Disney World Closed for Hurricane Dorian (Now Open Again!)
Due to Hurricane Dorian’s anticipated impacts on Central Florida, Walt Disney World has announced park closures, reduced operating hours, and cancelled entertainment through at least Tuesday, September 3, 2019. In this post, we’ll give you a rundown of the latest cancellations, closures, and schedule changes.
September 4, 2019 at 11 am UPDATE: Following yesterday afternoon’s early closure, Walt Disney World’s theme parks are once again open for business! Crowds remain low, which is likely in equal parts due to cancellations from Hurricane Dorian and the fact that we’ve entered the normal post-Labor Day lull.
With that said, don’t be surprised to see a spike in crowds this weekend and into early next week, as guests who postponed their trips and locals eager to get outside and have some fun after a week of stressful hurricane coverage descend upon Walt Disney World. Beyond that, we’re not expecting much different from a normal September–the early mornings of Extra, Extra Magic Hours should also help spread out the crowds a bit.
Winds remain strong today, and that could have an impact on nighttime spectaculars this evening. Otherwise, we should be out of the woods, weather-wise. (Additionally, after closing yesterday, Orlando International Airport will reopen today at noon.)
What follows is the previous Hurricane Dorian coverage, presented for posterity’s sake…
If you’ve been following our Hurricane Dorian Disney World Closures & Impacts: Should You Reschedule or Cancel? updates, you’re probably already aware that Central Florida, including Walt Disney World, remains in Hurricane Dorian’s cone of uncertainty. However, the official forecast and the latest models for Hurricane Dorian from the NHC are pointing towards an offshore Florida track.
Additionally, Central Florida, including Lake, Seminole, and Orange counties now have tropical storm watches issued, with tropical storm force winds arriving tonight. Osceola County is under a tropical storm warning. (Walt Disney World is in both Orange and Osceola Counties.) This explains why Walt Disney World has announced modified nighttime entertainment for tonight, in addition to the closures listed below…
Last night, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom continued as scheduled, but due to high winds, a modified version of the Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular fireworks show will be presented without pyro
Similarly, Disney’s Hollywood Studios presented a modified version of Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. Both IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot and the 9:30 pm showing of Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom were canceled.
Anyway, here are the operating hours and early closures for September 3, 2019:
- Magic Kingdom: 8:00 am to 3:00 pm (opening at 7:00 am for Extra Magic Hours)
- Epcot: 7:00 am to 7:00 pm
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios: 9:00 am to 2:00 pm (opening at 6:00 am for Extra Magic Hours)
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom: 8:00 am to 2:00 pm (opening at 7:00 am for Extra Magic Hours)
- Disney Springs: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park: 10:00 AM-3:00 PM
- Winter Summerland Miniature Golf: 10:00 AM-3:00 PM
- Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf: 10:00 AM- 3:00 PM
Note that Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are all now closed due to Hurricane Dorian. ESPN Wide World of Sports complex and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will be closed the entire day on September 3, 2019, as well.
Epcot and Disney Springs have had their hours extended to 7 pm and 8 pm, respectively, due to the minimal impact of Hurricane Dorian. (It’s currently raining and windy, but that’s about it in terms of weather as the hurricane continues to shift east.)
Walt Disney World has not released any statements about the parks’ statuses on September 4, 2019 or thereafter. However, it seems like a foregone conclusion that all four theme parks, both water parks, Disney Springs, all resorts, and the ESPN Wide World of Sports will all resume normal operations tomorrow.
Additionally, Disney After Hours at Animal Kingdom has been canceled on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Guests with pre-purchased event tickets for this date can receive a full refund for the event tickets by calling (407) 939-7818 before December 15, 2019 or emailing Walt Disney World at [email protected]
Alternatively, guests are able to exchange their tickets for one of the following options: tickets to attend another Disney After Hours event in 2019, tickets to a Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party event in 2019, 1-Day Flexible Date Ticket with Park Hopper Option, which can be used any day prior to December 31, 2020.
On September 3, theme park dining reservations will be honored up to one hour prior to park closing. Resort dining reservations will be honored until 5:30 p.m. Effective immediately, we will not be enforcing cancellation policies for dining and other experiences, so there’s no need to cancel existing reservations through Tuesday, Sept. 3. Pre-paid dining and other experiences outside of the modified operating hours for Sept. 3 will be automatically canceled and refunded.
On the resort front, guests with current and upcoming reservations at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Copper Creek Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort will be relocated to other resorts at Walt Disney World due to the anticipated and potential weather impacts of Hurricane Dorian.
