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BREAKING NEWS: Disney World Announces Closures With Tropical Storm Nicole Projected to Reach Hurricane Status

An unusual November storm will impact operations at Walt Disney World on November 9 and November 10. Walt Disney World has announced a number of closures ahead of the storm. Learn more below.





 

Here is the latest list of closures from the Walt Disney World website:

We are closely monitoring Tropical Storm Nicole and making adjustments based on the latest information from the National Weather Service.

Last updated on November 9, 2022, at 11 AM.

Walt Disney World Theme Parks and Water Parks

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, we are planning to make the following operational adjustments as we continue to prioritize the safety of our Cast Members and Guests during the storm:

THEME PARKS

Walt Disney World Resort theme parks will have a phased closure today, Nov. 9, beginning at 5 p.m. and will remain closed through tomorrow morning, Nov. 10. Resort Guests are encouraged to enjoy food and beverage options at the theme parks prior to returning to their Disney Resort hotel. Theme parks will likely not reopen at their regularly scheduled time tomorrow, Nov. 10.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Closing today, Nov. 9, at 5 p.m. with last dining reservations at 5 p.m.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Closing today, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m. with last dining reservations at 6 p.m.

Magic Kingdom Park: Closing today, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. Last dining reservations for Be Our Guest, Liberty Tree Tavern, Diamond Horseshoe and Cinderella’s Royal Table will be at 6 p.m., and last dining for all other dining reservations will be at 6:30 p.m.

EPCOT: Closing today, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. Last dining reservations for Monsieur Paul, Space 220 Restaurant, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and Garden Grill Restaurant will be at 6 p.m., and last dining for all other dining reservations will be at 6:30 p.m.

As previously shared, extended evening theme park hours at Magic Kingdom will be canceled today, Nov. 9.

To align with modified theme park hours, nighttime spectaculars will be canceled today, Nov. 9, including Disney Enchantment at Magic Kingdom Park, Harmonious at EPCOT, and Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

WATER PARKS AND MINI GOLF

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon will temporarily close tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 10. (Disney’s Blizzard Beach is currently closed.)

Winter Summerland Miniature Golf and Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf will close early today, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. and will remain temporarily closed tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 10.

Please continue to monitor this page for additional updates and news outlets for the latest weather information.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Guests staying at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will be required to depart by 3 p.m. today, Nov. 9. We are contacting Guests with reservations to help them find alternate accommodations.

Guests staying at the Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort will be required to depart by today, Nov. 9, at 3 p.m. We are contacting Guests with reservations to help them find alternative accommodations.

At this time, all other Walt Disney World Resort hotels remain open to Guests.

Character breakfasts at Disney Resort hotels will not include characters tomorrow morning, Nov. 10, so we can accommodate more Resort Guests staying at these locations for breakfast.

For Guests looking to modify or cancel their Disney Resort hotel reservations, please visit DisneyWorld.com/Plans.


 

Other Walt Disney World Experiences

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser voyage scheduled to begin tomorrow, November 10 will be cancelled. We are contacting Guests with reservations.

Dining and Enchanting Extras

Effective immediately, we will not enforce cancellation policies until further notice for dining and other experiences like Savi’s Workshop and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Guests with pre-paid reservations will be cancelled and refunded to the original form of payment.

Performances of Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground have been cancelled for Wednesday, November 9.

Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise has been cancelled for Wednesday, November 9.

Disney Springs

Disney Springs will close early today, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m., with last dining reservations at 6:30 p.m. Disney Springs will remain closed through tomorrow morning, Nov. 10.

Disney Bus transportation from Disney Springs will operate until 8 p.m. today, Nov. 9.

RELATED ARTICLE: Hurricanes and Disney World – What You Need to Know

by Chad and Cindy Nykamp

Central Florida is no stranger to severe weather. Being the lightning strike capital of the world, those that live in Central Florida have come to expect the afternoon thundershower as a normal part of life. But what about when the weather turns really nasty and a hurricane is barreling toward Disney World? Knowing how good Disney is at the smallest of details, it’s not surprising that Disney World has plenty of safety procedures in place for guests and cast members alike during such a weather event. Here is what you need to know about hurricanes and Disney World.


 

1 – Hurricane Season in Central Florida

The hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. Usually, a hurricane in June or July is rare, but it can happen. Hurricanes in August and September are more likely. And while the likelihood decreases, hurricanes in October and November are possible. In recent years, Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, Hurricane Irma in September 2017, and Hurrican Dorian in September 2019 have impacted Disney World operations.

2 – Past Closings at Disney World

It is rare, but hurricanes have prompted closures at Disney World. Disney World, Universal and Sea World all closed for the first time ever in 1999 as Hurricane Floyd threatened Florida in September of that year. The storm changed course and did not impact the area. In 2004, the big three closed during a string of hurricanes: Charley (August), Frances (September) and Jeanne (September). Frances caused the most problems and closed several attractions for two days. Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios (at that time MGM Studios) closed for three days. Charley only affected the parks for one day. Hurricane Matthew in 2016 closed Disney World for one evening and a full day because of the threat to the Orlando area in early October. Hurricane Irma, a category four hurricane that hit Central Florida directly in September 2017, closed Disney World Parks for two full days. Other events like the second night of Night of Joy and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party also were canceled. In September of 2019, the threat of Hurricane Dorian resulted in the parks and Disney Springs closing early on just one day, and Disney After Hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom was canceled. The latest hurricane to disrupt operations at Walt Disney World is Hurricane Ian, a category four storm that is expected to hit Central Florida directly. So far, the parks will be closed for two days, and other offerings have also been canceled. Heavy rain is expected, and extended closures may be announced as the storm progresses towards the area.

