2023 Hurricane & Storm Season at Disney World

One draw back to summer season & fall journeys to Walt Disney World is tropical storm season. This submit covers the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season forecast, ideas for staying dry throughout rain & preparedness data for staying secure throughout Florida’s intense climate. (Up to date Might 15, 2023.)

Lately, Hurricanes Dorian, Matthew, Irma, and Ian have all impacted the parks and resorts to various levels–in some circumstances, inflicting multi-day closures. That is undoubtedly one thing to be cognizant of earlier than reserving your journey. This isn’t to say it is best to keep away from September or different peak hurricane months, however it’s necessary to concentrate on whereas weighing the professionals and cons of varied instances to go to.

In a median yr, the NOAA forecasts over a dozen named storms. Whereas it is a lot of storms, it’s extremely unlikely that any of those will make landfall and subsequently considerably affect Walt Disney World. It’s nonetheless unusual to face park closures attributable to storms, however it has occurred a number of instances. Nonetheless, even storms a whole bunch of miles off the coast could make for lengthy, wet days–relatively than the conventional afternoon showers which are a truth of life in Florida in the course of the summer season and fall.

In different phrases, for those who’re visiting Walt Disney World in the course of the storm season months of June by November 2023, it’s good to be ready. When you’re visiting in August or September 2023, it’s additionally key to have a plan for extra main storms.

With that in thoughts, let’s begin with a take a look at the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season forecast and the way it may have an effect on Walt Disney World…


Meteorologists are predicting an common Atlantic hurricane season in 2023!!! The phrase “common” could not seem to be it warrants three exclamation factors, however that is the primary time within the final 8 years when the forecast has been common or below-average. Though the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has not but launched its ‘official’ forecast, that’s often probably the most conservative of the bunch, and a number of other universities and establishments have issued theirs.

The consensus requires exercise that’s nearly precisely common, with 13-15 named storms, 6-7 hurricanes, and 2-3 main hurricanes. Averages between 1991 and 2020 are 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and three main hurricanes. For these retaining rating at residence, final yr was near common, with a 14/8/2 line that was far under pre-season forecasts.

All the time ones to maintain issues attention-grabbing, meteorologists are cautioning that the forecast is much less dependable than regular because of the disappearance of the climatological phenomenon generally known as La Niña. That had been current for the final three hurricane seasons, and the waters the place La Niña as soon as existed at the moment are warming towards its counterpart, El Niño. (I’m no scientist, however I imagine it is a Mario and Wario kinda scenario.)

A​ massive majority of fashions are forecasting an El Niño will develop by this summer season, with the NOAA’s Local weather Prediction Middle assessing a 61% likelihood that an El Niño from August by October 2023, which is the center of the Atlantic hurricane season. Consequently, this yr’s storm season may find yourself being extra unstable or excessive than the consensus numbers counsel.

Specifically, we like WESH 2 forecast by native meteorologist Eric Burris. That group precisely predicted the place each named storm went, and after they made landfall. Moreover, it was one of many few forecasts that was (accurately) conservative with its prediction that the season can be common, relatively than properly above-average. We’ve discovered that WESH 2 doesn’t sensationalize storm season, and as a substitute presents a facts-first method. (Typically, native reporting by the Orlando and different Florida information stations is de facto good–higher than the nationwide protection.)

Anyway, Burris and co. are predicting 14-18 named storms, 7-9 hurricanes, and 2-4 main hurricanes. That’s greater than different meteorologists, however nonetheless inside the bounds of a “near-average” forecast. WESH attributes this largely to the transition from La Niña to El Niño, however goes deeper than that.

WESH factors to 1957 and 1976 as one of the best seasons to match to 2023. In addition they cite Lezak’s Recurring Cycle, a meteorological approach that makes use of the previous to foretell the longer term, to establish long-term climate patterns repeating themselves in cycles. From that, in addition they flag dates when Florida might be impacted by previous patterns (Might 22-25, July 12-15, and August 31-September 4, 2023) alongside the west coast and alongside the east coast (Might 30-June 3, July 20-24, and September 8-13, 2023).

Clearly, there are not any ensures of storms occurring on all and even any of these dates (and I’m not a meteorologist, so I can’t credibly assess the veracity of the predictions), however it’s however fascinating. It’ll be attention-grabbing to see how these and different predictions carry out.

