Select Page

by Fairy Diva

While most trips to Walt Disney World are filled with magic from morning to night, every now and then the unmagical happens. These moments are unpredictable and mostly unavoidable. On our last trip to Walt Disney World, we experienced one of the unmagical moments, and hopefully these tips (which I gathered from my own mistakes) can help if ever you encounter such events.

Poly pic 1

Here is a recap of our experience with a fire evacuation. On the second night of our stay at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, we went to bed exhausted, which is pretty normal after a long day of fun at Disney! Around 2:45 am, the fire alarms began blaring throughout the longhouse we were staying in, Moorea. Flashing lights and an extremely loud siren, along with a recording saying to exit the building, played continuously. In my sleepy state, with my alert level in a state of groggy, the only thing I could think about was getting my young children outside to safety. Literally no other thought crossed my mind. So I grabbed my daughter, while my husband grabbed my son, and after slipping on our shoes, we headed outside. Just before leaving the room, I got my husband to grab his MagicBand because I noticed it on the counter as we were exiting.


Outdoors that early morning, Florida was having a cold snap and we stood in the freezing cold for about 45 minutes. We had forgotten jackets and shoes for our kids, again my main concern was getting my children out to safety, but this surely would have helped! Thankfully, we had grabbed each child from their bed and wrapped the blankets they were sleeping under around them. A couple of things concerned me during this evacuation. First, we never saw or heard from anyone at Disney during this event. In fact, a fellow longhouse guest called the front desk and the cast member  was unaware of the alarm going off. No information was ever relayed to those of us standing outside in the cold. The fire department quickly attended to the situation and after the 45 minute wait outside, informed us that there was an electrical malfunction, and we could safely return to our rooms. The problem here was once the doors closed, we needed MagicBands to get back inside the longhouse to even get to our rooms! Fortunately, my husband had his, as most did not (myself included), so that could have caused an even further delay. The front entrance may have remained opened, I am not sure since we all filed out from the side and rear exits which require a MagicBand for reentry.

This experience made me realize that this sort of thing can happen at any time and on any trip. Here are a few tips to remember in case you encounter a fire evacuation while staying at a Disney Resort.

1. Be aware of your surroundings. Make a quick mental note of the exits in your building and how to get to the closest one. Had there have actually been a fire in our building, we would have needed to know the closest exit and if it wasn’t available, the next closest.


2. Keep important items close to you while you sleep. When we exited I had only my children and a blanket! I left my phone, money, purse- basically everything! I truly wished I had my phone and my MagicBand with me. I also wish we had taken our car keys so that we could have stayed out of the cold until the fire department concluded their inspection.

3. Have weather appropriate items handy. Our stay was cold. We should have had jackets and warm shoes easily accessible.  They were in the room, but with the alarms sounding, the urgency to get out didn’t allow us the time to search and find all we needed to endure the elements. Trust me, the flip flops I slipped on did not do much for me in the very cold weather! Same would apply for rainy nights. Have an umbrella, etc., handy and within easy reach.

4. Stay calm. I was most impressed with the level of calmness as a large number of people exited our building. Perhaps the 2:45 am time had something to do with it! Everyone remained calm and friendly (and sleepy), and we had the opportunity to visit with many others staying in our longhouse.

5. Endure it and press on. It happened. It was not fun and made for a long following day in the Disney parks. However, we were still at Disney! So we worked an afternoon nap into our plans and made the best of it. We were reimbursed for that night’s stay, so I felt Disney went above and beyond compensating the incident. I was grateful for the alarms had there have been an actual fire. Safety is always the most important consideration.

While you will probably (hopefully) never encounter a situation such as this, it is always helpful to be aware and somewhat prepared. I never anticipated dealing with a fire evacuation on our stay, and I clearly failed in my preparedness! Just know that not-so-magical things do happen at Disney, but once they pass, the true magic and fun still awaits!

For additional information on safety at Walt Disney World, check out Pink Diva’s article here.