UPDATED: How to plan for Hurricane Irma if you’re visiting Walt Disney World, Orlando theme parks this week

in Disney, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

UPDATE 9/8/2017:

All major Orlando area theme parks will be closed on Sunday and Monday, including the four Walt Disney World parks. Disney Springs and the two Disney water parks will also be shuttered during this time.

Cirque du Soleil: La Nouba has cancelled its 9:00 PM show on Saturday.

Universal Orlando Resort will close at 7:00PM ET on Saturday, September 9 and remain closed through Monday, September 11. Normal operating hours should resume on Tuesday, September 12.

On-site hotels at Universal Orlando Resort are currently at full capacity and will remain operational.

The Rock the Universe concert scheduled for Friday, September 8 will go on as planned. Saturday-ticket holders are welcome to attend on Friday night. The event is cancelled on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

SeaWorld Orlando will close by 5:00PM ET on Saturday, September 9, while Busch Gardens Tampa will be closed entirely, pending further updates. Both parks remain closed on Sunday, September 10 and Monday, September 11.

Aquatica Orlando and Adventure Island will be closed from Saturday, September 9 through Monday, September 11.

Discovery Cove will be closed on Sunday, September 10 and Monday, September 11.

SeaWorld parks are rescheduling or refunding any vacation package or individual park tickets booked through SeaWorld Vacations, Busch Gardens Vacations, DiscoveryCove.com, SeaWorld.com, BuschGardens.com, or the contact center. The parks will not apply any cancellation or change fees for this service.

Over at LEGOLAND Florida, the theme park and water park will be closed from Saturday, September 9 – through Monday, September 11.

LEGOLAND Hotel will remain open to admit arriving guests; LEGOLAND Beach Retreat guests will be relocated to LEGOLAND Hotel.

Guests who booked through LEGOLAND Florida Resort, LEGOLAND Vacations, and partners can reschedule or cancel without penalties or fees by calling the Customer Service Center at (877) 350-5346. Live chat is available through the website’s Help Center.

UPDATE 9/7/2017:

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom on Sunday night has been cancelled, in addition to the second day (Saturday) of the Night of Joy faith-based concert weekend at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Refunds and exchanges for both events are available by calling the Walt Disney World ticket hotline at (407) 939-7818.

Also closing around Walt Disney World are the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground (beginning Saturday afternoon), Disney’s Vero Beach Resort (beginning Friday afternoon), Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort (beginning Saturday morning), the Saturday through Monday performances of Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, the Saturday evening  Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and the Saturday evening Highway in the Sky Dine Around.

Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park will be also be closed on Friday and Saturday.

Over at Universal Orlando Resort, the Saturday night Rock the Universe event and the early morning Sunday Worship Service have been cancelled. According to the Resort’s Facebook post on the matter, “Guests with tickets for Saturday night are welcome to attend Rock the Universe on Friday night.”


Hurricane Irma is expected to may its way to the Caribbean and Puerto Rico by Wednesday before possibly making landfall on the mainland United States. Irma’s path may affect Florida, but it’s still too early to be certain and it’s not clear where the storm would make landfall in the Sunshine State.

If you’ve planned a vacation to Central Florida this week, here are a few things to know if and when Hurricane Irma arrives.


During Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Walt Disney World allowed guests to cancel or reschedule trips if a hurricane warning was issued by the National Hurricane Center within 7 days of the arrival date. You can read Walt Disney World’s hurricane polices here.

The parks may close or alter hours of operation if needed. The closure during Hurricane Matthew was only the fourth time Walt Disney World has ceased operations since 1971, and all were due to hurricanes.


Universal Orlando also allows guests to cancel or reschedule trips if a hurricane warning is issued within 7 days of the arrival date. You can read Universal Orlando’s Severe Weather Policy here.

Universal Orlando also closed in 2016 during Hurricane Matthew.


SeaWorld Orlando offers a “Peace of Mind” Hurricane Policy. If a hurricane approaches Orlando, Tampa, or the guest’s hometown, SeaWorld will reschedule or refund any park tickets or vacation packages booked through authorized booking agencies.

For the full hurricane policy, visit the SeaWorld website.


LEGOLAND will also allow guests to cancel or reschedule their vacations if a hurricane warning is issued within 7 days of their arrival date.

You can read all of LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s hurricane policy information on their website.

If parks close during your visit due to Hurricane Irma, you will receive instructions on how and where to safely wait out the storm.

In order to prepare for the possibility of landfall, Governor Rick Scott has issued a state of emergency for the state of Florida. Again, at this point this is a safety precaution as it’s not clear if and when Irma will arrive in the U.S.

To follow the storm, you can use the CNN Storm Tracker.

in Disney, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

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