LATEST FROM HURRICANE DORIAN
As of Sep 2 at 7pm
With the impending threat of Hurricane Dorian, there have been some operational changes to the surrounding theme parks and travel.
Here's the 12 pm EDT Tropical Cyclone Update: #Dorian still battering Grand Bahama Island. Residents there should not venture out into the eye as winds will rapidly increase on the other side https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB pic.twitter.com/UvEtEPkZAb
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 2, 2019
Rosen Hotels is opening the doors of its eight Orlando-area hotels with discounted rates, assisting evacuees and others affected by Hurricane Dorian. Guests may call 866-337-6736 for more information. As of now, the hotels are at capacity through Tuesday night, but there may be availablity for Wednesday night and beyond.
Orlando International Airport will be ceasing operations on Tuesday, September 3.
Universal Orlando has announced operational changes for Tuesday. Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure will open as scheduled, however, Volcano Bay will be closed for the entire day. No announcement has been made as to whether the theme parks will close early.
As of now, Wednesday’s operational status is also unknown, along with the Team Member Preview for Halloween Horror Nights which is scheduled for Wednesday night.
Walt Disney World Resort has announced that all 4 parks will close early on Tuesday; with Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios closing at 2pm, Magic Kingdom and Epcot closing at 3pm. Guests with current or upcoming reservations at certain resorts, such as Fort Wilderness, Copper Creek Cabins, and the Bungalows at the Polynesian Resort, will be contacted by Cast Members for alternate arrangements.
Walt Disney World will also be lifting their pet restriction policy for guests staying on-site at their resorts between August 31st and September 3rd due to the expected impact of Hurricane Dorian.
SeaWorld has announced the park, along with Aquatica, will be closed for the entire day on Tuesday.
From June 1-November 30, Hurricane Season can impact many tourists who are visiting the Central Florida theme parks; not to mention the locals around the region. There is no way to predict when a tropical system can affect you, and so there is no way to make plans to avoid it. However, there are official policies in place at the theme parks – as well as advice and steps – to help you understand what to do when the time comes and a hurricane is forecast to affect your vacation or immediate area.
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is used to rate hurricane intensity in the Atlantic Basin. A 1-5 rating system is used, with Category 1 being a less intense storm and Category 5 very intense.
A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified area. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds in an area. Because outside preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, watches are issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds. When a watch is issued, that is the time to make final plans for staying safe during the storm – whether that is inside your home, resort, or shelter.
Remember, while forecast tracks help tremendously, they are not 100% accurate. Even a small shift in movement can mean clear skies or more impact from the storm. Be prepared and have a plan, but there is no need to panic.
Universal Orlando Resort Cancellation Policy
In the event that a hurricane or tropical storm warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center or a state of emergency is declared for the Orlando area or in your place of residence, within seven days of your arrival, you can contact Universal to reschedule or cancel your vacation package, hotel accommodations, or theme park tickets. If you have purchased airline tickets as part of your Universal vacations package, you may still be subject to cancellation and change fees assessed by those airlines. Additional elements including air, car rental or other theme park tickets are separate and not part of this policy.
If you have additional questions or need to change or cancel your travel plans, please contact a member of Universal Orlando’s Guest Contact Center team by calling 877-801-9720.
- If you have purchased Universal Orlando products and services through third-party suppliers, travel agents or tour operators please contact them directly for information regarding their cancellation or change policies and procedures.
- Waiver of penalties for cancellation or change applies to hotel accommodations and Universal Orlando theme park tickets when booked through Universal Orlando including when purchased as part of a Universal Parks and Resorts Vacations package.
- Please note that this policy does not apply to hotel reservations, whether booked as room only or as part of a vacation package, when made after a Hurricane or Tropical Storm warning has been issued or state of emergency is declared for either Orlando or your place of residence.
- Availability of same accommodations and room rates cannot be guaranteed for rescheduled vacations dates.
- The policy does not apply to certain group related bookings including special events. Guests with group rates must contact their respective meeting/group planner directly for cancellation policy.
- Guests calling to cancel or modify bookings must be 18 years of age or older.
- If you have purchased a Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations package via travel financing with Uplift you will not be charged interest as a result of a cancelled vacation due to a hurricane or tropical storm.
Walt Disney World and SeaWorld Orlando have similar policies in place and will issue refunds when the storm threat is imminent. If you have questions or you wish to reschedule your vacation due to a hurricane warning, please call (407) 939-7675. For additional SeaWorld information call 407-545-5550.
As much as we love the theme parks – safety is always the priority. Whether or not Universal Orlando, or any theme park, remains open should be the last thing to worry about.
If you are scheduled to travel to Orlando, keep an active watch on the storm. If Orlando will be heavily impacted, we suggest canceling plans immediately. If you don’t need to be here, there is no need to travel. Airlines and off-site hotels may accommodate before a watch is issued, so it’s best to call and find out what their respective policies are.
If you are already in Orlando and cannot leave before a hurricane affects your location, make sure to get all the supplies you feel are necessary for your travel party. The hotel will be your “home” to ride out the storm. Each resort is equipped to handle hurricanes, and the staff is trained to handle any emergency situation.
Locals, if you are reading this, hopefully, you have already prepared.
For more information on the latest updated track on tropical systems, make sure to visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/. For other tips and safety information, visit http://floridaevacuates.com/ or http://floridaevacuates.com/