Hurricane Matthew Preparedness and Walt Disney World

Credit: Disney Dining

Hurricane Matthew Preparedness and Walt Disney World

As I write this, Florida is getting prepared for a hit by the first major hurricane in over a decade. Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for all counties in the state. Hurricane Matthew changed quickly. At the beginning of the week the forecast for Central Florida called for showers and some wind, the storm that is on its way is not what was originally predicted. Please take this storm seriously.

I live in Central Florida, and have for the past six years. This will be my first major storm here, but not the first hurricane that I’ve experienced. I’ve always lived on the East Coast, so I’ve weathered a couple of storms before. I doubt that any of those storms have been like this. I have had the news on nonstop, and have worked hard to make sure that my family and I are prepared. If you’re here, you need to be prepared as well. Here are the latest updates on what’s going on, what you need to know about the local parks, and some general suggestions on preparing for a hurricane. This information is as up to date as possible.


As I write this, here are the latest closures for Walt Disney World and some of the other local attractions.

Walt Disney World:

UPDATE In the latest from Walt Disney World in their attempts to prepare for Hurricane Matthew, the park hours have officially been changed.  The 4 major theme parks will close at 5PM today, October 6th and will remain closed all day on Friday, October 7th.  This is for the safety of all guests and cast members, and to ensure that the parks have been checked for damage and security issues that may have been caused.  We will keep you posted as more information is released.

Fort Wilderness Campground is closed and has been placed under a mandatory evacuation.

Other Area Attractions:

Universal Orlando Resort, including CityWalk, will close Thursday at 5:00pm and will be closed on Friday as well. Halloween Horror Nights has been canceled for both Thursday and Friday as well. Wet ‘n Wild Water Park will close at 2:00pm Thursday, and will remain closed on Friday. SeaWorld Orlando will close at 2:00pm on Thursday, and will be closed on Friday. Aquatica will be closed both Thursday and Friday. Discovery Cove will close early afternoon on Thursday, and will be closed on Friday. LEGOLAND expects to close early on Thursday, although no specific time has yet been given. The park will be closed on Friday.

UPDATE Orlando International Airport is closing tonight at 8 and will be closed tomorrow. Orlando Sanford International Airport has ceased domestic flights already, international flights will end at 6:30. Also, Saturday’s Come Out With Pride event downtown has been postponed until sometime in November. They expected 150,000 people at this.

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Central Florida Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricanes are storms to be taken seriously, and the best thing that you can do is to be prepared. If possible for a future storm, you might want to consider postponing your trip if a storm is approaching. The Walt Disney World hurricane policy can be found at disneyworld.disney.go.com/faq/hurricane-policy. If you’re here, plan on staying in your hotel and riding it out. If you’re staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel there could be extra activities taking place at your hotel to keep guests busy, safe, and entertained.

If you’re local or if you’re staying in a vacation home, bring in any loose articles from outdoors, including pool furniture and trash cans. When stocking up, make sure that you have a manual can opener. An electric one won’t do you any good if you lose power. Don’t forget the caffeine. If you’re a coffee drinker like I am you don’t want to be hit with that headache! You can buy “stay awake” products that will keep the headache away. Have flashlights and extra batteries. Flashlights are safer than candles, especially around children.

Keep informed by watching the local news. My personal favorite is News 13, it’s a 24 hour local news station for Brighthouse customers. When there’s an emergency the station can be watched by anyone for free at mynews13.com. You’ll also want to listen to local radio instead of satellite or MP3s. Before the storm hits, fill the bathtubs. If there’s a problem with the water supply you can use that water to flush the toilets. Make sure that your cell phone is charged, and charge any backup power supplies that you might have. Once the storm hits, stay away from windows. Pay attention to weather warnings, especially tornado warnings. If you lose power do not use a grill indoors. Listen to those in charge. We’ll make it through this, but we need to be smart about it. Stay safe, everyone.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.