BREAKING NEWS FOR WDW CAST MEMBERS!
HURRICANE IRMA – PARK UPDATE:
Damage Reports from Hurricane Recovery Teams: WDW Hurricane Recovery Teams Reporting In
If you missed a shift because of Hurricane Irma, you will be paid for it!!
Disney Parks and Disney Springs scheduled to re-open September 12, 2017.
Disney World is Closed for Hurricane Irma!
Closed: Saturday evening (7pm/9pm), all day Sunday, all day Monday
September 8, 2017: Here is more from Disney’s statement today:
Walt Disney World theme parks, Disney Springs, water parks, and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex are making the following operational changes:
Disney’s Blizzard Beach: Closed as of Friday, 9/8 – Monday, 9/11
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon: Closing early on Saturday 9/9 at 5 PM – Monday, 9/11
ESPN Wide World of Sports: Closed on Saturday, 9/9 – Monday, 9/11
Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Closing early on Saturday, 9/9 at 7 PM – Monday, 9/11
The Saturday, 9/9 Rivers of Light performance is canceled.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Closing early on Saturday, 9/9 at 7 PM – Monday, 9/11
The Saturday, 9/9 Fantasmic! and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular performances are canceled.
Epcot: Closing early on Saturday, 9/9 at 9 PM – Monday, 9/11
The Saturday, 9/9 Illuminations Reflections of Earth performance is canceled.
Magic Kingdom: Closing early on Saturday, 9/9 at 9 PM –Monday, 9/11
The Saturday, 9/9 Happily Ever After fireworks performance is canceled.
Disney Springs: Closing early on Saturday, 9/9 at 9 PM –Monday, 9/11
A Message from Disney Resorts to Our Guests:
While you are staying with us, we are closely monitoring Hurricane Irma. As the weather approaches we would like to share some helpful tips for your visit.
~We anticipate resort dining locations may experience lengthy waits. Pre-made bagged lunches and snacks are available.
~Housekeeping services may be limited.
~Please turn to channel 3 on your in room TV for more information regarding Hurricane Irma.
~Disney films on your in room TV will be complimentary until further notice.
We appreciate your patience and understanding and apologize for any inconvenience. Should you have any questions or need additional assistance, our front desk Cast Members are happy to assist you.
Thursday, Sept 8th: The cancellations have started across the WDW property:
****** Stay tuned for more announcements! This blog will be updated daily at 9am and 9pm.*****
1. Disney Cruise Line Cancels Three Cruises Due to Hurricane Irma
September 5, 2017: Due to weather concerns caused by Hurricane Irma, Disney Cruise Line is ending two cruises early and cancelling three other upcoming cruises.
The September 2nd sailing of the Disney Fantasy, which has been sailing a modified Western Caribbean itinerary will return to Port Canaveral on September 7th, two days earlier than scheduled. Guests traveling on this sailing will receive a refund equal to two nights of their fare, plus will be given a 25% discount on a future cruise.
The September 9th sailing of the Disney Fantasy has been cancelled. All guests will receive a full refund, plus a 25% discount on a future cruise.
The September 4th sailing of the Disney Dream, which has been sailing a modified Bahamian itinerary will also return to Port Canaveral on September 7th, one day earlier than scheduled. Guests traveling on this sailing will receive a refund equal to two nights of their fare, plus will be given a 25% discount on a future cruise.
The September 8th and September 11th sailings of the Disney Dream have been cancelled. All guests will receive a full refund, plus a 25% discount on a future cruise.
All affected guests have from September 18, 2017 through October 18, 2017 to book a future cruise with the 25% discount offer.
2. All Toll Roads are Now Free in Florida
September 5, 2017: Residents and visitors evacuating South Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma won’t have to pay tolls starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, September 5th.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Scott told the Miami Herald/Times the governor’s order applies to all Florida roadways and toll systems “until further notice.”
Gov. Scott said in a statement he wants “to keep traffic flowing.”
“Ensuring the safety of Florida families and visitors is our top priority and suspending tolls statewide will help people quickly evacuate and make it easier for all Floridians to access important hurricane supplies to ensure they are fully prepared,” Scott said.
3. Florida Governor Cancels All School: K – College
SEPTEMBER 7, 2017: WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott is directing all public K-12 schools, state colleges, state universities and state offices to close Friday, September 8 – Monday, September 11.
Governor Scott said, “Today, I am directing the closure of all public schools, state colleges, state universities and state offices for their normal activities effective Friday through Monday, to ensure we have every space available for sheltering and staging. Floridians are facing a life-threatening storm in Hurricane Irma, and every family must prepare to evacuate. Our state’s public schools serve a vital role in our communities as shelters for displaced residents and staging areas for hurricane recovery efforts. Closing public schools, state colleges, state universities and state offices will provide local and state emergency officials the flexibility necessary to support shelter and emergency response efforts.”
Hurricane Irma Path Updates:
Category 3 Hurricane (major), 110 – 130 mph winds: Devastating widespread damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes. Prepare for at least 7 – 10 days of emergency conditions.
