The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 through November 30. Each year, there is a chance that Florida will be hit by a storm or storms. Most of the time there is little damage, but that isn’t always the case. I live just a few miles from Walt Disney World, and in 2017 Hurricane Irma passed directly over our home. It all but destroyed our roof and left other minor damage. The whole area was a mess for the next few days. Still, whenever there is a storm predicted, people wonder if they should cancel their Walt Disney World vacations. Often others will tell them to “put on a poncho and go anyway”. That is terrible advice.
There’s nothing wrong with going to Walt Disney World in the rain. I’ve done it myself plenty of times. Wait Times are often shorter, and you can get some really fun pictures with everyone drenched. It can be a great memory.
There’s a difference between a rainy day and a tropical storm or hurricane. With some tropical systems the rain will be on and off, but with other storms it will come down in buckets. A poncho will do nothing in inches of rain. In a storm many outdoor rides could shut down, and there is a good chance that the fireworks will be canceled. While there are measures in place for Character Cavalcades to run in the rain, those are more for a shower, not a heavy downpour. If it’s pouring, you won’t see characters under the current conditions.
It’s rare that the Walt Disney World theme parks will close because of a storm, but it does happen. In the past few years they have shut down because of Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Irma in 2017. Things shut down early one day for Hurricane Dorian in 2019, but when the storm wasn’t as bad in Florida as predicted normal operations resumed the next day.
When the parks are closed, what is there to do? I remember that there was a curfew in place for Hurricane Matthew. People were not allowed on the road in most circumstances. That meant no Disney buses. While it’s true that Disney provided extra entertainment in the resort lobbies, for some resorts that is quite a walk; in the rain and wind. Food is another concern. Many of the resort restaurants close if the parks are closed due to weather. The ones that remain open sell boxed meals with a sandwich, chips, and fruit. Is that what you traveled to Florida for?
Speaking of travel, that can be a problem as well. Flights will most likely be delayed or canceled, and if the storm is predicted to be bad enough Orlando International Airport could close. Driving isn’t a good idea either. The conditions are just too dangerous.
If a storm is predicted and warnings have been issued, Disney is more than willing to work with you to reschedule. That should be your first choice; not traveling into a hurricane or tropical storm. It’s better to hear that the storm wasn’t as bad a predicted than to head to Walt Disney World and have a terrible time. If you do decide to still visit, please be extra nice to the Cast Members. They’re worried about their families and homes, but are trying to make things as enjoyable as possible for you. They’ll be overworked and tired, will still try to put a smile on your face.