Hurricanes and Universal Travel
We are in the midst hurricane season, and that means the whole East Coast is on guard from now though much of October. With Cyclone 9, soon to be tropical storm strength by Wednesday swirling out in the Atlantic possibly threatening Florida in the next couple of weeks, now is a good time for a refresher on Universal and hurricanes.
Florida’s Hurricane Season spans a surprising 6 months. It begins at the start of June and runs through the end of November. Hurricane activity can happen at any time but storms tend to be more plentiful from around the middle to end of August through the end of October.
Steering completely clear of the Hurricane Season isn’t an option for most Universal-goers who must travel on school holidays, during Fall Break etc. Storms aren’t frequent enough to avoid visiting Florida six months out of the year entirely. But I do recommend preparing yourself with some helpful information on what Universal does in the UNLIKELY event that a hurricane impacts your visit.
Many visitors worried about potential hurricanes should read this closely as it will hopefully help to put your mind at ease.
Universal Orlando’s Official Hurricane Policy is as follows:
Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations™ Severe Weather Policy
While an incredible vacation awaits at Universal Orlando Resort™, unfortunately we can’t make guarantees about the weather, but your travel plans can still be stress-free. In the event that a hurricane or tropical storm warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center or a state of emergency is declared for the Orlando area or in your place of residence, within seven days of your arrival, you can contact our team in advance to reschedule or cancel your Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations Package, hotel room only accommodations and Universal Orlando theme park tickets booked directly with Universal Orlando, without any cancellation or change fees imposed. If you have purchased airline tickets as part of your Universal Parks and Resorts Vacations package, you may still be subject to cancellation and change fees assessed by those airlines.
If you have purchased Universal Orlando products and services through third-party suppliers, travel agents or tour operators please contact them directly for information regarding their cancellation or change policies and procedures. The policy does not apply to certain special events, dining experiences or group related bookings.
We want you to feel safe and will work with you directly to best accommodate your needs. If you have additional questions or need to change or cancel your travel plans, please contact a member of our Guest Contact Center team by calling 877-801-9720.
Terms & Conditions:
- If you have purchased Universal Orlando products and services through third-party suppliers, travel agents or tour operators please contact them directly for information regarding their cancellation or change policies and procedures.
- Waiver of penalties for cancellation or change applies to hotel accommodations and Universal Orlando theme park tickets when booked through Universal Orlando including when purchased as part of a Universal Parks and Resorts Vacations package.
- Please note that this policy does not apply to hotel reservations, whether booked as room only or as part of a vacation package, when made after a Hurricane or Tropical Storm warning has been issued or state of emergency is declared for either Orlando or your place of residence.
- Availability of same accommodations and room rates cannot be guaranteed for rescheduled vacations dates.
- If you have purchased airline tickets as part of your Universal Parks and Resorts Vacations package, you may still be subject to cancellation and change fees assessed by those airlines.
- The policy does not apply to certain group related bookings including special events. Guests with group rates must contact their respective meeting/group planner directly for cancellation policy.
- Guests calling to cancel or modify bookings must be 18 years of age or older.
- If you have purchased a Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations package via travel financing with Uplift you will not be charged interest as a result of a cancelled vacation due to a hurricane or tropical storm.
For those looking to reschedule- Universal will make every attempt to match the booking that you are canceling to a future booking. However, it should be noted that Universal CANNOT guarantee you that the same hotel/room category will be available for your new dates. Similarly, if you booked under a promotional discount but want to book at a time that the discount is not available, you will have to forgo your discount.
Since full theme park closures are rare, it is more likely that the parks will remain open in the event of a storm but with restrictions. In the event of bad weather (including lightning storms) Universal will typically close outdoor rides first. Coasters are usually the first to be suspended. Indoor attractions are another story. As long as the park remains open indoor rides and attractions typically stay open as well. That’s why a great rainy day strategy is to head to a theme park where there’s lots to see and do indoors.
If a hurricane were to make landfall in Florida it could increase the chances of rain for Universal visitors. Universal is very good at keeping guests updated as to the potential impact of inclement weather.
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