4. Cast Member ‘Hurricane Ride Out’ Teams – Hurricane Rideout Crews and Hurricane Recovery Teams Have Been Activated!!!
Disney cast members are known to go above and beyond for resort and park guests. This includes during a hurricane! If you’re interested in being on a Hurricane Rideout Crews or Hurricane Recovery Teams, sign up on the Hub now. My ID logon.
Action Details: On the Hub, go to the Work tab. Click on Labor Service Center. Then Submit and Review My Labor Requests. Under Interest Forms, you will see a link for ‘Ride Out Crew’. Register there.
Every work location has a written hurricane safety plan. Remember, Safe-D begins with me!
Cast members on Hurricane Rideout Crews will be on shift for 72 hours straight. CMs will be paid their normal rate until hour 8 worked, then from hour 8-16 is OT, and from 16 hours onward will be DT.
CMs will hang out at their work location during the storm and do tasks as needed, mostly centered around keeping things safe and comfy for guests. Meals and a place to sleep and shower will be provided at no cost.
Example: Magic Kingdom cast members will spend their entire time in the park and not be released to leave until the storm has passed and the park is clean and safe for guests. No park will reopen until all storm debris has been cleaned up and all rides have been reinspected. Stay connected via The Hub for park status and work updates.
Remember, Disney World has its own power station and water treatment plant. Even though DCP housing is only 4 miles away, the housing complexes are on the Orlando power grid, not the WDW property grid, and may lose power for several days.
Park Tie Downs: When Storm Winds Exceed 30mph
When the storm winds pick up, cast members will begin what is known as a park-wide “tie down” which essentially involves removing all loose items around the parks and hotels, including trash bins, tables, chairs and anything else not firmly attached to the ground, and storing them in a secure location where they won’t be blown around by the wind.
In addition, anything that is loose but attached to a building (like a hanging sign or banner) will be tied down and secured with rope and zipties.
Disney is taking all appropriate steps to ensure that the storm this weekend has as minimal an impact on a guest’s vacation as possible.
5. CPs Living in Disney Housing Complexes
CPs living in Disney Housing that are not on Hurricane Rideout Crews will be “sheltering-in-place” for the hurricane starting on Saturday night, 9pm.
Disney will bring in about a dozen people to help Disney Housing personnel if Hurricane Irma nears Orlando. They will work 24/7 for as long as necessary at the DCP housing complexes ensuring that all cast members are safe. They will be handling any emergency situations such as any apartment flooding or wind damage, ensuring that all damage reports are taken care of immediately.
September 8, 2017 email from Disney Housing: “Because of safety concerns, our team will not be able to respond to maintenance requests, such as leaks, during the storm. Utilize something (like an empty garbage can) to collect the water and prevent it from spreading throughout your unit until we can assist.”
This week, cast members should buy/get:
- Bottled water
- Extra food
- Portable battery pack for their phone
- Fill up your gas tank
- Cash – at least $50
Also, turn in all your dirty costumes by Saturday morning and get 5 fresh ones for next week.
Per Hurricane protocol, no guests will be allowed into the DCP housing complexes after 4pm on Hurricane Warning Day. Residents will only be allowed in their own complex (i.e., Vista Way residents would not be allowed in The Commons after 4pm.)
Taping of windows is not allowed.
Remember, Cast Connection is open and has food and water supplies for cast members to stock up before the storm! Take the K bus as parking is very limited.
Cast Connection will be closing early on Saturday afternoon, so go NOW!
Please review this checklist and get prepared: Hurricane Preparedness Checklist – What To Do
6. Florida Airports Will Be Closing Ahead of Hurricane Irma
Expect airlines to cancel thousands of flights this weekend and suspend operations as Hurricane Irma sweeps across Florida and airports close for days. Travelers this weekend are advised to check flight status with their airline before heading to the airport.
American Airlines announced Wednesday afternoon that it will shut down operations at five airports in South Florida on September 9, 2017.
All airports in Florida are reporting this morning that their parking garages are FULL and not to drive to the airport as there is nowhere to park your car.
Tampa International Airport (TIA): Closing Saturday, September 9th, 8pm.
Orlando International Airport (MCO): Orlando International Airport will halt all flights starting on Saturday, September 9th at 5 PM.
Orlando Sanford International Airport: The Sanford airport will completely close on Saturday, September 9th at 5:15 PM.
Fort Lauderdale International Airport: Closing Saturday, September 9th. Mandatory evacuation orders in effect.
Miami International Airport (MIA): Closing Saturday, September 9th. Mandatory evacuation orders in effect. “MIA is not a designated hurricane shelter. Operations at the airport stop when winds reach sustained winds of 55 MPH.”
Palm Beach International Airport: Closing Saturday, September 9th. Mandatory evacuation orders in effect.
Jacksonville International Airport: Closing Saturday, September 9th, 7pm.
