In my research for this post I’ve found that barely any tornadoes his Walt Disney World, even though they do happen. Many people reported barely realizing there was a tornado because of the design of the parks, and almost everyone said there was no sign of it the next day. Disney is good about taking care of their guests and their park.
Hurricanes are a little different than everything else. Walt Disney World is in that area of the world that just expects hurricanes to happen from June 1st to November 30th , in fact as I am writing this, tropical storm Andrea has made it’s way on land in Florida. The Cast Members I know are posting on Facebook about the rain and the wind and how today will be an interesting day at work. But Disney knows how to learn it’s lessons. In 2004 Hurricane Frances attacked Walt Disney World and they closed their parks down and moved all their guests to safe locations. They have a 5 Phase process in line for if and when any hurricane decides to head their way. It involves moving all loose furniture, displays and anything that is not secure to the ground to indoor storage, evacuating all guests to a safe location, and of course, making sure that Mickey and Friends are there to great guests once they get to safety. Disney wants their guest to be safe, so they make sure their guests can still enjoy themselves while they remain safe. Their are special Disney movies on the TV, Character meet and greets and many fun activities for guests to do while they ride out the storm. If you have not arrived at Walt Disney World yet and it is 7 or less days before you do and a hurricane warning is issued, you can call and cancel or reschedule your travel plans if they are made through Disney, without any fees. They can not guarantee the same thing with any outside companies. I recommend you check into Disney’s Hurricane Policy if you are planning a trip in the dates above, but we will keep our fingers crossed you don’t have to use them!