What Happens during a Hurricane at Universal Studios
What happens during a hurricane at Universal Studios? The truth is if you are visiting Orlando during the rainy season (from September to end of November) then there is a chance that you may experience a hurricane during your trip. In this guide we will explain the Universal Studios Hurricane Policy, how often universal studios has been forced to close for hurricanes historically and of course some tips should you be visiting during a hurricane at universal Studios.
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Note: Hurricanes are dangerous, health and safety should always be at the forefront of your mind at locations where hurricanes may hit and you should always follow local safety and travel advice.
Table of Contents
Have hurricanes Closed Universal Studios in the Past?
Yes there is precedent for universal studios shutting due to hurricanes. Universal studios have shut for both Hurricane Irma in 2017 and Hurricane Dorian in 2019.
In 2022 hurricane Ian closed the parks for three days – on Wednesday 28th September, Thursday 29th September and on Friday 30th September too with the evening event open on the last night.
However the Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida will also be cancelled Wednesday, Sept. 28, and Thursday, Sept. 29.
The hotels remained opened but were fully booked so only existing bookings were allowed.
Is Universal Studios Likely to Shut for a hurricane?
Yes there is every chance that Universal will shut for hurricanes as it has done in the past. However you can be assured that the parks will stay open for as long as they can and will reopen again as soon as possible once the hurricane is over.
How Much notice does Universal Studios give for hurricane closure?
Hurricanes are fast moving and change in severity constantly. The parks will always give as much notice as they can of a closure. Usually they aim for giving a days notice for closure however this can not be always guaranteed.
What is the Universal Studios Hurricane Policy
Universal Studios has a hurricane policy not dissimilar to the Disney World hurricane policy and Legoland Florida hurricane policy. It states that if a hurricane forecast is issued within 7 days by either the National Hurricane Center for the Orlando area—or for your place of residence you may call in advance or reschedule your trip (for those things booked directly with Universal, everything else will be dependent on the terms and conditions of your bookings).
We strongly advise considering booking your trip to universal Studios if you are traveling during the rainy season directly with Universal as this will allow for the greatest flexibility should you be unfortunate yo have severe weather warnings issued during your vacation.
If you have additional questions or need to change or cancel your travel plans, then you can contact the Guest Contact Center team by calling 877-801-9720.
Hurricane at Universal Studios / Universal Studios in the rain
My first tip if you are visiting and there is a potential for a hurricane at Universal Studios is don’t panic. Unfortunately hurricanes are not a rarity in the Orlando area so the theme parks in Florida are well prepared for what to do in case of a hurricane hitting. So all you need to to is
Listen to Cast Members
The cast members at Universal Studios are well trained in the policy for hurricanes. Just be sure to follow their instructions to the letter.
Check the Forecast regularly
Be sure to listen to news and weather updates regularly. Hurricanes and tropical storms can change in trajectory and strength very frequently so you should listen to local news updates regular and adjust your plans accordingly.
Staff at resorts and parks are also able to provide regular updates on weather and contingencies in the parks.
Pack for the Weather
It is important whenever you travel to theme parks to pack for the weather accordingly but it is especially important if you are traveling during hurricane or storm season in Florida.
We recommend packing ponchos, an extra set of clothes and shoes that can deal with getting wet. And maybe an extra pair of socks and sandals just in case of terrible weather.
One of the things we have found in theme parks in heavy rain (not hurricanes though) is that although some rides may close, the lines for outdoor rides that remain open ill be short as everyone else heads indoor to escape the rain. If you have a poncho with you then you will be able to enjoy the short queues without getting too wet.
We also recommend packing some items that will help protect your electronics. If you are going to the water parks in Orlando such as Aquatica, Universal’s Volcano Bay or Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, we recommend taking a water proof phone cover. If you have one of these and you are going to be in the parks during severe downpours we recommend putting your phone in this as your bag is likely to get drenched and your electronics will not be well protected without one.
If you don’t have one of these we recommend going to the parks with a few plastic bags and some ziplock bags which you can use to protect some of your more valuable or sensitive items and any important documents that you are carrying with your.
Know where to take refuge in bad weather
Florida has storms and strong rain showers frequently throughout the whole of the rainy season It is therefore a good idea to familiarise yourself with good places to take refuge during a downpour if you are traveling during the rainy season even if you are not traveling during a hurricane.
Be sure to check out our Universal studios in the rain guide for more comprehensive information. However generally speaking if you are in Universal Studios during the rain we recommend heading for – a quick service restaurant ( shops and shopping arcades, indoor attractions.
Have food in your room
Whether you are staying on site at a Universal Studios Resort Hotel or off site, if a hurricane hits and is severe enough to close the parks for a day (which has happened only on a handful of occasions at Universal Studios) then you will want to have plenty of food and drink with you.
Even in a resort hotel you will be asked to wait out a hurricane in your room and the dining and room service menus will be limited and likely have very long waits. Therefore we recommend having a good amount of food and snacks just in case.
We also recommend having plenty of bottled water with you in case the water goes out during the hurricane.
If a hurricane is forecast 7 days before your arrival then there are some caveats at some resorts relating to cancellations and rescheduling of holidays. If you don’t fancy dealing with a hurricane on your vacation and you have refund options then you could consider canceling or rescheduling your trip for outside of rainy or hurricane season.
What happens during a Hurricane at Universal Studios FAQs
Can you cancel your Universal Studios Vacation or Tickets in event of a hurricane
As we said above, Universal Studio team members are well versed in hurricane preparedness and there are lots of policies in place to deal with hurricanes including cancellation policies. If the hurricane is forecast within seven days of your trip in either Orlando or your place of residence then you are entitled to getting either a refund or otherwise have an option of rescheduling your trip.
What happens at a on site Universal Studios Resort during a hurricane
Staff at the on site resorts at Universal Studios are well trained for dealing with a hurricane given the fact that hurricanes are a frequent occurrence in Florida and the Orlando area.
If you are staying at Universal Studios then our best advice is to follow the advice and instructions of the hotel resort staff to the letter – they know what they are doing and safety is of paramount importance to them. The staff will always communicate with you at the earliest possible opportunity.
However we also recommend having plenty of food and snacks and lots of bottled water with you just in case the hurricane is particularly severe.
During a hurricane you will wither be confined to your room or be asked to shelter in place at an indoor location with no windows if the hurricane is particularly severe. Whatever advice is given to you by staff please do follow it to the letter.
When will Universal Studios reopen after a hurricane?
It is hard to say for certain when universal Studios will reopen after a hurricane as it really does depend on the severity and impact of each individual hurricane or tropical storm. However the parks will reopen at the earliest possible opportunity but be assured that safety is of paramount importance to the staff and the parks will not reopen until it is safe to do so.
Should I cancel my trip if there is likely to be a hurricane at Universal Studios?
This is such a hard one to say as it is such a personal choice. While I am not going to recommend anyone actively go to a place during a hurricane things you might want to consider if and when you are considering cancelling your trip are:
How far out is the hurricane and how far out is your trip
if the hurricane is due to hit tomorrow and your trip starts tomorrow it is probably wise to cancel or delay by a few days. However if your trip and hurricane forecast is seven days away then you may want to wait it out before canceling. Hurricanes can change path and strength quickly so monitoring is worth while.
how long is your vacation
if you are going for a month and the hurricane is one day of it then you may want to postpone however if you are only going for a couple of days and the hurricane is hitting over this period then you may well be better rescheduling
Have you traveled to universal Studios during a hurricane? We would love to hear your experience below?