The entirety of Fort Wilderness will close on September 3, 2019 at 3 pm, and will reopen once it’s safe to do so. This means that all restaurants there, including national treasures Trail’s End and Hoop–Dee–Doo Musical Revue won’t be operating tomorrow. On the dinner show front, neither will Spirit of Aloha at the Polynesian.
Finally, although not technically part of Walt Disney World, Orlando International Airport is the de facto (and essential) ‘gateway’ to WDW for most guests, so this is worth mentioning here. On Twitter, the official @MCO account has announced that the airport will close overnight at 2 am and remain closed for at least September 3, 2019. This follows an earlier reversal of a closure today that likely occurred because Hurricane Dorian slowed tremendously and its path shifted. However, with tropical storm force winds impacting MCO, this seems the pragmatic thing to do.
We don’t have much to add here. The latest projections and forecasts all seem to indicate that Hurricane Dorian will stay along the coast, and not come directly over Central Florida at Walt Disney World, which is good news for anyone here.
Ultimately, if you are at Walt Disney World, be safe. Take this seriously, for your own sake and that of Cast Members and other guests. As accurate as storm forecasting has become, it’s still not 100% certain, and I think it’s wise of Walt Disney World to err on the side of caution and close the parks early (or entirely, in the case of Blizzard Beach), relocate guests, and cancel entertainment. Here’s hoping this passes quickly and with minimal damage and harm, and Walt Disney World can resume normal operations on September 4. We’ll keep you posted either way!
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Are you currently at Walt Disney World or Central Florida? Have you visited during past hurricanes? Any additional info, thoughts, or first-hand experiences to share about riding out a hurricane at Walt Disney World? Do you agree or disagree with our advice? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
“Crowds remain low, which is likely in equal parts due to cancellations from Hurricane Dorian and the fact that we’ve entered the normal post-Labor Day lull.
With that said, don’t be surprised to see a spike in crowds this weekend and into early next week, as guests who postponed their trips and locals eager to get outside and have some fun after a week of stressful hurricane coverage descend upon Walt Disney World.”
let’s hope not! we’re one of those who had to reschedule, and i’m really hoping that the majority of those who did reschedule didn’t or weren’t able to go immediately to next week!
We are considering a Disney World vacation next Sept 2020. We are looking at Sept 27-Oct 2. Do you believe this would be a good time to go? We want to avoid hurricane season.
that’s still in the prime of hurricane season. august-october is the highest time but every year varies.
We are due to Fly to Orlando on Saturday 7th September.
Unsure what to do.
Stay safe all of you out there .
I am staying at the Caribbean Beach resort from 8/31-9/7 with my family. I would only have cancelled my trip if my flight had been cancelled. Everything from our flight, to our arrival at the resort and our visits to the parks have been amazing. The crowds were light and we basically walked onto all attractions. I am so glad we were able to continue with our plans. I think we were very fortunate that Dorian is not effecting the area as predicted. We have been to Disney World many times and they never let us down.
That’s awesome! I couldn’t chance it so I pushed my trip. I’ll be there soon though!
If you’re wondering why the closings for Ft. Wilderness, Copper Creek Cabins, Poly Bungalows, and the Treehouse Villas, it’s because if things went bad, guests would be isolated there, potentially on their own without power. Especially for Ft. Wilderness and the Treehouse Villas, falling trees and branches are a major safety concern. After Hurricane Katrina, when my brother came home to his place on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain, his neighbor across the street had 20 pine trees go into his home. Right now, more of the storm is impacting on shore. looks like the worst part to impact Orlando and WDW will be over the next few hours.
Parks to open tomorrow – no early morning magic hours
They expanded Epcot’s hours back to 7pm for close for Tuesday.
Hi next Wednesday and Thursday the park will be open from what time until what time
Here you go! https://tinyurl.com/yyu4zd6t
We are scheduled to arrive on Sunday at the BCV. I am hoping that Disneyworld and the rest of Florida, of course, is unaffected. Be safe everyone. Will be watching to make decision about our trip.
Left Disney a day early, to miss the hurricane. Southwest Airlines was great! Disney was very hard to get a hold of. When I called (two hour wait), they said since I had checked in already, I had to ask front desk. Front desk told me to call reservations. Now I’m searching for trip insurance phone number. I’ll give it a couple of days. Orlando airport was running very smoothly, just really long, crazy lines. Glad I left, but feel bad for those that have to stay behind and weather this storm. Praying it completely misses Florida and surrounding states!
