Disney World’s Fate Predicted as Hurricane Lee Rapidly Intensifies

in Disney Parks, Walt Disney World

Hurricane Lee projections for Walt Disney World and Florida

Credit: Edited by Inside the Magic

Planning a Walt Disney World Resort vacation takes a lot of work. Typically, guests who visit save up for months, book time off of work and school, and take a lot of time while at home planning what hotel they want to stay at, what restaurants they want to dine at, what rides they want to check off their must-do list, and how they will tackle Disney Genie+.

All of that planning, however, can be quickly washed away with a hurricane.

Hurricane Lee projections for Walt Disney World
Credit: Edited by Inside the Magic

Hurricanes are one of the biggest issues that Walt Disney World Resort faces due to its location. Florida is a prime hurricane target, as so much of the state is engulfed by the coast. Each time a weather system begins forming in the Atlantic, many Disney guests who are visiting in the near future begin corssing their fingers that the storm will turn upwards and remain in the water, never making landfall.

A hurricane at Walt Disney World Resort can mean many different things.

NBC2 News weather report on hurricane Idalia, heading towards Florida
Credit: NBC2 News

At times, we have seen Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT all shut down entirely to protect guests. When this does happen, the Disney resorts will have tons of games in the lobby, and oftentimes characters will also be conducting meet and greets at each resort. Disney World is one of the safest places to be in Florida during a hurricane as all of their resorts are hurricane-proof, they have tons of generators, and plenty of food and water. Even Cinderella Castle can withstand a category 5 hurricane.

Storm rolling in over Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Kevin-Davis-Photography / Flickr

Typically, however, the Disney parks remain open and if guests are willing to brave some rain and winds, they will likely be met with incredibly low wait times and an empty park. For example, the most recent hurricane, Hurricane Idalia, had no operational affects at Disney, but the theme parks were very empty the following morning of the hurricane. It was raining heavily throughout the day, but that is a very normal occurance in Florida, regardless.

Disney World is also located much farther inland than other cities in Florida, making it less susceptible to getting directly hit by a hurricane.

The new hurricane that has been discussed by many meteorologists is Hurricane Lee which is expected to intensify to a category 4.

Previously, we announced, “the National Hurricane Center has issued an update on Tropical Depression 13, which is forecast to “become a powerful hurricane” by the end of the week. A major hurricane is considered Category 3 or higher.”

haunted mansion storm
Credit: Mike Buchawiecki / Flickr

Now it has been confirmed that The National Hurricane Center expects Lee to rapidly intensify into a hurricane on Wednesday and strengthen into a dangerous major Category 4 hurricane by Saturday because the wind shear will lessen and it will be over very warm water, according to CBS.

The original path of the hurricane had it showing that Florida was right in its path, but now, things are taking a turn. 

Tony Mainolfi from WESH shared the current model, which does put Bermuda at risk, but it seems that the hurricane will stay in the water and not make any actual landfall. We can see that the storm has curved north.

New model data coming out. Here’s a look…

Intensity models coming shortly…

Eric Burris, also from WESH shared a projection model. We can see that there is always a chance that the hurricane can miss the northern curve that is projected, but those odds are much smaller today than they previously were.

Tropical models are out, and I wanted to now post the latest global model ensembles from the 00z runs.

I did notice a bit of a westward shift yesterday, particularly in the GFS model ensembles. Hope it’s just a tweak, and not the start of a trend.

New cone by 5…

That being said, Eric also showed how the hurricane has begun intensifying with an eye popping out.

Looks like Hurricane Lee has begun significant intensification.

Do eye see an… eye popping out?


At the moment, neither Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando Resort has referenced the hurricane or discussed their plan of action, likely as they are waiting for more concrete details on the path of the storm before making any decisions. With Hurricane Idalia, neither theme park announced a closure even though the hurricane was approaching as a Category 4. That being said, we have certainly seen Disney shut down for hurricanes in the past.

As we mentioned, the models may not be accurate and any hurricane is unpredictable, but the current models do show that Disney World will not be affected by Hurricane Lee.

Would you still visit the Disney parks in a hurricane? 

If you are looking to visit Walt Disney World Resort for a magical vacation, the Walt Disney World Website can be a great tool to begin planning your trip! You can begin exploring their theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT. You can also take a look at their water parks where you can splash around in the chill of Disney’s Blizzard Beach (alongside new Frozen characters, Anna, Elsa, Sven, and Kristoff), or hit the waves at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. When you get hungry or want to go shopping, Disney Springs is the place to be, especially with World of Disney there ready to help you pick up some souvenirs! You can also begin looking for your Disney World Resort! If you are looking to stay at a Deluxe monorail Resort like Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa or a Value Resort where you can hop on the Skyliner like Disney’s Pop Century Resort, it is always fun to begin looking for a room that would best suit you and your party. Plus, it has all the information you need to know on Disney Genie+ so that you will be ready to go on your My Disney Experience app once you download it! Click here to check it out today.

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