LATEST FROM TROPICAL STORM IDALIA
As of Aug 28, 2022, at 5am
Here are your Monday am Key Messages for Tropical Storm Idalia. The system is forecast to become a dangerous major hurricane over the NE Gulf of Mexico by early Wednesday. Hurricane warnings could be issued for portions of Florida later today. More: https://t.co/tW4KeGe9uJ pic.twitter.com/Xi0lTsrcZL
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 28, 2023
No announcement has been made by Universal Orlando at this time about any changes to their operating schedule.
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.
- 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 a state of emergency is declared for either Orlando or your place of residence.
- Availability of the 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 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/.