When Disney World Closes

It’s raining here in NY and it’s reminding me of the few times Disney has stopped operations due to environmental factors.

I think of two hurricanes and an incident of mosquitos changing our Disney experience.

Mosquitos in Florida, especially during the summer are a given. However, sometimes those carrying West Nile sneak past the dome over Disney and create a bit of a scare for visiting families. I have a memory of the parks closing early and strong recommendations to stay indoors at night in order to prevent getting bit and to allow preventative spraying to occur.

In 7th grade, while the Dillos were visiting, at the same time my best friend’s family was visiting, some weather put a damper on our trip. We were staying at the Beach Club. Looking outside, the pool furniture and anything else that could fly away were secured due to an incoming storm. The hotel had games, movies and other activities planned to keep guests entertained. For us, inside jokes were born and good memories were created regardless of mother nature.

My first summer working in Disney we were told to go home early because the parks were closing. Hurricane Charlie was on his way and headed to Disney. This was unusual to hear since usually the magical dome protects Disney from being too impacted. There I was, avoiding the I-4 traffic madness and choosing the open “Greenway” as my route home, while listening to the updates on the radio. I was a few minutes off property when I heard a small (is there such thing?) tornado had just touched down in Typhoon Lagoon. Needless to say, I increased my speed to get home and away from tornados ASAP. I was without power or hot water for a week, but Disney didn’t stay closed for too long. They cleaned up and created an escape as soon as it was safe to do so. Walking into work I remember thinking-I don’t think I’ve ever seen leaves on the ground in Disney and here it was-still covered in leaves from Charlie’s wrath.

Disney may go a little off course during unplanned events, but it won’t stop you from making memories!

JC

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