What follows is the remainder of our common recommendation on visiting Walt Disney World throughout storm season–and our expertise staying at Walt Disney World whereas the parks closed attributable to a hurricane…

Our Hurricane Expertise

There’s ample motive for trepidation for those who’re considering of visiting Walt Disney World in the summertime or fall. As Hurricane Dorian, Matthew, and Irma demonstrated, these Atlantic storms have the potential to dramatically alter a trip. The previous is one of the best predictor of the longer term, so seeing how Disney handled Hurricanes Irma & Matthew might be useful for those who’re involved a few hurricane impacting your Walt Disney World trip throughout storm season.

Hurricane Irma precipitated Walt Disney World to be closed for 2 full days and resulted in some harm across the resort. As famous above, we received caught in Walt Disney World after our Disney Cruise Line Bahamas crusing was canceled (and we have been unable to rebook our flight because of the mass exodus of individuals making an attempt to go away Florida).

You may examine that in Our Hurricane Irma Expertise at Walt Disney World, which is sort of a journey report…however with not one of the regular enjoyable stuff, like sights. It covers what we did to organize for the storm, how Walt Disney World’s “experience out” Solid Members dealt with operations, and way more.

What it’s good to know for wet days versus throughout hurricanes and tropical storms is radically totally different. Except for sure sights and leisure that may shut down for normal storms, it’s enterprise as ordinary for Walt Disney World in the course of the rain. That’s not the case throughout hurricanes and tropical storms, when operations could be delivered to a screeching halt. Fortunately, that’s very unusual.

Though the prospect of visiting throughout rain or hurricane season is perhaps unsettling, there additionally is a few upside, as you’ll learn…so it’s not all dangerous. Let’s check out methods to put together for, and take care of, summer season storms at Walt Disney World; from common small storms to tropical storms to even hurricanes. Let’s begin with what it’s good to know for the worst case state of affairs…

Hurricane Historical past, Official Insurance policies, Preparedness Suggestions & Data

Hurricanes have precipitated Walt Disney World to shut on six events. In 1999 for Hurricane Floyd; in 2004 on separate events in a six-week span for Hurricanes Frances, Charley, and Jeanne; in 2005 for Hurricane Wilma; in 2016 for Hurricane Matthew; in 2017 for Hurricane Irma; and in 2022 for Hurricane Ian.

That’s a median of about one closure per decade…plus thrice within the final decade. There are additionally a number of different instances when the parks have closed early, or the water parks and sure resorts have closed–however all of that’s way more frequent and never one thing that’s intently tracked because of this. Suffice to say, the chances are towards your journey to Walt Disney World being severely impacted by a hurricane. Nonetheless, storms have gotten more and more frequent.

I’ve heard of some journey brokers strongly encouraging visitors to buy journey insurance coverage if visiting Walt Disney World in late summer season or early fall. I can’t say that I agree with that recommendation, however then once more, I’m not danger averse. We solely buy journey insurance coverage when going overseas, and that’s solely in case I get in a struggle with a monkey and should be hospitalized. With that stated, right here’s what it’s good to know if a hurricane or tropical storm is forecast throughout your go to.

Walt Disney World has a Hurricane Coverage that may assist you to get a refund on any package deal booked by Disney. After all, this gained’t cowl your airfare. Happily, latest storms have precipitated important adjustments in extreme storm insurance policies amongst main airways, in order that shouldn’t be a problem, both. If that leaves any gaps in bills you’ve paid for, any first rate bank card can have you lined.

When you usually buy journey insurance coverage anyway, otherwise you nonetheless need journey insurance coverage particularly for hurricane season, be sure to get protection that truly will do one thing for you within the occasion of hurricanes or storms. Most elementary insurance policies don’t present protection for climate, so that you’ll need to truly learn the coverage before you purchase. Most often, you’re going to should buy a costlier coverage that permits cancellation for any motive.

Past financial loss, there’s the difficulty of security, notably throughout hurricanes. By way of security, Walt Disney World was constructed for strict compliance with hurricane readiness requirements and has earned “StormReady” standing from the NOAA. for such a factor (no matter how unusual they’re). By way of preparedness, Disney is completely on the ball.

