Hurricanes are unfortunately very common when it comes to southern states in the USA, such as Florida. Classified as an extreme weather condition, a hurricane isn’t something you want to mess with. They are unpredictable. The path a hurricane is going to take, it’s duration, and the amount of destruction they are going to cause can often change hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute.
Bottom-line, while a fascinated work of God, hurricanes are extremely frightening!! Not something you really want to play around with, if you ask me.
Walt Disney World and Hurricanes
The hurricane season in Florida lasts from June 1st until November 30th according to CNN.com. Peak hurricane formation happens during August and September but has been known to stretch the entire duration of the season. The time frame also happens to be a very popular time for guests to take a Walt Disney World vacation!
While it’s not situated on either Florida coast, Walt Disney World in central Florida is at high risk for being impacted by said hurricanes. The impact has happened in the past, it’s happening in the present, and it will, and can, happen in the future.
If you put two-and-two together, you know that a hurricane can happen during your Disney vacation. When it comes to your Disney vacation, finding out your trip is going to be impacted by a hurricane, is not the news you want to hear. It’s a big bummer for sure!
Yet, it does happen, whether or not you have a vacation planned. Hurricanes don’t have an off switch and don’t follow calendars to see who might have a vacation and where.
Not cool, if you ask me!
What Can You Do if a Hurricane is Coming to Disney World?
If a hurricane is predicted to hit when you are supposed to be at Disney World, there are several options. First, you can rebook your trip. While not what anyone wants to hear, it is going to be the safest plan. Yes, it’s a pain, no, it’s not ideal, but hurricanes shouldn’t be messed with and staying far away from Florida is one way to stay safe!
What if You Can’t Rebook Your Disney Trip?
If you find yourself in Disney with a hurricane approaching, don’t fret, Disney is going to keep you the safest they possibly can. Amenities will most likely be limited, but Disney will try their best to keep things a more on the magical side.
Odds are you are going to be spending a lot of time in your hotel room. Not the plans anyone really has for their time in Disney, perhaps outside of a resort day. Yet, it doesn’t mean your trip is going to be ruined! No, you, my friend, can still have fun! Especially if you find yourself stuck in a Disney hotel room with little ones. It might not be Disney parks fun, but you can still have a magical time still the same!
Let’s take a look and see what you can do while stuck inside at Disney (possibly in a hotel) with little ones when a hurricane is approaching.
Get Snacks Early (or Bring Snacks!!)
Depending on the resort you are staying at, you might find yourself with limited food options as the storm progresses. If you can, head out early enough to pick up snacks and supplies.
Your best bet for getting different snacks is to head off the property and hit up a convenience store or a grocery store. If you didn’t bring along a car, grab an Uber or Minnie Van and head out to pick up snacks. Alternatively, a few delivery options include InstaCart or Amazon Prime Now to get groceries delivered to your room.
A majority of Disney hotel rooms have at least a small mini-fridge and you can throw a few perishable items inside. Most resorts have microwaves in the central dining area. However, if the storm gets really bad and you can’t travel to the central dining area, don’t count on having a microwave.
Bring Along a Water Bottle with a Filter
Any time there is a hurricane, there is a chance for flooding. Water supplies can be affected, causing a limitation on the water that is available. While most water bottle filters sold to the general public are not strong enough to thoroughly clean affected water, it’s still good to have one on hand. Plus, they can serve as an extra line of defense in making sure you have decent drinking water.
Or, if you have time, be sure to pick up some bottled water with your snack order. Bottled water is one of the first things to always fly off of store shelves. If the storm is predicting to be massive, be sure to get the water early!
Other Hurrican Supplies for Your Hotel Room
Alright, now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s move onto the fun stuff! Beyond food and water, you’re going to need lots of fun activities to keep things magical on your vacation. Most of the suggestions listed below can be reimagined in any Disney hotel room, without much more than what you’ve already brought on your Disney vacation.
Let’s dive into the fun!
Make a Fort in Your Hotel Room and Throw on Disney Movies
It’s no secret forts are one of the coolest things in the whole world. Especially the forts made out of blankets and pillows in your own family room. It’s hard to make something that cool even cooler.
