Hurricane Evacuees, First Responders Receive Unusual Discount at Disney World

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A hurricane evacuation sign with the Magic Kingdom castle and stormy weather in the background

Credit: Inside The Magic

Walt Disney World Resort is gearing up for hurricane Idalia as it is scheduled to strike Orlando between Wednesday and Thursday morning. Some major updates have been released from WDW about people evacuating from the storm and First Responders assisting throughout the hurricane. Here’s what you need to know.

on the left: a photo of hurricane idalia as it heads towards Florida. on the right: a photo of a cloudy and stormy day inside Magic Kingdom at Disney World
Credit: Inside The Magic

Florida, Disney World Braces for Major Hurricane Idalia

As of 11 a.m. this morning, Idalia has intensified into a category one hurricane and will continue strengthening as it approaches Florida Wednesday morning. Weather experts call this a “worst-case scenario” for Floridians living along the coastline. Tampa International Airport shut down this morning in preparation for this hurricane. Any Disney guests hoping to fly in or out of this significant Florida airport will have their flights canceled indefinitely. WDW sent an update on the recent storm, stating that the parks would operate under normal conditions now.

Orlando International Airport is currently providing updates as well. The hurricane will intensify into a possible category three storm before falling into category one as it makes landfall. Nonetheless, the battery will significantly impact the Florida coastline and Orlando. No major news has yet been released from this airport, but as the day goes on, more information will be revealed.

WDW is taking precautions by eliminating specific fees and giving huge discounts to select guests and First Responders. Here’s what you need to know if you plan to evacuate from the hurricane and head toward Disney World.

The state of Florida with a hurricane in the background and a picture frame showing the location of Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Inside The Magic

WDW to Eliminate Fees and Give Unusual Discounts to Select Guests

Disney has released some new statements regarding some policy changes effective immediately for select guests and First Responders. Disney is allowing evacuees and First Responders support by giving these individuals a 50% discount on WDW onsite Resort hotels from August 29 through August 31.

Disney is also asking guests staying at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground to remove all items from outside and secure their campers, RV, and other vehicles.

There is also some travel flexibility in motion for select resort hotel guests that has recently been updated.

WDW is also a staging area for storm-related recovery efforts in Florida.

Stormy clouds and stormy weather over a Disney World Resort hotel
Credit: Inside The Magic

Here is the information pulled directly from the official Disney website:

  • For Guests staying at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground: As we continue to monitor the weather, we are asking that all Fort Wilderness Guests remove and stow all outside items, including décor, and take in camper awnings by 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 29. If you’d like to depart early or discuss alternate vacation options, please contact us at (407) 939-2744.
  • Travel Flexibility: At this time, change and cancellation fees imposed by Disney will be waived for check-in dates of August 28, 2023, through September 5, 2023. Guests staying at our Disney Resort hotels whose travel plans have been impacted by the storm may receive a discounted rate to extend their stay through the evening of August 31, if needed, by visiting the front desk.
  • Evacuees & First Responders Support: Florida residents evacuating from the storm and first responders assisting in storm-related recovery efforts may also receive 50% off Disney Resort hotel stays on the evenings of August 29-31, 2023. For evacuees, please call (407) W-DISNEY for details. For first responders, please call (407) 828-3200 (Option 3). This applies to new bookings only and is based on availability.
  • Storm Recovery: Walt Disney World is prepared to once again serve as a staging area for storm-related recovery efforts for Florida.

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

Sticking to those hurricane rules they have at Disney World is super important. Seriously, it’s all about keeping everyone safe when crazy weather hits. Those rules they came up with are super detailed, and they’re meant to handle all the crazy stuff that hurricanes can throw at a theme park. With all those people around and everything happening, it’s a big deal to have a plan.

By following those rules, Disney World can make sure that if something terrible happens, they can get everyone out of harm’s way and maybe even find a spot for them to stay safe. And let’s not forget about all the rides and buildings – those rules help ensure they don’t get messed up by strong winds and heavy rain.

And here’s the cool part: if you follow these rules, Disney World can still be the incredible, magical place it’s supposed to be, even if Mother Nature decides to act up. So, it’s not just about reputation; it’s about being responsible and showing that they care about everyone who visits.

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