Update from Southwest Airlines (our favorite airline!)
Southwest Airlines is closely monitoring the projected track of Hurricane Irma and possible Stations that may experience operational disruptions in the coming days. Before you head to the airport, please check the status of your flight for the most up-to-date information regarding your flight.
Our scheduled service on Tuesday, September 5, thru Wednesday, September 13, may be disrupted (flights may be delayed, diverted, and/or cancelled) at the following cities:
- Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
- Fort Myers (RSW)
- Havana (HAV)
- Jacksonville (JAX)
- Nassau (NAS)
- Orlando (MCO)
- Punta Cana (PUJ)
- San Juan (SJU)
- Tampa (TPA)
- West Palm Beach (PBI)
Customers who are holding reservations on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 thru Wednesday, September 13, 2017 and want to alter their travel plans may rebook in the original class of service or travel standby (within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city-pairs and in accordance with our accommodation procedures) without paying any additional charge.
We ❤ Southwest!
7. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party – Some Upcoming Nights Canceled!
Breaking News: MNSSHP Party on September 10th has been canceled!
When Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or the Headless Horseman Appearing at Fort Wilderness are canceled, guests are offered a full ticket refund. Cast members with discounted party tickets will be offered replacement tickets for other party nights.
SEPTEMBER 9, 2017: A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR ORANGE COUNTY
…HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT… * LOCATIONS AFFECTED – Orlando – Apopka – Christmas * WIND – LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: Equivalent Strong Tropical Storm force wind – Peak Wind Forecast: 50-65 mph with gusts to 80 mph – Window for Tropical Storm force winds: early this afternoon until Monday afternoon – CURRENT THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY: High – The wind threat has remained nearly steady from the previous assessment. – Emergency plans should include a reasonable threat for hurricane force wind of 74 to 95 mph of equivalent Category 1 intensity. – To be safe, aggressively prepare for the potential of extensive wind impacts. Remaining efforts to secure properties should now be brought to completion. – Dangerous and life-threatening wind is possible. Failure to adequately shelter may result in serious injury or loss of life. Move to safe shelter before the wind becomes hazardous. – POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Extensive – Considerable roof damage to sturdy buildings, with some having window, door, and garage door failures leading to structural damage. Mobile homes severely damaged, with some destroyed. Damage accentuated by airborne projectiles. Locations may be uninhabitable for weeks. – Many large trees snapped or uprooted along with fences and roadway signs blown over. – Some roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. Several bridges, causeways, and access routes impassable. – Large areas with power and communications outages. * FLOODING RAIN – LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: Flood Watch is in effect – Peak Rainfall Amounts: Additional 6-10 inches, with locally higher amounts – CURRENT THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY: High – The flooding rain threat has remained nearly steady from the previous assessment. – Emergency plans should include a reasonable threat for major flooding where peak rainfall totals well exceed amounts conducive for flash flooding and rapid inundation. Rescues and emergency evacuations are likely. – To be safe, aggressively prepare for the potential of extensive flooding rain impacts. – Life-threatening flooding is possible. Failure to take action may result in serious injury or significant loss of life. If flood related watches and warnings are issued, heed recommended actions. Poor decisions may result in being cut off or needlessly risk lives. If vulnerable, relocate to safe shelter on higher ground before flood waters arrive. – POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Extensive – Major rainfall flooding may prompt many evacuations and rescues. – Rivers and tributaries may rapidly overflow their banks in multiple places. Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches may become dangerous rivers. Flood control systems and barriers may become stressed. – Flood waters can enter many structures within multiple communities, some structures becoming uninhabitable or washed away. Many places where flood waters may cover escape routes. Streets and parking lots become rivers of moving water with underpasses submerged. Driving conditions become dangerous. Many road and bridge closures with some weakened or washed out. * TORNADO – LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: – Situation is favorable for tornadoes – CURRENT THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY: Moderate – The tornado threat has remained nearly steady from the previous assessment. – When implementing emergency plans, include should include a reasonable threat for scattered tornadoes. – To be safe, earnestly prepare for the potential of significant tornado impacts. – Listen for tornado watches and warnings. Be ready to shelter quickly if a tornado approaches. – POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Significant – The occurrence of scattered tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans during tropical events. – Several places may experience tornado damage with a few locations seeing considerable damage, power loss, and communications failures. – Locations could realize roofs torn off frame houses, mobile homes demolished, boxcars overturned, large trees snapped or uprooted, vehicles tumbled, and small boats tossed about. Dangerous projectiles can add to the toll. * FOR MORE INFORMATION: – Family emergency plans: Federal Emergency Management Agency –https://www.ready.gov – Local weather conditions and forecasts – http://www.weather.gov/mlb
Just last fall, Disney World had to close for a Hurricane.
In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew shut down Disney World for 2 days.
Read about that WDW closure here: When Hurricane Matthew Closed Disney World
We’ve written two books about our time working and playing at Disney World.
Both are available on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.
If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/
Have a magical day!