As Hurricane Irma Tracks Toward Florida, Will Disney World Close?
Irma was a Category 5 storm as of Tuesday, tracking toward landfall in Florida later this week. It could initiate closures at a variety of amusement parks in Orlando.
The storm is expected to remain at a Category 4 or 5 when it makes landfall, and South Florida was in its path Tuesday morning, The New York Times reported. Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Monday for 67 counties, calling Irma a "major and life-threatening storm."
Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World Resort, and Sea World all have emergency protocols in place and cancellation policies for guests affected by inclement weather. Universal and Sea World both have "peace of mind" hurricane policies, where guests can cancel or reschedule without incurring a fee, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Disney World offers re-booking or cancelation for trips without any fees if the National Hurricane Center issues a warning for Orlando. The policy only applies to vacations booked directly through Disney, and it does not apply to dining or special events.
Disney World has closed just four times for hurricanes in its nearly five-decade-long history. If Hurricane Irma is downgraded, the resort has a "shelter in place" system where guests can safely wait out the storm.