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Hurricane Season Update – Closures, Cancellations, and Refunds at Florida Parks, Cruises, Flights


Hurricane Season Update – Closures, Cancellations, and Refunds at Florida Parks, Cruises, Flights

Hurricane Irma has ripped through the Caribbean and is projected to make landfall on American soil late Saturday or early Sunday. Here is your hurricane season update with closures, cancellations, and refunds at Florida parks, cruises, and flights. Prepare to have flexible travel plans!

Related: Hurricane Season – How to Travel and What to Expect as Hurricane Irma Hits

Currently, Irma has been downgraded to a category 4 storm, but that still means dangerous weather and travel conditions. Florida is being evacuated and the state’s Governor, Rick Scott, stated that Hurricane Irma is already “way bigger than Hurricane Andrew.” For those who need a memory jog, Hurricane Andrew was the one of the most destructive hurricanes to hit the state in 1992. As of now, it’s not a question of whether or not Florida will be hit by Irma, but a question of how bad the storm will be.

Closures at Florida Parks

Universal Studios Orlando has announced it’s park closure pans as the ultimate vacation destination braces for Hurricane Irma. Both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios will close at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2017. The parks will stay closed Sunday and Monday with plans to resume normal operating hours on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. All on-site hotels will remain open and function to take care of guests.

Sea World has declared it will be closed as of Saturday at 5 p.m. and will remain closed at least through Sunday and Monday. The park confirmed the news of the closure Friday morning via Twitter.

Disney is also closing their parks at various time frames depending on the park. The company’s website explained, “Based on the latest forecasts for Hurricane Irma and keeping safety top of mind, Walt Disney World Resort will be closing early on Saturday, September 9 and will remain closed through Monday, September 11.” That includes parties like “Night of Joy” and “Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party” scheduled for September 10, 2017.

Related: Weather and Airplanes – How Big of a Threat is Weather ?


Many cruises are being re-routed and canceled. Currently, Carnival is allowing passengers to remain on board the ships as flights and rental cars are very hard to come by. Norwegian Cruise line and MSC Cruises are also passengers to stay on the ship. Some passengers weren’t so lucky after being dropped off and reported a lack of communication on the cruise line’s part for informing passengers of the option according to reports on LA Times.


Orlando and Fort Lauderdale have confirmed they will be halting flights as the state tries to empty itself of planes. It’s very important to note that – Unless an airport officially cancels all operations, the decision to cancel flights lies with the airlines. So, if you want to be sure your flight is canceled, always check directly with the carrier.

As of time of publication, Daytona Beach (DAB), Key West (EYW), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Orlando (MCO), Orlando/Sanford (SFB), Punta Gorda (PGD), St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Sarasota-Bradenton (SRQ), and Tampa (TPA) all have halted flights. Check your carrier for the exact last flights for each airport.


You’ll need to check with each individual flight, park, ticket, airline, hotel, or travel arrangement in regards to refunds. Some airlines and hotels are relaxing their policies as Hurricane Irma makes it’s way to the Florida coast. It never hurts to ask regardless of policies, but be prepared to be flexible. As for travel insurance, it’s too late to purchase it in most cases. Typically, the insurance must be bought before the storms are named with a projection for impact.

As always, please put safety first! Do you have any weather-related travel stories? Share your travel trials and tribulations in the comments area below!

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  1. robin rue says

    I was really worried that some of those parks would stay open, but I am happy to hear they closed. I hope everyone gets their refunds.

  2. Amber Myers says

    I’m glad the parks closed so the employees could be safe! But I can understand the frustration of people who had vacations planned on those days.

  3. Alaina Bullock says

    What a helpful list! Thanks! It;s good to see that so many people took this storm seriously, although I feel bad for those who were on vacation!

  4. Doria says

    Thank you for sharing this! So many out-of-towners aren’t sure about how to deal with the cancellations and closures and this list is super helpful <3

  5. candy says

    So grateful I don’t have to worry about any of this. Prayers to those effected by mother nature.

  6. Cheryl says

    Glad to hear that the parks were closed and are easing their refund policies. I feel sorry for the families that have the challenge of rescheduling their trips during a school year. More importantly, I hope everyone stays safe!

  7. Claudia Krusch says

    It would be so scary to be on a cruise during a hurricane. I have seen some photos of the damage the hurricane caused at Disney.

  8. Pam says

    My cousin was in Tampa during Hurricane Irma. This has been a really rough hurricane season so far.

  9. Ellie Augustin says

    Living in NY and seeing what happened w/ Irma. Now it’s time to rebuild but glad that of what I saw there were way more provisions than other storms.

  10. Janet says

    Thank you for sharing these with us and for the updates 🙂 My prayers and heart go to everyone who are affected…this year have been a terrible hurricane season

  11. adriana says

    Such great information here. I have SO much family and two of my best friends in Florida, and I was so worried this past weekend for them and for the whole state. It seems as if the damage isn’t as bad as predicted, which is a blessing but still praying for those who lost so much!

  12. Jenn @ EngineerMommy says

    Im happy that many of the attractions closed down to keep everyone safe. This is a great resource of how Florida is recovering from the storm.

  13. Emily says

    This is really helpful information! I know a few people that were in Houston and dealing with hurricane Harvey, I can only imagine how difficult it is to deal with something like this as a tourist not knowing the area. It is such a relief Irma is over and people can start rebuilding and moving forward.

  14. Victoria Heckstall says

    Great and helpful article!..This Hurricane really did a lot of damage in Florida,keep praying for them!

  15. Jaime Nicole says

    While it must be awful to have your vacation plans disrupted, hopefully these help keep people safe. It will take awhile for Florida and Texas to recover.

  16. Amanda says

    Just goes to show you that Mother Nature doesn’t care about what your plans are…she will do what she pleases. I truly hope that all of these disruptive and catastrophic hurricane help people realize climate change is real!

  17. Our Family World says

    Thanks for the information. I know some families have waited and planned for a vacation in these places for a long time, but we must put the safety and well being of everyone first.

  18. Yeu Doi says

    Great information and post! I will check back to share your posts like this! Thank you!

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