What Happens At Universal Studios During A Hurricane?

When visiting Universal Studios in storm season (June to November), you may experience the threat or reality of a hurricane.

Universal Studios has closed due to a hurricane in the past. However, the decision to close the Universal Parks is never taken lightly.

If Universal Studios has to close due to a hurricane, they will aim to provide at least one day’s notice. However, the exact procedure is done case by case, depending on the circumstances.

Closing the Universal Parks During a Hurricane

Universal has a trained team dedicated to monitoring the weather. This team and management decide whether to close the theme parks due to the weather.

Keep in mind that Universal never wants to close the theme parks. Instead, the decision to do so is always based on the health and safety of guests and staff.

Past closures of Universal due to hurricanes have all been a little different. However, Universal will always aim to give guests as much notice as possible.

Cancelling a Trip to Universal Studios Because of a Hurricane

Universal has a severe weather policy that helps guests reschedule or cancel their trip in the event of an impending hurricane.

The policy states that you may cancel or reschedule a:

  • Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations Package
  • On-site hotel booking
  • Universal Orlando theme park tickets (booked directly with Universal Orlando)

You can do this without any cancellation or change fees imposed. You can make changes to your booking because of the severe weather policy. To do so, call the Guest Contact Centre team at 877-801-9720.

If you bought Universal Studios tickets from a third-party supplier, you will need to check their terms and conditions. Alternatively, you may need to call your travel insurance provider to make a claim.

Staying at a Universal Studios Hotel During a Hurricane

If you are staying on-site in a Universal hotel during a hurricane, staff will inform you of the hotel’s standard procedure. The procedure and notification method vary slightly between hotels. However, it’s usually done with an A4 letter under your hotel door and/or an email.

Universal Hotels will keep you informed about any changes over several days. This timeframe will give you plenty of time to prepare and/or adjust your vacation if you want to do so.

During an active hurricane, you will be told to remain inside the hotel. Guests will be provided with extra activities wherever possible, including movies and games. If the weather worsens, you’ll be asked to return to your room. In emergencies, you’ll need to gather in a large enclosed space without windows.

Again, each hotel within the Universal Studios Resort is slightly different. As such, you must read all the information given should you be at a Universal Studios hotel during this time.

Before and After a Hurricane at Universal Studios

Universal Studios will continue to operate before or after a hurricane, wherever it is safe to do so. However, not all rides and attractions at Universal may be in operation.

Rides at Universal Orlando that close due to rain are often not in operation due to health and safety. These ride closures increase standby wait times for remaining operational rides.

Should You Cancel or Reschedule a Trip to Universal Studios Because of a Hurricane?

If a hurricane is due to make landfall during your trip to Universal, then you will have to decide if you want to:

  • Go to Universal Studios if it’s still possible
  • Cancel your trip altogether
  • Reschedule your trip

Depending on how you’ve booked your vacation, the decision is not always in your control. In 2019, my trip to Universal was cancelled by the tour operator as the result of an impending hurricane. I couldn’t have gone even if I wanted to.

Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to cancel or reschedule your Universal vacation due to a hurricane:

  • How soon your trip is: The strength and route of a hurricane can change significantly as it approaches Florida.
  • Cancelled & rescheduled flights: Getting in and out of Florida before or after a hurricane can be difficult.
  • The closure of rides & attractions: While the Universal theme parks may remain open, rides within the park may be closed due to the weather.
  • Health & safety – Hurricanes can be deadly. As such, you’ll want to consider the health and safety of your family when travelling in severe weather conditions.
  • Length of your vacation – If your Universal vacation is only a few days, its entirety could be taken up by a hurricane or hurricane conditions.

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