Well, guess what? You totally can! By making a fort out of blankets and pillows in your Disney hotel! Using the beds and chairs in the room, drape some blankets and pillows overtop to make a fort. Throw an extra blanket on the floor to make the space extra cozy. Plus, it keeps you and your little ones from laying on the floor. Add in some pillows and you’re all set!
Once the fort is made, flick on the TV and cue up some Disney movies!
Get Cupcakes Early and Enjoy Dessert in Your Room
Disney has a thing for cupcakes. Head to any resort or any park and you’ll see a huge variety of cupcakes. Cupcakes decked out to celebrate special events, cupcakes that sparkle, cupcakes that crunch, cupcakes with mouse ears, so, so so many cupcakes! The list could go on and on and on. Disney really does have a thing for cupcakes!
If you too have a thing for cupcakes, be sure to pick up some cupcakes early into your trip. Much like the unpredictableness of a hurricane, the food supply during said hurricane can be limited. Therefore, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to snatch one up! Get your cupcake early and then enjoy a little rest and relaxation in your room while you enjoy your cupcake!
Bonus, if you make the fort listed in the above suggestion, you can bring the cupcakes inside!
Bring Along a Pack of Cards
Always try to bring along a deck of cards when you head out on vacation. Common sense says that you won’t have any time while you’re in Walt Disney World to play a game of cards. Yet, if you find yourself in a situation where you’re stuck in your room because of a hurricane, you’re going to appreciate those cards!
Even little ones can learn simple card games such as Go-Fish and War. Or even better, you all can play 52 pick-up! There is something kinda freeing about taking a deck of cards and throwing it all over the room. Plus, bonus, it’s going to take up a lot of time to pick up those cards!!
If you didn’t bring cards along, try to see if they can be added to a grocery delivery order. Often stores that sell groceries will have decks of cards as well.
Hide-and-Seek: A Disney Hotel Version
Instead of a normal game of hide-and-seek, which probably wouldn’t take very long in a standard Disney hotel room, play a different version. A version that involves hiding something from the room, instead of a person hiding. Each person in your party can take turns hiding an item in your hotel room. It can be something Disney themed or it can be something as simple as a pair of socks!
Everyone sits on one of the beds while one person goes and hides the special object! Turn on the TV to create background noise and have everyone close their eyes. Count to ten and let the hider announce when he/she is ready for the rest of the guests to find the object!
Be sure to lay down some ground rules. Like, no hiding the object in the mini-fridge or throwing it into the toilet. With little ones no place is off-limits when playing hide-and-seek, so ground rules are necessary!!
Pictionary with Disney Characters
Most hotels, include Disney hotels, come equipped with a notepad and a pen. A notepad and pen are pretty much all you need for a lively game of Pictionary!
Limit the category to something Disney related, Disney characters are a great place to start! Keeping the categories on theme will make it easier for all family members to play. Even if not every single player in your party is skilled at drawing, if the guessers know the category, this will help them figure out what is being drawn!
A Disney Inspired Fashion Show with Paparazzi
Outfits for vacation are often strategically picked and coordinated before you leave on your trip. Each day is picked out and set aside, possibly matching a particular park you are planning to visit. It can take a lot of work to plan outfits for a vacation
If you do find yourself stuck in a room, it would be a shame to let all that outfit planning go to waste! Instead of bumming about another vacation detail turned upside down, have a fashion show! If you have a little Disney mixed into your outfits it can be Disney parks inspired fashion show!
Family members can sport the latest fashions and strut across the room showcasing their style. Another family member can be the paparazzi! You can even mix-and-match the various park outfits to see who can make the craziest outfit ever!
Photo Tip: Take pictures from down low to make it look as though the family member is walking on the catwalk. Or, take pictures from up high, standing on the bed, to get a unique and different angle! The sky is the limit, you’re the boss (and the star) when it comes to this impromptu fashion show!
Bibippity Boppity Boutique Inspired Makeover
Why stop at the fashion show! Include a makeover in your dress-up fun. If anyone brought along makeup and is willing to share, pull it out and let the fun begin. Do stick to regular makeovers either, create pirates or mermaids or anything else your heart desires. While it won’t replace a potentially canceled Bibippity Boppity Boutique appointment, it might lessen the sting!
