When Hurricane Matthew Closed Disney World


Several of our blog fans have asked us about doing a follow-up blog to what happened after Disney closed WDW in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew’s arrival and Disney activated their Hurricane Rideout Teams.

4:45pm on Thursday afternoon, the Magic Kingdom is closing.
5pm:  The WDW parks are all closed.
5:30pm:  The Magic Kingdom is closed and deserted!  Really raining hard!
Everything is closed!
The cast members on the Hurricane Rideout Teams worked 48-72 hour shifts making magic for guests.

Some cast members expressed disappointment that the hurricane changed course slightly and went about 20 miles east of expected… 20 miles for a storm the size of Texas!

Friday, October 7, 2016:  The Magic Kingdom is closed!
The WDW parks closed on Thursday afternoon and didn’t reopen until Saturday morning.

Real Floridians were thankful that the storm stayed offshore until making landfall in northern Florida near St. Augustine.

From there up through the Carolinas, especially North Carolina, there was terrible flooding and widespread power outages effecting millions of people.

The path of Hurricane Matthew.
Hurricane Matthew stats:  Over 1,300 killed by the storm.

Over a thousand people died from Hurricane Matthew, mostly in Haiti from drowning.

The view from the Swan Resort on Friday morning.  Rainy and windy.

We were thankful the hurricane caused little damage in Orlando.

This city is still recovering from the triple tragedies over a 5 day period in early June 2016 when the Orlando area suffered a trio of horrific events: The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history that killed 49 clubgoers and wounded 53 more. The slaying of a young singing sensation Christian Grimmie from The Voice. The tragic disappearance and drowning of a 2-year-old boy snatched by an alligator at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.  #OrlandoStrong

Some people were sad that it wasn’t more destructive I guess.

We didn’t need the destruction of a Category 4 hurricane blowing though Orlando too!

Disney will need to make a new hurricane pin!  Summer of 2004 WDW closed 3x for hurricanes!

Disney World closed its parks for just the fifth time since its opening, due to Hurricane Matthew.

Thursday morning at 10am.

Since opening in 1971, the WDW parks have only had four unplanned closures, all in anticipation of hurricanes.

The MNSSHP party events were cancelled for both Thursday and Friday night.

On October 6, 2016, a spokeswoman for Walt Disney World said, “Based on the most recent forecasts for Hurricane Matthew, Walt Disney World theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs, miniature golf courses and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will all be closed today (Thursday, 10/06/16) by 5 p.m., and will remain closed through Fri., Oct. 7, 2016.”

Disney World shuttered its gates on Sept. 15, 1999, for Hurricane Floyd; August 13, 2004 for Hurricane Charley; Sept. 4 and 5, 2004, for Hurricane Frances; and Sept. 26, 2004, for Hurricane Jeanne. [2004 was a very bad year for Florida hurricanes!] It was also evacuated in a brisk 30 minutes on 9/11/2001 due to the terrorist attacks in NYC and Washington DC, but the parks were not closed beforehand.

Sometimes hurricanes can delay the parks from opening. Back in 1995, category 1 Hurricane Erin hit Walt Disney World in the early morning hours, delaying the park opening until 11am that day so that all the wind damage could be cleaned up.


The grocery shelves around Orlando really were wiped out of water, bread, eggs, milk…and soup!
How Floridians prepare for hurricanes…


working together at DAK
Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale


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