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  1. #1

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    Has a hurricane ever hit WDW area?

    I'm planning a 9 day trip to WDW and it looks like it works out best for me to go the first week of September in 2013. I love hot weather so the heat won't bother me, but I'm a little afraid while doing research because I keep hearing that this is "hurricane season". And that scares me.

    Has a hurricane ever hit the WDW area?

    If a hurricane happens, I assume the parks will be closed.

    What happens to people who've come down to WDW for a week and a hurricane hits? Do the hotels close too, and if so what happens to you? I wouldn't know what to do in a situation like that. Since we're flying down there and I don't drive a car, I don't know what would happen to us. I would assume Disney people would help us figure it out but I don't want to worry about this so I'm wondering if this situation has happened before.

    I really want to set my trip for September 1-10, 2013 (arriving in the morning on the 1st and then leaving in the evening on the 10th). I need to plan this far out because I can only afford to set aside a few hundred a month in my vacation fund and it will take about 17 or 18 months for me to save up enough to go.

    I'm willing to take a risk on it raining a lot if a hurricane does hit the area because I bet there will be things to do indoors somewhere on rainy days and I actually love the sound of the rain so as long as I can find a place to relax by a window I'd be able to weather any storm.

  2. #2

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    Re: Has a hurricane ever hit WDW area?

    Do some searches on, I want to say, Hurricane Charlie. It has happened a few times where the parks were closed, and Disney is noted for having handled the situation quite well. This is a rare occurrence since Walt Disney World is in the middle of the state, not on a coast where hurricanes are at their worst.

  3. #3

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    Re: Has a hurricane ever hit WDW area?

    Do you have a link to any URLs where they talk about Disney handling it well?

    I wan to be prepared in case the worst happens.

  4. #4

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    Re: Has a hurricane ever hit WDW area?

    I was a manager at the boardwalk resort in 2004 when wdw was hit by 3. Hurricane Charlie, Irene and Francis.

    It is extremely rare. Disney handled it with amazing care.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Has a hurricane ever hit WDW area?

    The worst is not really anything I think you can plan to handle, except mentally. Typically hurricanes just bring storms, which is nothing unusual to Walt Disney World. If it is really bad Disney will keep all guests at the hotels and I believe the reports were that they made some extra activities available. If there is a concern for tornadoes then those plans would be put into action. Other than that, bring rain gear which is a requirement for good chunks of the year in Florida.

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    Re: Has a hurricane ever hit WDW area?

    Quote Originally Posted by KingEric View Post
    I was a manager at the boardwalk resort in 2004 when wdw was hit by 3. Hurricane Charlie, Irene and Francis.

    It is extremely rare. Disney handled it with amazing care.
    My one visit to WDW was late 2004 and we stayed at the Boardwalk a week or so after one of the hurricanes. I remember there was minimal damage anywhere past some roof shingling.

  7. #7

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    Re: Has a hurricane ever hit WDW area?

    Disney is super prepared for hurricanes. When Charlie came through in 2004, the resorts offered Disney movie marathons and sandwich buffets. They make sure they keep all Guests up to date with information. The parks also have a Hurricane Ride Out crew, so if one did hit, the parks would be able to re-open as soon as possible
    WDW Cast Member August 2009 - November 2011

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    Re: Has a hurricane ever hit WDW area?

    Quote Originally Posted by DancinBelle View Post
    Disney is super prepared for hurricanes. When Charlie came through in 2004, the resorts offered Disney movie marathons and sandwich buffets. They make sure they keep all Guests up to date with information. The parks also have a Hurricane Ride Out crew, so if one did hit, the parks would be able to re-open as soon as possible
    What's a Hurricane Ride Out crew?

    Is that like a specially trained Disney "SWAT Team" that swoops in when a hurricane hits and makes everything better in the aftermath?

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    Re: Has a hurricane ever hit WDW area?

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoHarley View Post
    What's a Hurricane Ride Out crew?

    Is that like a specially trained Disney "SWAT Team" that swoops in when a hurricane hits and makes everything better in the aftermath?
    They bring in enough stuff for them to sleep in the park for around 3 days, and as soon as the storm stops start to clean up and prepare to re-open.
    WDW Cast Member August 2009 - November 2011

  10. #10

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    Re: Has a hurricane ever hit WDW area?

