Hurricane Irma – September 10 update

by on September 10, 2017 6 Comments

Filed under: Universal Orlando Resort, Walt Disney World (FL), Weather

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Last update – September 10, 2017, 10:30AM Eastern

For more in depth information on what to expect if you’re in Central Florida during a hurricane, read this article.

Another day, another update. Thanks for sticking with us.

The incredibly slow speed of Hurricane Irma means that the forecast for when it will reach Central Florida keeps getting pushed out. Currently the eye is forecast to reach the Tampa-St. Petersburg area around 2AM Monday. Though it’s counterintuitive that a “slow” storm is worse, it is. You don’t want winds and rain to linger in a area, which is what they’re doing now.

The eye is making landfall in the Florida Keys, but the winds and rain are being felt all the way up the state. Miami is seeing flooding and power outages.

The storm is currently tracking west of the Orlando area. This does not mean there is no danger. The storm could still change directions and the area will still see very high winds and rains.

Follow the latest news on Hurricane Irma at the National Hurricane Center.

Florida Airports

Every major airport in Florida is CLOSED until further notice.

Airports are not set up to take in evacuees in cases of emergency.

Park Closures

Orange and Osceola Counties will have a curfew beginning 7PM Sunday through 6PM Monday.

Walt Disney World Resort theme parks are CLOSED Sunday and Monday. Disney hopes to reopen Tuesday. The onsite Speedway gas stations and Car Care Center are also closed.

Fort Wilderness  and the Treehouse Villas are CLOSED.

Universal Orlando Resort is CLOSED Sunday and Monday.

SeaWorld Orlando is CLOSED Sunday and Monday.

LEGOLAND Florida is CLOSED Sunday and Monday.

Busch Gardens Tampa is CLOSED Sunday and Monday.

Disney is not taking FastPass+ reservations.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on September 10 is cancelled.

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal are not scheduled to begin until September 15.

Rock the Universe Sunday morning worship service at Universal are cancelled.

The Disney Reservations Center will be CLOSED Saturday and Sunday.

Guests are able to cancel their plans without penalty. 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.

Information for Disney guests is on the Disney web site.

Information for Universal guests is on the Universal web site.

If You’re At Disney Or Universal During The Hurricane

  • Have food and water for at least two days in your hotel room – you can buy these in the parks before you get back to your hotel
  • Be prepared to be in your hotel room for 24 to 48 hours
  • Be prepared for power outages
  • Be prepared for cell phone outages
  • Be prepared for long lines for food while outlets are open
  • Realize you’re not going to be housekeeping
  • Don’t linger after the park closures – cast members and team members need to get home to their own families after closing the parks

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line has cancelled 3 cruises and ended two early:

Fantasy:

  • September 2 cruise – ended 2 days early, passengers debark Thursday, September 7
  • September 9 cruise – cancelled

Dream:

  • September 4 cruise – ended 1 day early, passengers debark Thursday, September 7
  • September 8 and 11 cruises – cancelled

The next scheduled cruises are the Dream on September 15 and the Fantasy on September 16. DCL has no no announcements about the status of these cruises.

The Dream and the Fantasy are docked in Cozumel to avoid damage at Port Canaveral when the hurricane arrives.

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.

Tortola in the BVI saw a lot of damage.

We haven’t seen reports about damage to the Bahamas ports of Nassau and Castaway Cay .

Hurricane Jose is following Irma and the Caribbean will see more damage.

The Magic and Wonder are in Europe and Alaska respectively, and not affected by Irma.

Information for Disney Cruise Line passengers is on the DCL site.

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort on Florida’s Atlantic coast is CLOSED.

Disney’s Hilton Head Resort

Disney’s Hilton Head Resort in South Carolina is CLOSED.

The Rest of Florida and the Southeast

The Florida Keys and parts of the Miami area are under mandatory evacuation orders.

Tampa is under a mandatory evacuation order.

The Florida National Guard has been called up to assist residents during and after Hurricane Irma.

The west coast of Florida is bracing for storm surges up to 20 feet. In addition to the rains, parts of Florida are under tornado watches and warnings.

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina have declared states of emergency in advance of Hurricane Irma.

The National Hurricane Center describes Irma as “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.

Port Canaveral was closed while officials assessed damage.

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.

Posted on September 10, 2017

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