LATEST FROM HURRICANE IRMA
As of Sept 11 at 11pm
Universal Orlando will re-open on Sept 12 at 9am. Halloween Horror Nights is still scheduled to begin Sept 15.
From Universal Orlando:
Our thoughts go out to all those impacted by Hurricane Irma and we stand ready to help our community recover.
Our destination saw relatively minor damage overnight involving fences, trees, signage and building facades. We are hard at work inside our parks and we can confirm an on-time opening for Tuesday at 9 a.m. for Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay. In addition, we can confirm that our Halloween Horror Nights event will begin as scheduled this Friday.
In addition, Walt Disney World will re-open tomorrow at 9am, with the exception of the water parks. SeaWorld Parks & Resorts, including SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa, will remain closed Tuesday. SeaWorld Orlando is expected to open on Wednesday, Sept 13. Busch Gardens Tampa is closed until further notice while they clean up the park.
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. Be prepared and have a plan, but there is no need to panic.
Universal Orlando Resort Cancellation Policy
If a hurricane warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center for the Orlando area or for your place of residence no more than 7 days before your scheduled arrival date, you can call in advance to cancel or reschedule your Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations hotel accommodations and Universal Orlando theme park tickets without any cancellation or change fees imposed. Additional elements including air, car rental or other theme park tickets are separate and not part of this policy.
- This policy is in effect for travel from June 1, 2017 through November 30, 2017.
- Reservations must have been booked a minimum of 7 days in advance and cancelled before 6pm the day prior to arrival.
- Waiver of penalties for cancellation or change applies to hotel accommodations and Universal Orlando theme park tickets only booked through Universal Parks and Resorts Vacations.
- All amounts paid to Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations for accommodations and Universal Orlando theme park tickets will be applied towards a new reservation for guests wanting to reschedule vacation dates, but additional elements including air, car rental or other theme park tickets and any non-refundable payments, cancellation or change fees assessed by these elements may not be available for credit or application towards such new reservation.
- Availability of same accommodations cannot be guaranteed for rescheduled vacations dates.
- This policy does not apply to guest staying at group rates. Guests with group rates must contact their respective meeting/group planner directly for cancellation policy.
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 to cancel 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 are 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/