Tropical Depression 9 Expected to Hit Florida’s Gulf Coast as Hurricane Ian


UPDATED 9/29/22 (1:26 p.m.): Disney has announced an update on guests checking into their resorts and the steps they have to take.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

For the safety of our Guests and Cast Members, check-in will not be accepted on Thursday, Sept. 29. For Guests with a Friday, Sept. 30 check-in, please arrive at your resort no earlier than 3 p.m. ET; Guests who arrive before 3 p.m. will not be able to check-in. Guests may reschedule their trip or cancel their stay with us; any customary cancellation fees will be waived.



  • Guests that are checked in will receive updates, including any direction to shelter in place at their resort.
  • Dining options for Guests staying in our Resort hotels will vary and, in some cases, may be very limited. Where available, restaurants will accept walk-ups only; Guests will not need dining reservations.
  • Characters will not be available in character dining locations on Thursday, Sept. 29.
  • The Grand Floridian Spa is closed on Thursday, Sept. 29.

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 are temporarily closed through Friday, Sept. 30, due to the weather. We are contacting Guests with current and upcoming reservations.

UPDATE 9/28/22 (12:30 p.m.): As Hurricane Ian moves closer to the Gulf Coast of Florida, preparations are well underway at Walt Disney World. Given the latest projections for Hurricane Ian and as we’ve previously reported, Walt Disney World theme parks and water parks will be closed on Wednesday, Sept. 28, and Thursday, Sept. 29.

Disney Springs will be closed on Wednesday, Sept. 28. Disney anticipates that Disney Springs will also be closed on Thursday, Sept. 29, and will provide any additional updates as they continue to track the storm.



Walt Disney World Theme Parks and Water Parks

Walt Disney World will temporarily close its theme parks on Wednesday, Sept. 28, and Thursday, Sept. 29:

  • Magic Kingdom Park
  • EPCOT
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park (Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park is currently closed for the season.)
  • Winter Summerland Miniature Golf, Fantasia Gardens, and Fairways Miniature Golf

Partially used multi-day theme park tickets with a usage window impacted by Hurricane Ian-related park closure will automatically be extended to use the remaining entitlements through any date through September 30, 2023.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

For the safety of guests and cast members, guests must check in to their resorts on Sept. 28, by 3 p.m. Additionally, guests should feel free to reschedule their trips or cancel their stays with Disney World; any customary cancellation fees will be waived.

Related: Walt Disney World Hurricane Cancelation Policy




  • Guests that are checked in by 3 p.m. Wednesday will be asked to shelter in place at their resort for the duration of the storm, this includes any resort-to-resort transfers
  • Guests are strongly encouraged to enjoy food and beverage offerings at the parks and Disney Springs before returning to their Resort hotels.
  • Dining options for guests staying in the Disney Resort hotels will vary, and in some cases may be very limited. Where available, restaurants will accept walk-ups only; guests will not need dining reservations.
  • Characters will not be available in character dining locations on Wednesday and Thursday
  • The Grand Floridian Spa will close at noon Wednesday, Sept. 28.

As we’ve previously reported, 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 temporarily close Wednesday, Sept. 28 through Friday, Sept. 30 due to the weather. Guests with current and upcoming reservations will be contacted by Disney if they haven’t already been.

Dining, Enchanting Extras, and Special Events

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom has been canceled for Thursday, Sept. 29.

Effective immediately, Disney will not enforce cancellation policies until further notice for dining and other experiences like Savi’s Workshop,  Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and VIP Tours.

Performances of Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue have been canceled from Sept. 28 through Sept. 30 in light of the temporary closure of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Guests with pre-paid reservations will be automatically canceled and refunded.

Transportation

  • Walt Disney World Transportation will stop operating Tuesday night after Disney Springs and the Walt Disney World theme parks close.
  • Limited Minnie Van and Mears taxi service will be offered to Walt Disney World resort guests with existing breakfast reservations.

Other Walt Disney World Experiences

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser voyages departing Tuesday, Sept. 27, and Thursday, Sept. 29 have been canceled due to the potential impact on the guest experience. Guests with reservations for these dates are asked to please call 407-939-5209 for help with modifying their plans.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will be closed Wednesday, Sept. 28, and Thursday, Sept. 29.

