Last update – September 7, 2017, 7:00 PM
Florida continues to prepare for Irma to make landfall. Current forecasts say the storm will hit South Florida Saturday with Central Florida seeing the worst of it late Sunday and early Monday morning.
Follow the latest news on Hurricane Irma at the National Hurricane Center.
Orlando International Airport will close at 5PM on Saturday
is operating normally, but advises travelers to contact their airlines to find out about any cancellations or delays. The airport is also on Twitter at @MCO. You should contact your airline for information on other cancellations.
Central Florida theme parks are operating normally for now, though guests are able to cancel their plans without penalty. Because of heavy call volume, some guests are being to routed to the general information operators when they phone with questions about their trips which has resulted in conflicting answers about cancellations. We’ve confirmed with multiple travel agents that Disney is not charging penalties. If you’re booked under a promotion like a free dining offer this week and reschedule, you may not necessarily be able to get it again. It’s technically based on availability. We at TouringPlans simply do not know how Disney will handle these situations. If you get an answer, please leave it in the comments.
Fort Wilderness will close Saturday at 2PM.
Night of Joy on September 9 is cancelled. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on September 10 is cancelled.
Blizzard Beach will not be open Friday and Saturday, September 8 – 9.
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal are not scheduled to begin until September 15.
The Saturday night Rock the Universe and Sunday morning worship service at Universal are cancelled. Friday night’s Rock the Universe is still scheduled.
Anyone in Central Florida who has not evacuated is advised to be where they need to be, with supplies, by 5:00 PM on Saturday. It is needlessly dangerous to plan to arrive at your Central Florida vacation this weekend.
Information for Disney guests is on the Disney web site.
Information for Universal guests is on the Universal web site.
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line has cancelled 3 cruises and ended two early:
- September 2 cruise – ended 2 days early, passengers to debark today, September 7
- September 9 cruise – cancelled
- September 4 cruise – ended 1 day early, passengers to debark today, September 7
- September 8 and 11 cruises – cancelled
The Magic and Wonder are in Europe and Alaska respectively, and not affected by Irma.
St. Martin, a port on Disney’s Eastern Caribbean cruises was hit hard by Irma earlier this week. St. Thomas and St. John, also on the Eastern itineraries in the USVI were hit. The DCL Blog has an article about damage to these ports;.
Castaway Cay in the Bahamas could see damage today.
Information for Disney Cruise Line passengers is on the DCL site.
The Rest of Florida and the Southeast
The Florida Keys and parts of the Miami area are under mandatory evacuation orders. The Florida National Guard has been called up to assist residents during and after Hurricane Irma.
Traffic on I-95 and I-75 North out of Florida is very heavy with people evacuating.
Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina have declared states of emergency in advance of Hurricane Irma.
The National Hurricane Center describes Irma is “life-threatening” and Florida governor Rick Scott says the storm surge “can kill you.”
What Happened During Hurricane Matthew
In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew, a smaller hurricane, was projected to go through the Orlando area, though it did turn east at the last minute. Here’s a reminder of how that went:
I-95 through Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina saw substantial flooding during Hurricane Matthew last year. Flooding lasted well after the storm had gone through.
Orlando area airports closed before the storm and flights were delayed and cancelled as planes and crews made their way back in place.
Universal and Walt Disney World closed early the day before the storm and were closed for one full day.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party was cancelled and guests were offered refunds or rescheduled tickets.
Halloween Horror Nights were cancelled and guests were offered refunds or rescheduled tickets.
Resort hotel restaurants were not serving guests who remained onsite though box meals were available for purchase.
Guests at Fort Wilderness, the Treehouses at Saratoga Springs, and the Polynesian Bungalows were relocated to more secure accommodations. This year that list would include the Cabins at Copper Creek Villas at Wilderness Lodge.
Stay tuned to the TouringPlans blog for more information as it comes in.