The entire nation is watching as Hurricane Irma continues to strengthen and grow out in the Atlantic Ocean, but it is still too early to know what it could do or where it may go. As the day approaches where its path is more known, those who have upcoming Disney vacations are starting to get rather nervous and antsy. With the storm set to near the United States near the end of the week, there have already been changes to Disney Cruise Line itineraries and here is what you can do with your Walt Disney World trip.
UPDATE at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sept. 5, 2017
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) September 5, 2017
UPDATE at 11:00 p.m. Eastern on Sept. 4, 2017
UPDATE at 5:30 p.m. Eastern on Sept. 4, 2017
As reported by NBC 2, Florida Governor Rick Scott has now reported that all 67 counties in the state of Florida have had a State of Emergency declared for them.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 4, 2017
UPDATE at 4:45 p.m. Eastern on Sept. 4, 2017
Late on Monday afternoon, Hurricane Irma strengthened to a Category 4 storm.
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) September 4, 2017
—-Begin original article
Last year, Hurricane Matthew made landfall in early October and it affected a number of DCL vacations. Those at Walt Disney World had to deal with the theme parks actually closing for a day-and-a-half, which led to a lot of confusion, but all ended up being taken care of in pretty good fashion.
Now, a very strong Hurricane Irma is continuing to gain even more strength as it moves south/southwest toward the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The Disney Cruise Line Blog is reporting that the September 4 sailing on the Disney Dream has already altered its 4-night itinerary with stops at Castaway Cay and Nassau swapping days on Tuesday and Wednesday.
— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) September 4, 2017
The Disney Cruise Line Blog also reported that the September 2 sailing on the Disney Fantasy also had slight alterations to its itinerary.
Last year during Hurricane Matthew, one Disney Dream sailing was cancelled while another was extended by two days. One Disney Fantasy sailing was extended by a day while another was cut short by one night.
Looking at Orlando and Walt Disney World, there have been no changes made at all to any operating days or hours or events. My Mickey Vacation Travel has done a lot of research and stayed updated with the project path, strength, and alterations that may come about due to Hurricane Irma.
All those who have vacation plans in place that will start later this week when Irma is expected to hit the United States should currently keep them. It’s just too early to tell what will happen, and if the Disney Parks and ships will be affected by the storm.
By the time Monday afternoon rolled around, NBC 2 reported how Hurricane Irma remained a Category 3, but it was expected to strengthen to a Category 4 later this week. Still, with the path so up in the air at this time, it could go anywhere.
If it does end up heading toward Central Florida, Disney already has a number of plans to put in place for the safety of all guests and cast members.
There is a “Hurricane Policy” in place for those visiting Walt Disney World if a hurricane warning is issued and it is listed on their official website.
“If a hurricane warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center for the Orlando area—or for your place of residence—within 7 days of your scheduled arrival date, you may call in advance to reschedule or cancel your Walt Disney Travel Company Magic Your Way vacation package and most room only reservations (booked directly with Disney) without any cancellation or change fees imposed by Disney.”
Flights, airlines, private transportation, and anything else booked through third-party suppliers would fall under the responsibility of the guest and not Disney. All dates for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party are still going to happen as scheduled as of now.
Stay updated with all forecasts and the projected path of Hurricane Irma from legitimate news sources and the National Weather Service. For now, nothing has changed at Walt Disney World, but they will advise guests if anything is altered.
If the time comes that a hurricane warning is issued during your trip, contact your travel agent or the reservation line for WDW or DCL to find out your options which can include the following.
- Cancellation of your trip
- Rescheduling of your trip
- Alternate or changed itineraries
It has already been made blatantly clear that Hurricane Irma is an incredibly dangerous storm that is only going to grow stronger as the week goes on. With its path still unknown, there are so many possibilities as to what may or may not happen as well as where it may or may not go. For those with upcoming Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line vacations, just stay alert and updated, but for now, don’t change anything until it is absolutely necessary.
[Featured Image by Danny Cox]