You actually wouldn’t have the ability to go away your room with out receiving a standing replace of what’s occurring, how operations will likely be affected, and what to do in case of an emergency. There are additionally notices up across the resorts and in-room televisions have extra info than you’re more likely to want on Disney’s channels.

Disney errs on the facet of warning with these things, and also you’d just about should bury your head within the sand to not know what’s occurring. You actually gained’t want something past the data Walt Disney World will present to you in an effort to hold secure, however if you wish to be particularly secure, we suggest reviewing FloridaDisaster.org’s info, together with on evacuation routes.

Moreover, we suggest having at the very least a three-day provide of meals, water and drugs available. Additionally, earlier than the storm approaches, guarantee cell-phones and different units are totally charged (together with exterior battery packs) in case {of electrical} energy loss.

Storm Season Packing

When packing for a visit throughout storm season, you’ll need to be sure to come ready by way of rainwear and footwear. By way of rainwear, you may pay $79.56 (slight exaggeration–solely slight) for a poncho within the parks, or you may deliver your personal. You need to as a substitute get an inexpensive 10-pack of ponchos which are serviceable earlier than your journey (or two 10-packs, relying upon how many individuals are in your group).

If you’d like one thing extra sturdy that may hold you dry and is reusable, get this 5-Pack of “Professional” Ponchos. Whereas these are technically disposable, they’re a thicker and better high quality materials than the ponchos above. We’ve discovered that they’re straightforward to reuse–simply hold them as much as dry in your room on the finish of the day! Until you actually need to throw away your ponchos after every use, that is undoubtedly the superior choice.

Second, footwear. Nothing is worse than strolling miles round Walt Disney World in moist footwear. Belief me. Widespread choices to keep away from this downside are conventional Crocs cogs. Personally, I favor Crocs sandals as a result of they don’t fairly scream “80 yr outdated hospital affected person” fairly as a lot. When you’re extra severe about your footwear, think about hybrid water/athletic footwear; one of the best choices we’ve discovered listed below are the Teva Churn (for males) and RYKA Hydro (for girls).

Lastly, decorate with a Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad. This isn’t for the rain itself, however the warmth and humidity that come as soon as the rain leaves. Belief me on this as soon as. These items do wonders for cooling you down, and readers of this weblog are massive followers of them, as could be evidenced by the feedback to our Distinctive Disney Parks Packing Record submit.

Common Rain Showers

There’s a real-world adage that the one certainties in life are loss of life and taxes. If utilized to Walt Disney World, that adage would in all probability be that the one certainties are a 3 o’clock parade and a day bathe. Brief afternoon showers are pretty common in Walt Disney World any time of the yr, however in the course of the summer season and early fall, they’re particularly frequent. Plus, in contrast to the spring showers that may final for 10 minutes earlier than the solar returns, summer season storms could be marathon downpours that don’t relent for just a few hours.

The prospect of rain mustn’t hold you out of the parks (not to mention from not visiting Walt Disney World throughout these months), as correct packing will make touring throughout wet season a breeze. Plus, the rain will scare loads of different visitors away, so a pleasant afternoon bathe is perhaps simply the factor to decrease these crowds for you. (Though rain isn’t practically as efficient in Walt Disney World as it’s in Disneyland–a lightweight sprinkle there and all the SoCal locals run for the exits!)

If it’s raining if you stand up or the forecast is asking for lots of rain on a selected day of your journey, we suggest going about your day as you usually would. We all know, we all know, this flies within the face of the “go to Disney Springs” recommendation provided by lots of people, however we disagree with that recommendation.

To us, going to Disney Springs within the rain as a substitute of a theme park doesn’t make a ton of sense. Apart from the massive World of Disney, which is roughly twice the scale of Manhattan or one thing like that, you’re going to spend much less time in every store than you’ll in a single attraction. This implies simply as a lot or extra time outside within the rain than at a theme park.

If we weren’t going to go to the common parks, we’d go to the water parks. I imply, why not? You’re going to get moist there anyway, so what’s slightly rain? We’ve been to Blizzard Seashore when it began raining, and for some motive, the place cleared out! When you don’t need to go to a theme park or a water park, think about your lodge’s pool. When you actually, actually hate the rain, wander round your resort (have a meal?).

