Hurricane Matthew’s Affect On Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Lines

3rd Update, October 8, morning: Port Canaveral did not receive any major damage and is expected to be open shortly (if it’s not already). On the map below, looks like the Disney Dream is ready to finally return to port along with a couple of Carnival ships. You can watch it live on the Port Canaveral Webcam.


2nd Update October 8, morning: According to a post on Reddit, Disney Guest Services is compensating guests with 1-day park hoppers (valid to be used for 1-day in the next 10 years), dining credits, or other arrangements depending on each guest’s situation. Those with questions about their stay or their tickets should visit their resort concierge or Guest Services for more information and remember that compensation does vary by situation.

Update October 8, morning: Last night Port Canaveral released a statement saying minimal damage was done to the Port and that cruise lines including Disney were expected to return this afternoon after further inspections:

From their statement:

“We are fortunate that our cruise terminals, cargo piers, and infrastructure are intact and ready to support our customers as soon as we have the green light tomorrow from the U.S. Coast Guard,” said Port Canaveral CEO John Murray.

Carnival, Disney, and Royal Caribbean cruise ships are expected to return tomorrow afternoon.

Port assessment teams spent the entire day surveying facilities and ensuring there were no obstacles to reopening the harbor and landside operations. Florida Gov. Rick Scott was in the area during part of the day for a firsthand look at the storm’s impact.

Initial assessments show Port Canaveral harbor is navigable with no obstructions. Cargo piers remain intact with minimal damage to cruise terminals. Some Port tenants experienced some damage to their properties.

To assist our community with recovery from Hurricane Matthew, the Canaveral Port Authority is providing 80-100,000 square feet of space in the new Port Canaveral Logistics Center in Titusville to the American Red Cross to store relief supplies to help those who need assistance in the aftermath of the storm.

Update October 7, 4:45p Eastern: Disney Springs is opening with limited availability. Transportation from the hotels recently began. According to reports, the opening was intended for resort guests but is welcoming everyone:

Update October 7, 2:07p Eastern: Orange County has decided to lift the mandatory curfew that had originally been planned to last until 7 a.m. tomorrow:

Update October 7, 12:40p Eastern: All four Walt Disney World theme parks will be opening at 8a on Saturday (which, for some, is earlier than the posted time). Animal Kingdom will have Extra Magic Hours from 7a – 8a. The water parks and mini golf will have normal operating hours.


Update October 7, 12:27p Eastern: The Disney Cruise Line Blog has published the possibilities guests onboard the Disney Dream are being given regarding returning to port:

Scenario 1 – Return to Port Canaveral on Saturday
If this does occur passengers will be given the option to disembark as long as it is safe to do so or remain onboard until Sunday due to the limited avaibility of hotel occupancy in Central Florida.

Scenario 2 – Return to Port Canaveral on Sunday
In the event a Saturday return is not possible, DCL is hoping to then port on Sunday for disembarkation.

Scenario 3 – Port Canaveral is not Open
If Port Canaveral is not open for the Disney Dream to return on Sunday, the ship will make every effort possible to disembark at an alternate Florida port and will provide complimentary transportation back to Port Canaveral.

Update October 7, 2:33a Eastern: The latest update on

Based on the most recent forecasts for Hurricane Matthew, several destinations, special events and experiences at Walt Disney World Resort are closed or have been canceled.


Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel at the present time are advised to remain indoors through the duration of the storm. For more information—including important safety measures you can take—please speak with the nearest Cast Member.

While we continue to take every necessary precaution throughout Hurricane Matthew, please be aware of the following—in the instance that your vacation plans have been directly affected:

  • Most Disney Resort hotel restaurants will remain open. However, if you wish or need to cancel or modify a dining reservation affected by Hurricane Matthew, cancelation fees imposed by Disney will be waved for all Guests.
  • In addition, Disney Resort hotel cancelation fees imposed by Disney will be waived for all Guests. For information on checking out early and/or receiving a reimbursement, please visit the Front Desk of your Disney Resort hotel and a Cast Member will assist you in processing a refund for unused nights of your stay, park tickets and dining entitlements.
  • Best Friends Pet Care is closed through Friday, October 7, 2016. A crew will remain with the animals.
  • If you have made FastPass+ selections that cannot be used due to the closure of our theme parks, you can modify your selections online or by using the My Disney Experience mobile app.
  • PhotoPass Guest Support operations will be limited through Friday, October 7, 2016.

For further information about Hurricane Matthew at Walt Disney World Resort, please continue checking back throughout the duration of the storm.

Please note: the above-described cancelation details may not apply to Guests who did not book a package via the Walt Disney Travel Company or to Guests who booked a sports or group package.

