Hurricane Irma is doing whatever possible to cause confusion and frighten as many people as humanly possible, and preparations are being made by all of those in her projected path. Disney Cruise Line has already canceled a handful of sailings and shortened some others, but what about those already at Walt Disney World? In case of hurricane force winds or whatever may be brought by Irma and other storms, there is a lot to know about what goes on in Central Florida.
Many people are working on cancelling their upcoming Walt Disney World vacations or at least trying to reschedule them for another time. Others are sticking around, though, as the latest forecasts for Hurricane Irma have it shifting in a more easterly fashion as of mid-day on Wednesday.
There are some who are going to wait out the storm in Orlando while others are going to head on down and stay at their resort for the weekend. Mandatory evacuations and all other warnings made by weather services and states do need to still be followed, but if people are still at WDW, there may end up being some changes.
Here is what could possibly happen and what will be done if Hurricane Irma brings too much danger to those at Walt Disney World.
— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) September 6, 2017
As the storm continues to stay very strong as it heads toward Florida, here are some of the things that Disney will do, if necessary, to take care of all those on property.
Activate the Hurricane Ride Out Team
There is an actual “Hurricane Ride Out Team” among the Walt Disney World cast members made up of volunteers and others who will spring into action as needed. Once called for, the rather large team will be called together and spread out to different parks and resorts to help guests with whatever they may need.
As reported by Heavy, the team was activated and put in place last October when Hurricane Matthew brought danger to the Orlando area.
Close down the theme parks
Speaking of Hurricane Matthew, that storm happened to bring about the closure of all Walt Disney World parks for just the fourth time in history, according to Mashable. If the dangers of Hurricane Irma end up bringing dangerous rains, possible flooding, and severely high winds, Disney is going to look out for the safety of their guests and employees by shutting down the parks.
Virtually everything will be shut down in that situation, including the four theme parks, two water parks, Disney Springs, golf courses, and other areas. Obviously, the resorts will stay open to house and help guests who are there.
— KPLC (@KPLC7News) October 17, 2016
There are a lot of resorts on property that will still have a great number of guests who did not want to leave or simply had nowhere to go. With the possibility of flights being canceled and roads being packed, guests may have to wait out the storms in their resorts and stay there until it passes.
If that is the case, cast members will make sure that all guests have the necessary supplies needed such as bottled water, food, and even battery-powered flashlights. Cast members will continue to update guests with news and the path/strength of the storm.
As many saw last year during Hurricane Matthew, the lines for food can end up being very long and quite tiring. If guests can have any drinks, water, or snacks/food already in their rooms to prepare ahead of time, that would be a good idea.
Refund and cancellation policies will be put in place
If needed, the hurricane policy for cancellations and refunds will be put in place for Walt Disney World vacations. That policy is detailed on the official website, and it explains to guests what will happen and how things can be done.
— Mobile Web Man (@OnyxMobileWebs) October 11, 2016
Cancellations of events
As of Wednesday afternoon, there were still no park closures, no cancellations of any parties or Night of Joy events, and all was going on as scheduled at Walt Disney World. If need be, though, these events will be rescheduled or outright canceled.
Deadline is reporting that The Chew has revised their schedule and will not be taping upcoming episodes at Epcot this week. WDWNT reported that guests at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campgrounds are currently being moved to resort hotels on property.
If you’re planning on heading to Walt Disney World this weekend or happen to already be there, the best thing you can do is be safe. Follow all national weather reports and the orders of state officials while also listening to the Disney staff and cast members. There are plans and policies in place to take care of guests and employees in the best possible way while making sure that everyone is safe in situations such as Hurricane Irma.
[Featured Image by Danny Cox]