Hurricane Idalia Intensifies, Disney World Eliminates Fees for Guests

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Disney's Grand Floridian under a dramatic stormy sky with lightning. A Disney World monorail passes in front at dusk, and the hotel's many windows

Image Credit: Inside The Magic

As Hurricane Idalia intensifies and moves toward Orlando, Walt Disney World has officially eliminated its cancelation and modification fees for select guests. Here’s what you need to know.

Magic Kingdom entrance at Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Paul Beattie, Flickr

Hurricane Idalia Heads Towards Florida, Multiple Theme Parks Close Down

Tropical Storm Idalia has intensified into a Hurricane and is heading to Florida. By the morning hours of Tuesday, August 29, the storm will officially make landfall towards Florida’s Big Bend – a natural storm surge-prone divot along the coast stretching from Tampa to just south of Tallahassee. The weather experts predict a storm surge of at least 12 feet high. For those wondering what should be done or what needs to be done before or while you’re vacating in Disney World or Universal Orlando, there are some things you need to keep in mind that will help keep you safe. You can find those answers by clicking here.

Front entrance sign to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Florida
Credit: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Several major theme parks along the coast and Central Florida have closed their doors in anticipation of hurricane Idalia’s landfall anytime soon. One of those theme parks was Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort have released statements as of 8 p.m. Monday, stating that both resorts are monitoring the situation and will keep all guests and employees safe throughout the storm. Both major theme parks will remain open as of Monday night. With the storm still changing course and currently strengthening, it might only be a matter of time until things change.

a photo of Cinderella's castle inside of Magic Kingdom at Disney World
Credit: Inside The Magic / Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Eliminates These Fees for Select Guests

For guests staying at one of the onsite Disney resort hotels, you’re in luck. From August 28 through September 4, 2023, you will have to change or cancel your Disney World vacation without paying those cancelation or modification fees. WDW announced late last night as guests were jamming the phone lines with questions about their vacations and what to do about the incoming hurricane. The update on this policy is limited and should be handled with care as it is scarce that Disney waives these fees, but in this circumstance, it would make logical sense for guests to decide what is best for them and their families.

For those guests looking to modify or cancel their Disney World vacation and are staying at one of the onsite resorts between now and September 4, click here for all the information about Walt Disney World’s Hurricane Cancellation Policies.


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