Disney Springs

Disney Springs will be closed on Wednesday, Sept. 28. We anticipate Disney Springs will be closed on Thursday, Sept. 29, and will provide updates as they continue to track the storm.

Drawn to Life presented by Cirque du Soleil & Disney will be canceled on Wednesday, Sept. 28, and Thursday, Sept 29.

Guests are strongly encouraged to enjoy food and beverage offerings at the parks and Disney Springs before returning to their Resort hotels. The most up-to-date information about temporary closures and impacts will be available via the My Disney Experience app and DisneyWorld.com/Weather.

Please note that all reopening timelines are tentative and subject to safety conditions.


UPDATE 9/27/22 (4 p.m.): Walt Disney World Resort is currently operating under normal conditions as they make necessary adjustments based on the latest information from the National Weather Service. The following information regarding resort closures has been released this afternoon:

  • Disney Resort Hotels: 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 temporarily close Wednesday, Sept. 28 through Friday, Sept. 30 due to the weather. Disney is in the process of contacting guests with current and upcoming reservations.
  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon will close temporarily Wednesday, Sept. 28 and Thursday, Sept. 29. (Disney’s Blizzard Beach is currently closed). 
  • Winter Summerland Miniature Golf and Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf will also temporarily close Wednesday, Sept. 28 and Thursday, Sept. 29.
  • Reservations for Dining and Other Experiences: Effective immediately, Disney WILL NOT enforce cancelation policies until further notice for dining and other experiences like Savi’s Workshop and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

The most up-to-date information about temporary closures and impacts will be available via the My Disney Experience app and at DisneyWorld.com/Weather. 

It’s important to note that all reopening timelines are tentative and subject to safety conditions.


UPDATE 9/27/22 (5 a.m.): The National Hurricane Center has provided an updated schedule for the earliest reasonable arrival times of hurricane-force winds in the graphic below.

Hurricane-force winds are expected in west-central Florida beginning Wednesday morning with tropical storm conditions expected by late Tuesday.


UPDATE 9/26/22: At 11 p.m., the eye of Hurricane Ian was located near latitude 21.3 North, longitude 83.4 West. Ian is currently moving north-northwest near 13 mph (20 km/h). A turn toward the north with a slightly slower forward speed is expected on Tuesday. A turn toward the north-northeast with a further reduction in forward speed is forecast on Wednesday. 

On the forecast track, the center of Ian is expected to move near or over western Cuba overnight and early Tuesday. Ian will then emerge over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, pass west of the Florida Keys late Tuesday, and approach the west coast of Florida on Wednesday into Thursday.


UPDATE 9/25/22: Tropical Storm Ian is expected to become a major hurricane in the eastern Gulf of Mexico during the middle of next week. With the uncertainty of the track and intensity of Ian, the potential of urban flooding and hurricane-force winds are expected in the Florida Keys and coast. Anyone traveling to Florida at this time should keep a close eye on updates to the forecast.

Below is Walt Disney World’s cancellation policy and additional information regarding hurricane warnings and your vacation. Please reach out to your Dreams Unlimited Travel agent should you have additional questions.

HURRICANE POLICY STATEMENT

From June 1 to November 30, in the event a hurricane warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center for the Orlando area or for the Guest’s place of residence within 7 days before the scheduled arrival date, the Guest may call in advance to reschedule or cancel their Walt Disney Travel Co. Magic Your Way vacation package without any cancellation or change fees imposed by Disney. This temporary policy also applies to most Walt Disney World® Resort room-only reservations booked directly with Disney, as well as reservations at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort or Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort in the event a hurricane warning is issued for those destinations.

MORE INFORMATION

When does this temporary policy become effective?
The temporary policy is effective in the event a hurricane warning is issued no more than 7 days before your scheduled arrival date by the National Hurricane Center for the Orlando area or for your place of residence. It is also effective in the event a hurricane warning is issued for the Vero Beach area or Hilton Head Island area for Guests traveling to those destinations.

What can I do if a hurricane warning is issued?
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 may call in advance to reschedule or cancel your Walt Disney Travel Co. Magic Your Way vacation package and most room-only reservations (booked directly with Disney) without any cancellation or change fees imposed by Disney. This policy also applies to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort or Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort in the event a hurricane warning is issued for those destinations.

