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.
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!
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.
Over a thousand people died from Hurricane Matthew, mostly in Haiti from drowning.
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
We didn’t need the destruction of a Category 4 hurricane blowing though Orlando too!
Disney World closed its parks for just the fifth time since its opening, due to Hurricane Matthew.
Since opening in 1971, the WDW parks have only had four unplanned closures, all in anticipation of hurricanes.
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.
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.
Book link on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale