UPDATED 9/1/19, 5:45 PM
Today has been a day with a lot of uncertainty, but one thing is certain–we’re all sick of Hurricane Dorian. I truly feel for the people of the Abaco Islands and surrounding areas in The Bahamas. If you haven’t been watching the updates today, National Hurricane Center reports gusts of 220+ mph and sustained winds of 185 mph. To put that in perspective, an EF5 tornado clocks in at anything over 200 mph. Now imagine an EF5 tornado sitting on your house for hours upon hours. Early pictures coming in from where the hurricane made landfall are as heartbreaking as you can imagine, and the people of The Bahamas will need all the support from the international community as they can get as they work to rebuild.
Closer to home, we’re still in a wait and see mode. Every time the models run, we all hold our breath. The hope is that the hurricane slows down, gets caught up in a cold front moving through, and then keeps it out to sea. So many things can happen, though — we’re talking about how a change in speed +/- 2 mph could mean staying along the coast, scraping the coast of Florida, or coming inland.
As of right now, Osceola County (home to Animal Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom area resort hotels) is under a Tropical Storm Watch. At 5:30 PM, a Tropical Storm Watch was issued for Orange County (aka the rest of Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando). This indicates that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified area within 48 hours.
Orlando International Airport and Sanford Airport both reversed course on closing and will stay open and operational for now. Likewise, Blizzard Beach, which was closed today, is scheduled to open tomorrow.
This doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet. To give you an idea of how close things are, check out this image from Eric Burris, WESH meteorologist and fellow Disney fan.
And so we wait. From the National Hurricane Center’s 5 PM update:
The hurricane will move dangerously close to the Florida east coast late Monday through Tuesday night.
Closings and Cancellations
DISNEY CRUISE LINE: If you were scheduled to sail out on that “revised 2-night cruise” on the Dream originally leaving on Monday and then pushed to Wednesday, expect that you’ll be hearing from Disney very soon. Due to changing conditions, people who left on Friday’s “3-night” cruise, originally scheduled to return Monday and then extended to Wednesday will now be staying an extra day on the ship with a return day of Thursday, September 5. Tomorrow, the ship will dock for the day at Grand Cayman.
AMTRAK: AutoTrain between Sanford and Lorton, VA is canceled in both directions from Saturday, August 31, through Monday, September 2. For the latest information on cancellations for the Silver Star (91/92) and Silver Meteor (97/98), see the notice on Amtrak.com.