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View Full Version : Anyone stayed at Disney during a hurricane ?


kiingor
01-13-2009, 03:00 PM
Anyone here stayed at Disney resort / themeparks during a hurricane ? What was it like ? The Disney website states that they will refund if Orlando issue a hurricane warning 7 days prior to your trip. Anyone experience that ? I've seen videos of MK parade during hurricane on youtube.

jennypenny
01-13-2009, 03:16 PM
Anyone here stayed at Disney resort / themeparks during a hurricane ? What was it like ? The Disney website states that they will refund if Orlando issue a hurricane warning 7 days prior to your trip. Anyone experience that ? I've seen videos of MK parade during hurricane on youtube.

We were in Disney for George, Charley, and Fay (only a TS I know, but affected our cruise). All I can say is GO ANYWAY. The parks are not as crowded and the temps are better when it's raining. It's a problem if the storm arrives on a travel day, but otherwise it's fine.

Charley was something--trees down everywhere and the grocery store we stopped at had no power. Water parks were crowded afterwards because the schools were closed.

Fay was a big pain and our cruise departure was moved to Ft Lauderdale but the day before it was 78 degrees and empty in epcot. In august!

During George we were the only ones in SAB. And the rain seemed to wash away the love bugs for a day or two.

Metsoskil
01-13-2009, 03:23 PM
We were there during TS Fay last year, and we put on the ponchos, put the rain covers on the strollers and toured the parks as usual. The ride lines were non-existant. It was definitely worth going to the parks. The one disappointment was that we did a split stay between the POP and BWV (rented points) and Fay hit while we were at the BW, so we didn't get to do any "boardwalky" kinds of things in the evenings. The kids still swam between wind gusts, though, when they opened the pool.

It wasn't ideal, but it certainly didn't make being at Disney un-magical. We had fun with it.

Pat817
01-13-2009, 04:09 PM
As a local Florida resident, we know many people who book a room at Disney when a hurricane is coming! Disney doesn't seem to lose power and it sure beats going 5 days with no airconditioning when its 90+ degrees.

naf917
01-13-2009, 05:39 PM
We were there last year for TS Fay. The parks weren't that crowded and it wasn't hot. The kids had fun and wanted to swim in the pool while it was raining

jen3003
01-13-2009, 08:15 PM
We were there in 2004 during Hurricane Frances. Parks closed for 2 1/2 days was definitely not part of our plan. Disney was amazing during the storm. Keeping us up to date with flyers to the rooms as much as they could. When it was safe to do so they sent characters to the resort (All Star Movies) to visit with the kids. We were able to meet Jasmine and Aladdin which the kids thought were great.
We also had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful family from England, there room was next to ours. My youngest DD who was 5 at the time had a great time playing with their DD who was about the same age.
You don't have to worry Disney does a fantastic job when something like a hurricane unexpectedly happens. Besides, knowing that hurricane season begins in May and goes to November I wouldn't worry about canceling a trip.

WebmasterDoc
01-13-2009, 08:31 PM
We have been at WDW for Floyd, Charley and Frances and can't think of a safer place to be than onsite.

In all cases Disney was most efficient in their preparations and in their thoughtfullness regarding guests staying onsite.

DVC has been very generous with allowing for changes in itinerary when these storms have been involved (they are treated on a cas-by-case basis).

I would not give a moment of concern about reserving during Hurricane season or in being at WDW during that time. Disney really treated us well and kept us well informed.

JimMIA
01-13-2009, 09:23 PM
I'll certainly agree with others that WDW is a very safe place to be during a hurricane, or any other bad weather event.

OTOH, I think you need to understand the difference between a Hurricane Warning, an actual hurricane, a tropical storm, and a rainy, windy day. Orlando almost never gets actual hurricane conditions, and rarely would ever get a Hurricane Warning. In all the "hurricanes" that have "hit" the WDW area, I'd bet there has never been a storm that actually delivered real hurricane conditions (sustained 74 MPH winds).

That offer (if quoted correctly) is pure marketing blather. Here's what a Hurricane Warning really is (from the National Hurricane Center...the nice folks who actually issue such warnings):

"Hurricane Warning:
A warning that sustained winds 64 kt (74 mph or 119 km/hr) or higher associated with a hurricane are expected in a specified coastal area in 24 hours or less. A hurricane warning can remain in effect when dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves continue, even though winds may be less than hurricane force."