I will say, we were in Disney this same week two years ago when I think it was Irma was about to hit FL. We had to leave a day early, but we stayed well past check-out, took a nap, and left to drive home at about 10 pm (all flights had been cancelled, so we had to find a rental car). Disney refunded our room for that night without us even asking. We weren’t expecting it, and were so pleasantly surprised. I think Disney will do right by you, Best of luck to you!
We have reservations for our vacation at the Beach Club beginning on Friday. Woud you recommend that we cancel and rebook for another time? Any thoughts and recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you…
I think by Friday everything will be back to normal.
According the what I am seeing, the storm will be up by Virginia by then. Which is about 660 miles away. So hopefully the effects will be gone by then.
I live hetr weathet is alteady clearing. Dont know when next storm hits but end of week supposed to be sunshine for once. Happy vaca.
Oh man, we were just there today and the crowds were perfect. We hit Galaxy’s Edge and Pandora and hit up a few rides at Magic Kingdom before we left (at 6 before the party) .
This went south really quick. I have family staying for the week escaping the hurricane that was supposed to hit them at home. I hope that have a safe and reasonably fun time.
They are running the Halloween fireworks show tonight….but without fireworks…..so TBD what that is like. Due to the winds they are cutting the fireworks.
we pushed our trip back a week. obviously my interests are a distant second to the damage of the storm for everyone in the path, but we were supposed to have been at the halloween party last night. while it might not have been as busy, i would have been disappointed. obviously, safety comes first but i’m glad we made the right call to push.
We are here from California at the Polynesian for the week. We were also staying here during Irma. We felt very safe and well taken care during Irma. Everyone seems very calm. Feels like much less people stayed this time. Florida residents with pets checking in again. Thinking of all whose lives are affected .
We were there during Irma and felt 100% safe! Cast members at the yacht club were fantastic! Though food and activities were limited during the worst, I felt safe and secure!
We live in the Georgia mountains and will drive down partly on Saturday and Sunday to check in on Sunday. Our concern is more about the traffic getting into Florida as evacuees return to their homes along the whole coastline. Any insight or tips?
My niece is on the Hurricane ride out crew for the Polynesian. This is her first hurricane and I know we are all so glad that she will be there. Seems to be the safest place she could be!
Any word on how Castaway Cay fared in the hurricane?
Probably was castaway!
Scheduled to arrive Thursday evening. Here’s hoping the airport is open and all is running smoothly.
Hey lori here i feel disney should totally close, there isnt going the free transportation to the parks so the people have to pay for a taxi or uber not right they stayed at a resort for the free transportation . I do agree though not to run the buses because of the wind/rain. Disney should close
We left last night out of MCO and I’m so thankful for that. We felt some wind gusts on takeoff through North Carolina, so I could only imagine what the turbulence would be like at this point. Eek!
Magic Kingdom had a power outage on Saturday that left every ride out of order for a few hours. We saw people stuck on several rides, and it would’ve been scary to be stuck on the nail biter rides. We were getting candy when the lights flickered, and everyone thought that was bizarre. Then, all the rides went down. At least we ended the trip with a successful Happily Ever After fireworks display.
So you are not even here enjoying the very light crowd at the Halloween party? I was on “Bricker hunt” but my hopes have been dashed.
En route right now, actually!
The the Bricker Hunt resumes! I’ll be on the peoplemover looking for you.
I’m sure Tom would appreciate some privacy
Just was hoping to say hello and to thank him in person for all the great hard work he does for us all here.
Plus, when I think privacy, the first place I want to head is a crowded theme park having a Halloween party!
Hah. You can be in a crowded place and still feel like you’re in your own bubble and have some level of anonymity. But by all means, do you what you want.
I hope you got out without any issues with Delta this time. I watched my son dealing with them last week as they oversold his flight with people trying to get out of Orlando, put him on standby, didn’t let hem check his luggage at the resort, and gave him a two hour run around when he was trying to see if he should bother going to the airport or not. Then I reread your Hurricane Irma post and chuckled about it. Not because your plight with them was funny, but because dealing with them seemed so hopeless and useless. The two of you had a commonality with hurricane travel issues. Anyway, I hope everyone is safe in WDW and all of Florida.
We’re temporarily living in Florida, so we actually aren’t going anywhere. We had a Poly Villas reservation starting today (booked months ago for ExEMH), but decided to rebook at the last minute.