Find All the Hidden Mickeys
Start in your room and go around finding all the hidden Mickeys. If you aren’t stuck in your room, head out and explore the grounds. Look for Mickey everywhere! Oh, and yes, Mickey-shaped food does count, so make sure to include it!
Make the World’s Largest Bubble Bath
Do you know what makes a great bubble bath bubble maker?
Do you know what most Walt Disney World resort rooms have?
Let’s say you’ve been stuck in your room for a while, but now it’s finally bedtime. Woohoo! Time to start the world’s largest bubble bath!
Pull the drain and let the water run and pour an obscene amount of gel into the tub! Watch the bubbles start to build up and up and up!
Not enough bubbles? Keep adding the gel! Or, if shower gel isn’t available throw some shampoo into the running water. Just keep an eye on your little one’s skin for any sensitivities.
Enjoy Disney’s Accommodations
Disney will do it’s best at each of the different resorts to help make your vacation still feel like a vacation in the event of a hurricane. Especially anything that causes a majority of Disney to shut down, limiting entertainment and food options for guests.
Accommodations are going to vary from resort to resort, often depending on space, staffing, supplies, etc. Yet, often there are unique entertainment options available to guests who are stuck at the resort. The options might be low-key, but after watching lots and lots of TV, it might be just what you need.
Keep an Eye on Disney’s Hurricane Weather Updates
If you’re wondering what the official decision from Walt Disney World regarding park hours due to a storm, check here. Disney will keep an updated report so you can make plans. The list is especially helpful when you’re trying to figure out what you can and can’t do the next day.
Plus, in addition to park hours, the website will have information on various Disney ‘before’ and ‘after-hour’ events. In the event of a complete cancellation, the information regarding refunds or ‘exchanges’ will also be listed on the website.
Cancel Your Walt Disney World Reservation
Odds are, if you made it this far into the post, you have probably missed the window for canceling your Walt Disney World vacation. As a matter of fact, you’re probably at Walt Disney World right now!
Well, you’re in luck. The list of activities and idea suggestions above are for you! A whole bunch of things you can do if you find yourself on lock-down during a Disney World hurricane.
The details that follow, however, regarding what to do in case of a future hurricane at Disney, are for future you!
According to Disney, if the National Hurrican Center issues a hurricane warning for Orlando within 7 days of your arrival date you can reschedule or cancel your Disney vacation. Thankfully, most reservations won’t have cancellation fees. Be sure to see the Disney website for exact details regarding rescheduling around a Disney World hurricane.
However, remember, just because you cancel or adjust your Disney reservation if you booked any part of your trip outside of Disney you need to call that company as well. Specifically, for those guests who are flying into Florida, this includes airlines. When it doubt about whether or not something was booked through Disney, be sure to ask. Cast members are eager and willing to help! There are no ‘dumb’ questions!
Rescheduled Disney Reservations
One major reason for not wanting to reschedule is the desire to hold onto an awesome Walt Disney World discount. It makes sense, you don’t want to lose whatever deal you found. Fortunately, if that deal is still available when you go to reschedule you will be able to redeem it for the new booking. If the offer isn’t available, unfortunately, you’ll lose the deal. According to Disney, cast members will work with you to help you get the best offer for your rebooking.
Rebooking definitely isn’t ideal. It takes a lot of work to book dining reservations, Fastpass+ bookings, and all the little details that make up a Disney vacation. However, if the storm is really bad, Disney is going to be closing the parks anyhow and you’ll miss out on all your bookings because of the closure. Be sure to weigh the odds and see if rebooking is the correct choice for you. Being able to rebook without a fee and avoid a Disney World hurricane is a great thing!
Conclusion to Things to Do in Your Hotel During a Disney World Hurricane
There ya go! A few things to help you get prepared and pass the time if Disney World were to become affected by a hurricane. As said before, ideally you won’t find yourself in this situation and you will be able to reschedule your vacation to a better time. Yet, if you do find yourself stuck in a Disney World hurricane, specifically a Disney World hotel, don’t despair. You can still bring some magic to your trip!
Now that you’ve learned what to do during a Disney World hurricane, let’s take a look at what to do during a Disney resort day!