Update October 7, 2:25a Eastern: The October 8 sailing of the Disney Fantasy is being altered to a 6-night western Caribbean cruise departing on Sunday, October 9, from Port Canaveral. This sailing will include stops in Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Castaway Cay. Guests who remain on the revised itinerary will receive a pro-rated refund equal to the amount of one-night of their cruise fare and an onboard credit. Guests who would like to rebook a future sailing at a discount OR cancel their sailing for a full refund.

The October 1 sailing of the Disney Fantasy is being extended by one day given the uncertainty around the impact Hurricane Matthew will have on Port Canaveral. We are planning to disembark in Port Canaveral on Sunday, October 9. We are working with the guests onboard to assist them with their travel arrangements.

Update October 6, 7:03p Eastern: Orange County, which includes Walt Disney World, will have a mandatory curfew from 10pm tonight until 7am Saturday morning. Anyone outside is subject to fines.

Update October 6, 6:07p Eastern: Our contributor at Port Orleans shares that there are flashlights in the rooms and long lines for food:

img_1446 img_1445

Update October 6, 5:00p Eastern: All of Walt Disney World’s parks are now closed. Precautionary measures continue as the storm rolls in:

img_1439 img_1440

Update October 6, 3:50p Eastern: Walt Disney World is securing trash cans and wrapping light fixtures in case of breakage as preparations for Hurricane Matthew continue:

img_1393 img_1385 img_1391

Update October 6, 3:14p Eastern: The October 8 sailing of the Disney Fantasy is being altered to a 6-night western Caribbean cruise departing on Sunday, October 9, from Port Canaveral. Guests who remain on the revised itinerary will receive a pro-rated refund equal to the amount of one-night of their cruise fare and an onboard credit. Guests who would like to rebook a future sailing at a discount OR cancel their sailing for a full refund.

Update October 6, 3:00p Eastern: Walt Disney World has advised that their phone centers in Florida are experiencing heavy call volume with unusually extended hold times and will likely remain busy for the remainder of the week. If you’re planning a future vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort, you’re encouraged to visit

Update October 6, 2:34p Eastern: Some of the Walt Disney World anciliary locations have revised their operating hours as well:

The three Speedway gas stations at Walt Disney World will close at 6pm on Thursday.

Best Friends Pet Care will close at 6pm on Thursday through Friday.
The Car Care Center  will close at 2pm today through Friday.
Alamo Rent-A-Car will close at 3pm today through Friday.

Update October 6, 12:26p Eastern: Here is the a complete list of Walt Disney World scheduled closures as of now:

  • Walt Disney World theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs, miniature golf courses and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will all be closed today by 5 p.m. and will remain closed through Friday, Oct. 7.
  • Kate Spade at Disney Springs is closed and Tumi will be closed at 3 p.m. on Thursday.
  • The Boathouse and Rainforest Cafe at Disney Springs will will be closed at 3p on Thursday.
  • Characters in Flight is closed now through Sunday.
  • Select weekend events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex have been canceled, including the 2016 Disney Cross Country Classic and Baseball Canada’s Friday and Saturday games/practices. The Baseball Canada game scheduled for Thursday at 1 p.m. has been rescheduled for 10 a.m. the same day.
  • Typhoon Lagoon is open today but the learn to surf experience has been cancelled
  • More changes may be announced as the situation warrants.

Update October 6, 12:01p Eastern: Walt Disney World will be closing all of its theme parks at 5p today and they will remain closed until Saturday. They will all be closed on Friday. The Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween parties scheduled for Thursday and Friday have also been cancelled.

Update October 6, 11:09a Eastern: Hurricane Matthew is now officially back to being a category 4 hurricane with winds up to 140 miles per hour.

Update October 6, 9:58a Eastern: Orlando International Airport reports there have been 185 flight cancellations today, 111 of them inbound. The airport has also released a statement saying it will cease commercial operations around 8 p.m. Eastern tonight.


Update October 5, 10:38p Eastern: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party which was set to take place at Magic Kingdom on Thursday has been canceled.

