LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Disney Destinations and Walt Disney Travel Co. have announced a new policy providing greater flexibility to modify or cancel Walt Disney World Resort advance reservations in the event of a hurricane warning - and it represents a bit of financial sunshine.
During the 2006 hurricane season, 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 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.
When the guest reschedules, all deposited monies for rooms, park tickets, Disney dining plans and other Disney products and services will be applied toward the rescheduled vacation.
Guests who have purchased packages that include products and services provided by third party suppliers, such as airlines, hotels, car rental agencies or vacation insurance companies, will continue to be responsible for any non-refundable payments, as well as cancellation or change fees assessed by those suppliers. Any discounts or free offers applicable to the original vacation will not apply to the rescheduled vacation. Disney cannot guarantee availability of similar accommodations for the new travel dates. This policy does not apply to certain special events or dining experiences.
For a complete description of the policy, visit www.disneyworld.com.
"If a guest is impacted - or is likely to be impacted - by a hurricane, the last thing we want them to be worrying about is a Disney cancellation or change fee," said Al Weiss, president of Walt Disney World Resort. "With this policy, our guests don't have to worry about that. As for the weather, there have been only two days since 1971 when our parks haven't opened because of weather concerns."
In fact, the period from mid-August through September can be one of the best times to visit Walt Disney World Resort. With school bells ringing, it's after the height of the summer vacation season. That means shorter lines. It's also a time of special events, including Magical Beginnings events for families with preschoolers, the Tom Joyner Family Reunion hosted by popular radio and TV host Tom Joyner, the Night of Joy contemporary Christian music extravaganza, and the launch of Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party dates.
Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort have been recognized by NOAA National Weather Service as StormReady communities, the only theme parks and resorts in the nation to achieve the distinction.
To be recognized as StormReady, a community must establish an emergency operations center, have multiple means to receive severe weather information, monitor weather conditions and issue alerts, promote the importance of public readiness through education efforts, and develop a formal hazardous weather plan which includes emergency exercises.