Will I be responsible for any cancellation or change fees or other amounts?
If you have products and services provided by third-party suppliers included in your vacation, such as airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, or vacation insurance companies, you will continue to be responsible for any non-refundable payments, as well as cancellation or change fees assessed by those suppliers. The policy does not apply to certain special events or dining experiences.

What if I prefer to reschedule my vacation to a different date because of a hurricane warning? Will I be able to get my same accommodations?
If you are scheduled to arrive within seven (7) days of the hurricane warning, you may call us in advance to reschedule without Disney imposed change fee. All amounts you paid to Disney for rooms, park tickets, Disney dining plans, and other Disney products and services will be applied toward your new reservation. Any discounts or free offers applicable to your original vacation will not apply to the rescheduled vacation. We cannot guarantee availability of similar accommodations for the new travel dates. The policy does not apply to certain special events and dining experiences.

I received a special offer when I booked my vacation. If I reschedule will I get the same special offer?
All amounts you paid to Disney for rooms, park tickets, Disney dining plan, and other Disney products and services will be applied toward your new reservation. Any discounts or free offers applicable to your original vacation will not apply to the rescheduled vacation. The policy does not apply to certain special events and dining experiences.

If I want to cancel or reschedule my vacation, what should I do with my airline tickets?
If you booked your air travel through the Walt Disney Travel Co. and you want to reschedule, we will attempt to re-book your air travel. But remember, you will be responsible for any cancellation or change fees imposed by the airline. If you did not book your air travel through the Walt Disney Travel Co., you should contact the airline.

I did not book my package through the Walt Disney Travel Co. Does this policy apply to my package too?
No, you should contact your travel agent or tour operator directly for information relating to the cancellation and change policies that apply to your package.

I have a sports or group package. Does this policy apply to my package?
No, the policy only applies to Walt Disney Travel Co. Magic Your Way packages. It does not apply to sports, youth, or other group or special event rooms or packages and does not apply to meetings and conventions.


UPDATE 9/24/22: Governor Ron DeSantis has expanded the declared state of emergency to include the entire state of Florida.

DeSantis requested a federal pre-landfall emergency declaration in anticipation of impacts from the storm. The governor said this declaration will make important resources and support available, in addition to freeing up funding sources for emergency protective measures.

Under the emergency order, members of the Florida National Guard will be activated and on standby awaiting orders.


UPDATE 5:00 p.m.: Ahead of the forecasted landfall of Hurricane Ian, Florida governor Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency in 24 Florida counties including Osceola, which includes part of the Walt Disney World Resort.

Below is a list of the affected counties as of 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 23rd.

  • Brevard
  • Broward
  • Charlotte
  • Collier
  • DeSoto
  • Glades
  • Hardee
  • Hendry
  • Highlands
  • Hillsborough
  • Indian River
  • Lee
  • Manatee
  • Martin
  • Miami-Dade
  • Monroe
  • Okeechobee
  • Osceola
  • Palm Beach
  • Pasco
  • Pinellas
  • Polk
  • Sarasota
  • St. Lucie

In its most recent update on Friday, September 23, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) stated that Tropical Depression 9 is currently located approximately 515 miles east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica and 1,015 miles southeast of Havana, Cuba with 35 mph sustained winds moving west-northwest at 14 mph.

The latest NHC intensity forecast has been increased from the previous one and explicitly calls for rapid intensification as the cyclone crosses the northwestern Caribbean Sea. The system is forecast to approach the Cayman Islands and Cuba as a strengthening hurricane, with additional intensification likely once it emerges over the warm waters of the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. In fact, this forecast calls for the system to approach the Florida peninsula as a major hurricane by day 5.

NHC hurricane specialist Brad Reinhart

The storm’s five-day course shows it heading north by Tuesday over Cuba and then heading to Florida’s southwest coast as Category 3 Hurricane Ian with 115 mph winds and gusts of 140 mph by Wednesday morning.

The “cone of uncertainty” currently includes practically all of Central Florida with landfall expected someplace between Tampa and Naples then continuing on a path that can potentially bring it up through the middle of the state.

As always, we will post any major updated information at the top of this article as they come in from the NHC.

Source: Orlando Sentinel


Senior Editor for The DIS and DCL Fan | Disney Vacation Club Member | Thrilled to have been a '13/'14 Disney Parks Moms Panelist (now planDisney) | Lover of all things Disney; the Magic of Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disney Cruise Line | ºoº

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