Update October 5, 8:47p Eastern: The Orlando International Airport has released a statement on airline operations tomorrow and Friday:


Update October 5, 7:05p Eastern: It now seems that both Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are scheduled to be closed on Friday. However, at least for now, Typhoon Lagoon still shows as being open Thursday:


Update October 5, 5:45p Eastern: Currently the Walt Disney World site shows Blizzard Beach as being closed tomorrow. However all of the other parks and Typhoon Lagoon are still showing as open:


Update October 5, 5:15p Eastern:

From Disney Cruise Line:

Based on the projected path of Hurricane Matthew, as well as its expected impact on the Bahamas, Disney Cruise Line is making the following adjustments to itineraries:

Disney Dream

  • The October 3 sailing of the Disney Dream is being extended by one day, as Port Canaveral will not be available for the ship’s scheduled arrival on Friday, October 7. We are now planning to disembark in Port Canaveral on Saturday, October 8, once the Coast Guard has determined that the port is safe for cruise ship operations. We are working with the guests onboard to assist them with their travel arrangements.
  • The October 7 sailing of the Disney Dream from Port Canaveral is being cancelled. Refunds will automatically be processed back to the original form of payment used for cruise bookings. Guests are invited to call us at 1-866-325-3905 or 407-566-7032 beginning Monday, Oct. 10, to book a future cruise at a discount.

Disney Magic

  • The October 7 sailing of the Disney Magic from New York is being changed to a Canadian itinerary, with plans to visit Sydney, Nova Scotia; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Saint John, New Brunswick. Guests who remain on this revised itinerary will receive an onboard credit. Guests who would like to rebook a future sailing at a discount OR cancel their sailing for a full refund are invited to call us at 1-866-325-3905 or 407-566-7032.

Disney Fantasy

  • The October 8 Disney Fantasy sailing from Port Canaveral to the eastern Caribbean is expected to sail as scheduled. We will continue to monitor the weather and make any necessary adjustments.

While we always strive to deliver magical cruise vacations, nothing is more important to us than providing a safe experience for our guests and crew. We will continue to closely monitor Hurricane Matthew and provide updates as necessary.

Update October 5, 5:11p Eastern: Disney has cancelled the 2016 Cross Country Classic which was set to be held at ESPN Wide World of Sports this weekend.

Update October 5, 3:49p Eastern: Fort Wilderness is now issuing a mandatory evacuation. The resort will close at 11 a.m. on Thursday and guests are being accommodated at other resorts.

Update October 5, 2:51p Eastern: According to the Disney Vacation Club website, Disney’s resorts in Vero Beach, Florida and Hilton Head, South Carolina are closed along with Fort Wilderness in Walt Disney World.

Update: October 5, 1:09p Eastern: Guests at Walt Disney World’s Ft. Wilderness Campgrounds and being offered the opportunity to move to other Disney resorts in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew.  According to the Orlando Sentinel, the offer is also being extended to the Polynesian Village Resort Bungalows, and Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villas.  Below is the note being given to current campers:

Update: October 5, 12:45p Eastern: Orange County and Osceola County (Walt Disney World crosses over both) and Brevard County (home of the Disney Cruise Lines’ Port Canaveral) are all under a hurricane warning.  Matthew is expected to hit the Florida coast Thursday night or Friday morning. Port Canaveral is also under a mandatory evacuation order. Forecasters expect Central Florida to receive 4-7 inches of rain, higher in some areas.

As Hurricane Matthew makes landfall in Cuba, Disney is making preparations in Orlando. is reporting, ABC’s The Chew, which is filming at Walt Disney World, has cancelled their October 6th taping and collapsed its schedule to film more shows over fewer days. Two shows are recording today and three will record tomorrow.

Deadline also writes Disney has installed their policy of allowing last-minute trip cancellations and postponements due to the hurricane.

Port Canaveral, home to some of the Disney Cruise Ships, has also been ordered to evacuate by noon tomorrow with the harbor closed to all traffic – including cruise traffic – until after the hurricane passes.  The Disney Cruise Line Blog is doing a great job covering this. As of right now they write:

As of publication, Disney Cruise Line has not updated their advisories for the fleet.
Disney Cruise Line is closely monitoring tropical weather systems in the Caribbean.
At this time, no itinerary changes have been made to the following sailings:

  • October 7 – Disney Dream & Disney Magic
  • October 8 – Disney Fantasy

If needed, we can alter the itinerary of our ships to ensure the safety and comfort of our Guests and Crew. We will provide updates as they are available.

–As of 10/4/16 5:45PM Eastern

The Disney Dream is scheduled to return to Port Canaveral on Friday followed by the Disney Fantasy on Saturday. As you just read, cruise ships will not be permitted into the Port Canaveral until the storm passes and the US Coast Guard lifts the order. We have learned that the Disney Magic is prepared to sail an alternate itinerary if the system continues on the forecast track.

Note: The Disney Dream had already updated its itinerary to avoid Matthew:

The new itinerary is as follows:

  • October 3 – Port Canaveral
  • October 4 – Day at Sea
  • October 5 – Cozumel, Mexico
  • October 6 – Day at Sea
  • October 7 – Port Canaveral Florida