REVISED 8/31/19, 10:30 PM
You know how they say that football is a game of inches? Scale it up a bit and the same becomes true on hurricanes. If the forward speed Hurricane Dorian is traveling speeds up or down by 1 mile per hour, we could be talking about a storm making landfall in Florida and causing all sort of inland problems to a storm sliding along the coast of Florida to a storm staying out at sea and taking its party north to the Carolinas–or ideally out in the shipping lanes and away from the U.S. That’s why although the track has been shifting, everyone’s still going on with their hurricane prep. (Case in point, lots of work was done today at Epcot to secure construction materials.)
That is why Orlando International Airport is, as of the time this goes to press, planning to be closed starting at 2 a.m. on Monday. (SEE NOTE BELOW — MCO HAS CANCELED ITS MONDAY CLOSURE) That is why Disney is closing Blizzard Beach tomorrow to start the arduous process of preparing a water park (with countless items that could be gone with the wind) for a hurricane. That’s why schools throughout Florida have already announced they will be closed on Tuesday, why mandatory evacuations have been called in some coastal communities, and why emergency shelters are opening up starting tomorrow.
If hurricanes were predictable, life would be a lot easier for a great many people. Unfortunately, they’re not, and so we sit and wait. (If you want a recent example about why it ain’t over until it’s over, check out the historical track predictions from Hurricane Irma.)
Something that I may talk about in tomorrow’s update, but that you may want to start thinking about is what happens if the storm makes landfall closer to South Carolina. Specifically, if you drive taking I-95 through South Carolina, there may be flooding impacts. In the past, storms with significant rainfall like this have flooded out the lowlands of South Carolina and led to closures of I-95 for days on end. If you will be driving to or from Walt Disney World later this week, start thinking about alternate routes if you would be traveling on I-95.
We’re also going to keep track of the impacts on Castaway Cay as Dorian makes its way though The Bahamas.
Here’s the Saturday 5 PM map from the National Hurricane Center, showing the first Tropical Storm watches issued for Hurricane Dorian for the state of Florida.
Closings, Cancellations, and Changes
A Gatsby Evening at the Edison, scheduled for Sunday, September 1, has been rescheduled for Thursday, September 19. For more information, or to ask questions about this rescheduling, email TheEdisonCS@PatinaGroup.com.
Some DCL itineraries have been adjusted for the upcoming storm, including:
- The August 30 sailing on the Disney Dream departed as scheduled. However, it will now be a 5-night sailing and head towards the Western Caribbean. The Dream is projected to visit Cozumel on Sunday, and Castaway Cay on Tuesday. She is anticipated to return to Port Canaveral on Wednesday, September 4. This change is at no additional cost.
- The September 2 sailing of the Disney Dream will now be a 2-night cruise, departing instead on September 4. It is scheduled to visit Castaway Cay on Thursday, and return back to Port Canaveral on Friday. Guests on this sailing will receive a refund of 50% of their cruise fare, as well as a $250 onboard credit. Guests can opt to change their dates by calling 866-325-3905 or 407-566-7032.
AIRPORT UPDATES: Orlando International Airport has announced that it will cease commercial flight operations on Monday Morning, September 2, 2019, at 2:00 a.m. You can read the full announcement here. If you have a flight scheduled around that time, you will want to check with your air carrier.
UPDATE: At 10:15 PM on 8/31/19, Orlando International Airport has issued a new statement: Orlando International Airport will continue with operations on Monday, September 2.
Orlando Sanford Airport has announced it plans to close at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
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.
BLIZZARD BEACH: Closed on Sunday, September 1.
We’ll keep updating as new information comes in.