Until you’re from SoCal and are thus afraid of rain, there’s no motive to let the rain utterly derail your plans. If it’s raining, numerous different visitors gained’t be within the parks, so that you’ll have the ability to do greater than regular! When you do need to go to the parks, however don’t need to get moist, listed below are some issues to do within the parks whereas it’s raining to attenuate your outside publicity.

Magic Kingdom

  • Carousel of Progress – Not often has a line that means you’ll be able to experience repeatedly for those who’d like.
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover – Prolonged, lined experience that provides you a birds’ eye view of rain standing.
  • Nation Bear JamboreeSeize a snack or meal at Pecos Invoice after, because the attraction dumps you out proper there.
  • Corridor of PresidentsSeize a waffle sandwich or dessert at Sleepy Hole and take it to the lined seating space after.
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki RoomShortest present on this checklist, however it has a lined pre-show, too.


  • American Journey – One other place that may eat an hour if you mix the Voices of Liberty with the present. If it’s nonetheless raining after the present ends, return in to try the artwork within the foyer gallery.
  • The Land PavilionIn EPCOT, there are a number of pavilions which are massive and indoors. On the entrance of the park, you may have each the Land and Seas pavilions. It’s straightforward to kill time within the Seas just by aquatic animals–don’t miss the manatees! Over within the Land, there are three sights, and you’ll have a meal at Sunshine Seasons or Backyard Grill. When you’ve got a bit of cash, the Behind the Seeds at Epcot tour is a GREAT (and comparatively cheap) option to kill an hour and a half or so, too. Doing all of these issues is an efficient option to kill practically half a day in a single pavilion…which is hopefully sufficient time for the rain to go!
  • Impressions de France – The identical may in all probability be stated for the opposite World Showcase movies, however that is one we will watch time and again; it’s so nice that we think about it considered one of Walt Disney World’s most underrated sights.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • MuppetVision 3D – Superior pre-show and superior post-show; think about eating at PizzeRizzo or Mama Melrose after the present to keep away from rain.
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – An extended line, most of which is indoors, makes this a very good choice throughout storms.  
  • Walt Disney Presents – Presumably the best choice in all of Walt Disney World for those who’re a severe Disney fan and it’s raining; you may simply spend just a few hours in right here combing over the shows and watching the movie.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • Discovering Nemo: The Massive Blue…and Past! – The await this musical is outside, so present up not more than 10 minutes earlier than a present is scheduled to start out; you shouldn’t have any hassle getting in when it’s raining.
  • Pageant of the Lion King – An extended, indoor present; lined character meet & greets are close by to kill time, too.
  • Avatar Flight of Passage – Not a lot a protracted attraction…however an attraction with a very lengthy, indoor queue. That’ll work!
  • ??? – When you can keep away from going to Animal Kingdom when it’s raining or lots of rain is within the forecast, that is perhaps greatest. It’s undoubtedly most gratifying in good climate.

Even after our expertise with hurricanes and tropical storms at Walt Disney World, we’d haven’t any hesitation to e-book journeys to Florida within the months of August by October, in the course of the peak of potential hurricane or tropical storm season. A superb perspective to have when the climate will get dangerous (or when something goes flawed, for that matter), is {that a} wet day at Walt Disney World is healthier than a traditional day at residence. Roll with the punches, improvise, and have a very good time. Simply assume, on the very least…rain makes the parks much less crowded.

For the place to eat, check out our Walt Disney World Restaurant Opinions web page. If you wish to lower your expenses on tickets or decide which sort it is best to get, learn our Suggestions for Saving Cash on Walt Disney World Tickets submit. Our What to Pack for Disney Journeys submit takes a singular take a look at unconventional issues it is best to take in your journey. When you arrive on the parks, our Walt Disney World “Experience Guides”are nice for figuring out what to do and when to do it. For overviews of all of those matters and a lot extra, one of the best place to start out is our complete Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information to benefit from your expertise!

Your Ideas

Do you agree with our mentality about visiting Walt Disney World when it’s raining? Which actions or sights do you suggest when it’s raining? How do you’re feeling in regards to the controversial topic of journey insurance coverage? Do you may have any questions we might help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even if you disagree with us–is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!

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