3 – Cancellation Policy During a Hurricane

Disney has a Hurricane Policy in place. Here is the official policy:

If a hurricane warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center for the Orlando area—or for your place of residence—within 7 days of your scheduled arrival date, you may call in advance to reschedule or cancel your Walt Disney Travel Company Magic Your Way vacation package and most room-only reservations (booked directly with Disney) without any cancellation or change fees imposed by Disney.

If you have products and services provided by third-party suppliers included in your vacation—such as airlines, hotels, car rental agencies or vacation insurance companies—you will continue to be responsible for any non-refundable payments, as well as cancellation or change fees assessed by those suppliers. The policy does not apply to certain special events or dining experiences.

This policy also applies to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort or Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort in the event a hurricane warning is issued for those destinations.

If you have questions or you wish to reschedule your vacation due to a hurricane warning, please call (407) 939-7675. Guests under 18 years of age must have parent or guardian permission to call.

4 – Rescheduling Policy

If you need to cancel a reservation due to a hurricane, you need to be aware of the rescheduling policy. Here is the policy:

If you are scheduled to arrive within 7 days of a hurricane warning, you may call us in advance to reschedule without a Disney imposed change fee. We cannot guarantee availability of similar accommodations for the new travel dates. All amounts you paid to Disney for rooms, theme park tickets, dining plans and other Disney products and services will be applied toward your new reservation.

Any discounts or special offers applicable to your original confirmed vacation will not apply to the rescheduled vacation travel dates. You are responsible for applicable package pricing for the new vacation dates.

The policy does not apply to certain special events and dining experiences.

If you received a special offer when you booked your original vacation, be aware that it may not be possible to get the same offer. Here is the policy:

Cast Members will be able to reschedule your vacation to your new desired travel dates if the same special offer is available. If the same special offer is not available Cast Members will assist by identifying alternate offers during your new desired travel dates. All amounts you paid to the Walt Disney Travel Company for rooms, park tickets, dining plans and other Disney products and services will be applied toward your new reservation.

Any discounts or special offers applicable to your original confirmed vacation may not apply to the rescheduled vacation travel dates. You are responsible for applicable package pricing for the new vacation dates.


 

5 – Riding Out the Storm in Disney World

What if you are already on property when a hurricane is approaching or affecting Disney World operations? If you are able to get out of a storm, it’s not only the safest option but will also reduce the strain on limited resources. However, with hundreds of thousands of visitors in Orlando at any given time, many of whom have flown in, what if you are unable to leave? When the State of Florida declares a state of emergency, officials begin working to ensure Disaster Relief Centers are manned by professionals ready to offer services as needed. In the most extreme and unlikely situation, guests would be evacuated off Disney property to these secure locations. The more likely scenario would be guests waiting out the storm in their Disney Resort.

As hurricanes approach, the resorts prepare to handle guests in the event of a direct hit. Disney World will have supplies and personnel on hand to ensure guests have adequate supplies such as bottled water and food in the event of power outages. In the days ahead of the storm, guests might prepare ahead of time by purchasing their own packaged food and bottled water for their own peace of mind. Disney World has always kept the safety of its guests a top priority, and during a hurricane, that doesn’t change. Be assured that Disney will do all that it can for their guests.

6 – Cinderella’s Castle will be Dismantled Prior to the Storm

Just kidding. This is a complete (though persistent) myth. The myth started with the circulation of a famous photo of the castle being constructed with the entire top spire being lifted into place with a crane. It didn’t take long for the hurricane rumor to start. While the spires on the castle can be removed, it takes several days and a large crane to do so, neither of which is practical when a hurricane is quickly approaching. Instead, the castle was built to withstand winds of over 110 mph with a 600-ton steel frame and 10-inch concrete walls. It’s definitely not going anywhere during a hurricane.

7 – Disney World Cast Members are Waiting and Ready to Clean Up After the Storm

After Hurricane Irma, we spoke to Lee Cockerell, former Executive Vice President of Disney World and resident of Central Florida. According to Mr. Cockerell, “We are very well prepared for these types of events. We run drills several times a year, so everyone knows exactly what to do.”

The preparation for a hurricane begins in May when grounds crews focus on removing any branches or other items that could cause damage during a hurricane. Before storm arrival, cast members know exactly what needs to be tied down or brought inside. The real magic happens during and right after the hurricane passes.

During a hurricane such as Irma, approximately 5,000 cast members stayed on property. In addition to hotel staff, cast members on stand-by for clean-up spend the night in the parks. Cots are set up in the Magic Kingdom tunnels and other buildings around property, and board games and the like are on hand while cast members wait for the storm to pass. As soon as it is safe, those cast members descend upon the parks to clean up and get set for the reopening the following day. If we haven’t said it recently, THANK YOU, amazing cast members. Your commitment to excellence is inspiring, and we love you.

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.



 

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