If you read between the lines of that, you realize that a Hurricane Warning issued 7 days before your vacation would have zero effect on your vacation.

Also keep in mind that WDW is 65 miles from the East Coast of Florida and 75 miles from the West Coast. It's hard to imagine a place in Florida that would be safer from actual hurricanes.

BigDogMom7
01-14-2009, 12:56 AM
We were at the Beach Club during Charley. It was Friday the 13th, the opening day of the summer Olympics. It hit at about 9 pm at night, with the eye going right over WDW. It wasn't supposed to - it was supposed to go much further to the west, but veered at the last minute and went right over WDW. My memory is that there definitely WERE sustained winds over 74 mph; gusts were up to 100 mph, we were told the next day. There really weren't any big warnings until the day it hit. They closed the parks at 1 pm, gave us free 1-day passes to make up for the closing, and had characters and plenty of extra food back at the BC lobby.

We were on the fourth floor, and the building did not even shake. We had power, and we had water. CMs coming to work the next day had neither. We did not, however, have a functional airport. We were supposed to fly out the next day, but "had" to spend another 3 days at WDW waiting for the airport to open and to get rebooked on another flight. My DH was not very happy about that, but DD (then 10) certainly was! (So was I, but don't tell DH. :) ) There was plenty of room at the BC since many people had not been able to arrive, so we were able to extend our stay there.

The next day was amazing. The parks opened (except for AK, I think) at 9 am only to resort guests. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the cleanup was done so quickly that it was hard to tell anything had happened 24 hours later. I tell people that if they have to be in a hurricane in Florida, go to a WDW resort!

DVC Grammy
01-14-2009, 07:33 AM
We were at OKW during Wilma. Neither OKW nor the parks really had many problems. AK was the only park to stay closed for the entire day due to the downed trees and branches endangering the animals' safety.:goodvibes

The only thing I'd do differently in the future if I were going during hurricane season is to book at a hotel-DVC. We felt isolated within our villa, whereas in the hotel types, the lobbies functioned as gathering places and seemed more like "Hurricane-Party" Centrals! :cool1:

arcurioa
01-14-2009, 09:14 AM
We were there during Floyd, Charley, and TS Faye this year. Floyd was crowded because it hit to the south and everyone there came to WDW. During Charley, our flight was one of the last to land before they closed the airport, by the time we got to our resort, PORS, there was an enormous line, everyone from the campground was being moved to our resort and one other. We waited in line over 2.5 hours to check in (IMO- they should have had a window for folks that had reservations for the resort), and then several more hours for food. Other than that, everything went very smoothly. They provided flashlights and kept everyone posted. Most of the parks were open the next day, and clean up was amazing.

As for booking during hurricane season, I say go for it, but do not expect the refund they were mentioning. My brother and his wife were supposed to arrive the day after Charley hit, but the airport was closed and the next flight they could get was 3 days later. Disney told them they would need to pay to extend their vacation the 3 days and basically forfeit the days that they had to miss. I know for a fact that had they been able to get there, there would have been no room for them as the campers did not get to go back to their sites until the day they were to arrive anyway. They finally did get it all worked out, but it was a hassle that took several hours on the phone.

MommaX03
01-14-2009, 09:25 AM
I did a tropical storm in August 2006 at an All-Star. Not fun to share a room with one tv and one bathroom, no kitchen. That is why we bought DVC after the trip!:rotfl: We did have power, and the bus service was fine. We ventured out to the Grand Floridian for dinner at Citricos, which was virtually empty. Again, as noted above, a tropical storm is not a hurricane.

I spoke with a CM, who noted that when storms come in many people cancel. The CMs stay overnight in the hotel rooms so that they can be ready to clean up the parks and resorts asap. As long as it is not over 55 mph, the parks stay open, with some ride closures. The CM explained that the lines are minimal, if any, on these days because so many people stay away.

Also, it was noteworthy that we could not access the weather channel by simply hitting the channel up and down button on our All-Star room remote. The weather channel was not a preset channel. We had to purposely input the correct channel number to access it. I guess that is one way to forget about the weather at Disney! (I subsequently noticed that the Weather Channel was a pre-set on my SSR TV.)

Sabor
01-14-2009, 09:51 AM
We were there a few years back for Charlie and Jeanne.

Charlie we left the day after it hit.

