As of 2:00 pm Friday, the Orlando area is now under a Hurricane Watch.
Walt Disney World has announced the following closures:
Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios will close at 7 pm Saturday. Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and Disney Springs will close at 9:00 pm. They will remain closed Sunday and Monday. They expect to be reopened as normal on Tuesday, September 12, pending clean up and damage assessments.
All evening performances (Rivers of Light, Fireworks, Illuminations, etc) have been cancelled for Saturday evening, as well.
Saturday evening’s Night of Joy event has also been cancelled. Guests with Saturday tickets may attend the event this evening (Friday).
Fort Wilderness Campground will close on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
Guests staying at a Walt Disney World® Resort will be given instructions as to the hurricane protocol at their specific resort. This will include provisions for safety, food, and other activities to keep guests occupied.
UPDATE 9/5/17 10:00 PM
Disney Cruise Line has announced the cancellation of 3 cruises and the modification of 2 others. Here are the details…..
- Disney Fantasy – September 2 is sailing a modified Western Caribbean itinerary and will return to port 2 days early. Guests will receive a refund for 2 nights of their fare as well as a 25% credit toward a future sailing.
- Disney Fantasy – September 9 sailing has been cancelled. Refunds will be made to the guests, and they will also receive a 25% credit toward a future sailing
- Disney Dream – September 4 is sailing a modified Bahamian itinerary and will return to port 1 day early. Guests will receive a refund for 1 night of their fare as well as a 25% credit toward a future sailing.
- Disney Dream – September 8 and 11 sailings have been cancelled. Refunds will be made to the guests, and they will also receive a 25% credit toward a future sailing
No announcements have been made regarding Walt Disney World Resort regarding the hurricane impact.
We feel that we will know better as to the tracking of the hurricane and any impending impact on the Orlando area.
Our Dream Designers are always looking out for the safety and concern of our guests and will be staying on top of all the latest developments.
UPDATE 9/5/17 7:00 pm
This afternoon’s update shows little change in the path, but we are now seeing a delay as to the time of crossing the Keys. Projections now show a possibility of 2:00 pm on Sunday, although the narrative explains that it’s too early to tell the impact location or time.
Disney has announced that they will be honoring refunds for the scheduled Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Night of Joy, and resort packages that are scheduled to travel within the next 7 days. Other than some changes to some itineraries, Disney Cruise Line has yet to announce any cruise cancellations.
The official word from the National Hurricane Center states that Irma may take a turn to either side of the Florida peninsula, or right up the middle of the state. It’s just too early to tell at this point. Again, according to the National Weather Service.
Our team of Dream Designers is closely monitoring the motion of the storm and will take every precaution to ensure the safety of our guests.
UPDATE 9/5/17 11:00 am
This morning’s update shows some slowing in the forward path of this storm, so we don’t know much more about the projected path than we did yesterday. However, Irma is now a very dangerous category 5 hurricane. All eyes are currently on the Caribbean islands, and our prayers continue to rise for the residents of this area.
In this morning’s update, the NWS has added the following comments as it relates to Florida…. ”
The chance of direct impacts from Irma later this week and this weekend is increasing in the Florida Keys and portions of the Florida Peninsula. However, it is too soon to specify the timing and magnitude of the impacts. Elsewhere, it is too early to determine what direct impacts Irma might have on the continental United States. Everyone in hurricane-prone areas should ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place.
UPDATE: 9/4/17 2:00 PM
Irma has shifted more to the west than in previous models. Our thoughts and prayers are those in the Caribbean island areas which will be impacted in the next 24 hours or so. Tracking beyond the next couple of days will depend on whether the storm is disrupted by landfall in Cuba, as well as other weather patterns. It is still too early to tell the exact path beyond this visual model released by the National Weather Service, but rest assured that your Dream Designers are monitoring this closely and assisting our guests with any travel modification needed. But as of now, there’s no reason to panic as we just don’t know anything about a projected path.
11:45 p.m. 9/3/17
Many of our guests with upcoming Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line vacations have been asking us about the impact of Hurricane Irma and their Disney vacation. What is important is to separate the fact from internet fiction, and with our hurricane expert, we hope to do that here. We will keep this post updated throughout the life of this hurricane to help all of our guests.
Here’s what we know for sure. As of now, neither Walt Disney World or Disney Cruise Lines have put out any official announcements as to making changes to itineraries, operating hours, or any other modifications. There’s a really good reason why.
According to our Disney friend Mark Sudduth with hurricanetrack.com, we simply won’t know for another 2 to 4 days where the hurricane is likely to fall. The National Weather Service only gives a 5-day projection, and this is for a reason. According to Mark, “it would be irresponsible for me or anyone to project beyond 5 days because there are just too many variables in the weather system to make those kinds of projections.” He also commented that there are many graphics on the internet that extend beyond 5 days, but these are not scientifically based, and should be ignored. As seen in the graphic below, although the storm appears to be headed toward Florida, the graphic only extends 5 days and doesn’t take into account any possible shift in the direction of the hurricane after those 5 days
With that in mind, we are suggesting that no one changes their plans for their vacation quite yet. There’s still time before we know if the hurricane will touch Florida, the Carolinas, turn to sea, or head into the gulf, all of which are possibilities.
Regardless of if and where it makes landfall, Mark says “This one’s going to be nasty wherever it ends up.”
Your Dream Designer will be tracking the progress of the hurricane, keeping watch for official statements from Disney, and keeping you updated with any information that we have.
Again, as of now this writing at 11:40 pm on 9/3/17, we are not recommending making any changes to your reservation simply based on any chances of a hurricane hitting the central Florida region. This will be a serious storm regardless of where it hits, but we just don’t know where that will be for another couple of days. Once we know, we’ll help our guests make that determination that best takes their safety into consideration, if necessary.
In any event, our thoughts and prayers are with those in the direct path of Irma who will likely be impacted far worse than a cancelled vacation.