    I actually went to the parks on the day of Hurricane Charlie. They closed MK at 1 if I remember right, but the weather hadn't really gotten bad yet. We had lunch at Chef Mickey's, and if the Contemporary was an indicator of the hotels' treatment of the guests/situation throughout the resort, then people staying at the resort were treated very well. After we left, all of the resort buses were seen parked in the DTD parking lot super super close to each other--that was amazing. There are A TON of buses!

    Anyways, it was one of my fonder memories of the park. It was very chill, people didn't have ridiculous expectations, and as we waited out the storm, we still had some Disney magic in us left over

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    Re: Has a hurricane ever hit WDW area?

    Quote Originally Posted by TylerDurden View Post
    I actually went to the parks on the day of Hurricane Charlie. They closed MK at 1 if I remember right, but the weather hadn't really gotten bad yet. We had lunch at Chef Mickey's, and if the Contemporary was an indicator of the hotels' treatment of the guests/situation throughout the resort, then people staying at the resort were treated very well. After we left, all of the resort buses were seen parked in the DTD parking lot super super close to each other--that was amazing. There are A TON of buses!

    Anyways, it was one of my fonder memories of the park. It was very chill, people didn't have ridiculous expectations, and as we waited out the storm, we still had some Disney magic in us left over
    How long did it take for the storm to be gone?

    How long was MK closed for?

  12. #12

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    Hurricanes

    Don't let the idea of hurricane season spoil your trip. Just like a couple of posters on this thread said, my wife and I were at Disney World during 2004. We didn't stay in one of the park resorts, but at a timeshare nearby. We went the 3rd week in September that year and was asked by our family not to go for fear of the hurricanes hitting our location. When we got there there was only one day out of the week that it rained all day. No damaging winds, just strong gusts from time to time, but the hurricane missed us. We had an awesome time, it was my first time back to WDW in 20 years! Honestly just plan your trip and have fun! Hurricanes rarely hit that area and, if it did, you just may miss one day of going to the parks. I prefer to go just after Labor Day, which in 2013 would be September 2nd. So those first couple of days maybe busy, but after that you should be able to jump on rides fairly quickly.

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    Re: Has a hurricane ever hit WDW area?

    Hurricanes rarely hit central Florida, so don't let that scare you off. But Charley was a big surprise because everyone expected it to hit Tampa, then at the very last minute it turned, hit down by Port Charlotte and made a beeline through I-4 into Orlando.

    How long a hurricane lasts in an area depends on the speed of the storm. Charley was a smaller storm that moved very quickly and blew through in just a few hours. Irene, on the other hand, was a very large and slow moving storm that took a couple days for it to move out of the area.

    That being said, I remember hearing stories at how wonderful the CMs handled everything at the hotels, keeping guests occupied and stuff while they waited out the storms.

    But hurricanes bring more than just rain. They bring a LOT of high winds and tornadoes in their wake as well. But WDW is prepared for all this and usually in September, even though they call it the peak of hurricane season, it's been rather quiet in my experience of living in Florida the last 12 years.

    Really though... don't let it scare you off. Just keep an eye on the weather reports and plan accordingly.

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    Re: Hurricanes

    Quote Originally Posted by redknight77 View Post
    Don't let the idea of hurricane season spoil your trip. Just like a couple of posters on this thread said, my wife and I were at Disney World during 2004. We didn't stay in one of the park resorts, but at a timeshare nearby. We went the 3rd week in September that year and was asked by our family not to go for fear of the hurricanes hitting our location. When we got there there was only one day out of the week that it rained all day. No damaging winds, just strong gusts from time to time, but the hurricane missed us. We had an awesome time, it was my first time back to WDW in 20 years! Honestly just plan your trip and have fun! Hurricanes rarely hit that area and, if it did, you just may miss one day of going to the parks. I prefer to go just after Labor Day, which in 2013 would be September 2nd. So those first couple of days maybe busy, but after that you should be able to jump on rides fairly quickly.
    Tentatively, I'm looking at going IMMEDIATELY after Labor Day...so something like September 2nd, 2013 -- September 12th, 2013 or maybe September 3rd, 2013 -- September 13th, 2013. Something like that.

    I figure the people who had vacation on Labor Day will be back at work then and maybe crowds will not be so bad.

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    Re: Has a hurricane ever hit WDW area?

    Yeah that time frame is good because all schools are back in session by Labor Day (most Florida schools go back in mid to late August). During the week you should have lighter crowds (weekends of course is when the locals come out to play). Honestly you picked a good time to go. Weather will still be on the warmer side, but not as brutal as July or the first part of August. Plus Florida's "rainy season" is just finishing up.

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