For Jeanne we arrived by car the afternoon before it hit , We came from DVC HH and left early in the AM expecting Jeannes arrival. After Checking in I went to do our normal routine of grocery shopping at Publix. They were closed already so I drove around and found Super Wal Mart Open. You couldn't even find a parking space -- cars were everywhere , on the grass, blocking people in , blocking driveways.

Inside Walmart was like a nuclear disaster movie , people just grabbing everything and anything in sight -- It is an experience I will remember forever. The lines were so long it too almost 3 hours.

The Parks were closed the whole next day ,thank goodness we were in a 2br with plenty of food. My father in law was a life saver to many smokers as he had cartons in his van and was selling them to desperate smokers ( he was a nice guy and sold them at his cost wherre he couldd have profited big time.) I have great pics but thet are not digital

We went to AK the next day and the park was empty, some ride breakdowns were going on ,but all in all the trip was one of our best ever.

kiingor
01-14-2009, 09:59 AM
We were there a few years back for Charlie and Jeanne.

Charlie we left the day after it hit.

For Jeanne we arrived by car the afternoon before it hit , We came from DVC HH and left early in the AM expecting Jeannes arrival. After Checking in I went to do our normal routine of grocery shopping at Publix. They were closed already so I drove around and found Super Wal Mart Open. You couldn't even find a parking space -- cars were everywhere , on the grass, blocking people in , blocking driveways.

Inside Walmart was like a nuclear disaster movie , people just grabbing everything and anything in sight -- It is an experience I will remember forever. The lines were so long it too almost 3 hours.

The Parks were closed the whole next day ,thank goodness we were in a 2br with plenty of food. My father in law was a life saver to many smokers as he had cartons in his van and was selling them to desperate smokers ( he was a nice guy and sold them at his cost wherre he couldd have profited big time.) I have great pics but thet are not digital

We went to AK the next day and the park was empty, some ride breakdowns were going on ,but all in all the trip was one of our best ever.

wow.. that is something... kool experience.

DisFlan
01-14-2009, 11:06 AM
We were at BWV during Wilma in 2005. It wasn't the worst storm of the year, but it was bad enough. We stocked up on soups, bread, deli meat, cereal etc at the Screen Door and brought the furniture in from our balcony. And a hefty amount of food and supplies was moved from the Screen Door inside to the gift shop in the lobby - so you didn't have to go outside to get whatever you needed.

The resort was GREAT with storm planning. They kept us updated with phone messages almost hourly. We were quarantined at the resort as the storm went over during the day. They provided a really nice buffet in the convention center for breakfast and lunch (for $15). And Disney movies on TV.

The BW lobby looked like a party during the quarantine - live music, magician, characters and crafts for the kids. It was sort of weird to be in the middle of this with the wind and rain blowing outside - but actually, we could hear very little of the storm from inside the resort.

When the storm had passed, the MK was open later in the afternoon until midnight just for resort guests, which was pretty cool. We went to Epcot the following morning and it was very quiet - like having the place to ourselves.

If you're going to have to ride out a hurricane at WDW, a DVC/hotel resort like BWV is the place to do it. They took great care of us, and it was nice to be able to get out of the villa and move around inside the resort.

And kudos to all the BW CMs! They really came through in a crunch. They were all wonderful, even though I know many of them were worried about their own homes.

DisFlan

Simba's Mom
01-14-2009, 11:40 AM
Since I've lived for 4 1/2 days without power due to a hurricane, I often wonder-does every WDW resort have back up generators? Is it possible to lose air conditioning in the guest rooms because usually the back-ups don't have as great a possible load as regular power?

Cee
01-15-2009, 07:24 AM
We were told by a bus driver once that all the power cables in WDW are underground so there will never be a loss of power. :thumbsup2

Simba's Mom
01-15-2009, 11:03 AM
We were told by a bus driver once that all the power cables in WDW are underground so there will never be a loss of power. :thumbsup2

Hmm, then how come where we used to live had all the power cables underground, yet we once lost power for 14 hours? Oh, and I just noticed that our power cables are all underground here, where we lost power during a hurricane once for 4 1/2 days.

kiingor
01-15-2009, 11:07 AM
Hmm, then how come where we used to live had all the power cables underground, yet we once lost power for 14 hours? Oh, and I just noticed that our power cables are all underground here, where we lost power during a hurricane once for 4 1/2 days.

prbly because the power site that supplies your neighborhood power is not underground and they got hammered....:confused3