My Walt Disney World hurricane story

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IMG_0874How will a possible hurricane affect your Disney visit? | from

Recent article in the Orlando Sentinal’s Daily Disney blog reminded me of an autumn trip to see the Mouse a few years back that culminated in riding out a hurricane at the Port Orleans Riverside resort. I’d gone for a conference and at the end of the trip, did a couple of meets with folks from a couple of Disney message boards with whom I’d been carousing online for a few years.

Sometime during the week, I became aware that Hurricane Wilma was expected to blow through Florida. Now, this was the year before I moved here from New York. I’d been through one hurricane up on Long Island – that would have been Gloria in 1985. I knew that a hurricane could blow down trees and take out a home’s roof or crush a car – all manner of destruction. So I was aware that being outside or trying to travel would not be a good idea and that I’d better just hunker down in the event that Wilma DID strike.

IMG_1096-WDW-EPCOT-monorail-cloudsWe’d heard that the year before, when Hurricane Charley had come through, Disney had been wonderful to the guests, so I thought it was not going to be a problem. Well, I was wrong. I had one of the most negative experiences ever with Disney when Wilma struck on the morning we were supposed to check out. I still maintain that if a company won’t send their employees out in a storm, they should not toss their guests out on their butts during that same storm. Yet they fully expected me to check out on time, despite not wanting to send bell services out in the storm to get my bags.

There were other service failure type issues with Disney during Wilma. The moral of the story is, don’t depend upon Disney or any company for that matter, to do the right thing in the event of a catastrophe. We’d like to think most people and businesses would react with compassion and common sense, but that was not he case in this instance.

If you’re interested in reading about the rest of that trip, here’s a link to my old trip report site from before the blog –

I think the Wilma stuff starts on “Day 8” and extends into “Day 9”

Click the photos to see if a larger version is available in Flickr
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6 thoughts on “My Walt Disney World hurricane story”

  1. No, there weren’t – nothing was flying into Orlando International, and people would have been stark raving mad to drive in that. No one wanted to check in. Some hotel manager wasn’t being very bright, is my guess.


  2. Interesting. We got to Sanibel on Monday that year and had to evacuate on Thursday because of Wilma. We tried to get into one/any of the Disney Resorts and they were totally booked! So we ended up going to St. Augustine and stayed in a wonderful hotel who let us extend out stay by the day since Wilma kept delaying. They normally don’t take pets but were allowing people to bring their pets. Many of the people in the hotel were from the Ft. Myers area. Hearing your story, I’m glad we couldn’t get in at WDW and had to go to St. Augustine.

  3. Yo Sno – I think the whole reason you couldn’t get into Disney World was because people like me refused to leave bwahahahaha. Seriously, people were extending their stay by one, two or even just a half day like I did because of the airport shutting down. I was amazed when my plane left on time!


  4. I’ve been to Disney so many times but was lucky that it was always nice! I’m just as surprised as you that they acted this way….

    Thanks for sharing!


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