How Often Does Disney World Close for Hurricanes? 1

Walt Disney World Resort has made the decision to close the theme parks due to Hurricane Ian today September 28th and tomorrow Thursday, September 29th. This was a decision made to ensure the safety of all guests and cast members, and not something that happens on a regular basis. So, how often does Disney World actually close for storms and hurricanes? Let’s take a look back at Disney’s history.

Related – Walt Disney World Closing on Wednesday due to Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Elena

For many years after the opening of Walt Disney World Resort, the parks remained open with no severe threat due to hurricanes. Disney took many precautions while building iconic structures such as Spaceship Earth and Cinderella Castle, but hoped their structural stability would never have to be tested. In August 1985, it looked as though Hurricane Elena was going to decimate the entire state of Florida. luckily, the hurricane stalled and instead made landfall in Mississippi. Disney World closed early (at 5 pm) on August 31st, 1985 out of precaution that proved needless.

Hurricane Floyd

Walt Disney World did not have to close again until 1999 in preparation for Hurricane Floyd. Like Hurricane Elena, Hurricane Floyd changed paths and moved parallel to the coast instead of moving inward. Disney World closed its parks early on September 14th, 1999, and remained closed on September 15th, 1999. As with Elena, Disney chose to err on the side of caution and safety.

How Often Does Disney World Close for Hurricanes? 2

Hurricane Charley

2004 proved to be a unique year of extreme weather and hurricanes. Hurricane Charley remains one of the strongest hurricanes to ever touch down in Florida, or the continental United States for that matter. However, yet again central Florida was lucky and avoided the worst ofthe storm. Disney closed early on August 13th before resuming normal operations.

Hurricane Francis

Only three weeks after Hurricane Charley, Disney again closed the parks due to inclement weather due to Hurricane Francis on September 4th and 5th. As if two hurricanes weren’t already enough, Hurricane Jeanne followed suit in late September and forced yet another day of closure on September 26th.

Hurricane Matthew

Disney closed early on October 6th, 2016, and remained closed on October 7th. Hurricane Matthew was a Category 5 hurricane but ended up not striking the United States as hard as other countries in its path.

Hurricane Irma

How Often Does Disney World Close for Hurricanes? 3

In 2017, Walt Disney World Resort closed longer than it had for any other previous storm for Hurricane Irma, closing on September 9th, and remaining closed on September 10th and 11th.

Hurricane Dorian

The last time Disney World had to close for a storm was for Hurricane Dorian in 2019. The parks (well, all the parks besides EPCOT) closed early on September 4th.

Now, once again the parks are closed due to Hurricane Ian. Our thoughts and prayers remain with everyone in the state of Florida while they weather this storm.


How Often Does Disney World Close for Hurricanes? 4

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