Weather

Hurricane Irma – September 8 Update

by on September 8, 2017

LATEST HERE

Last update – September 8, 2017, 3:00PM EDT

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

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.

Central Florida

Orlando International Airport will close at 5PM on Saturday. The airport is also on Twitter at @MCO. You should contact your airline for information on other cancellations. Expect much heavier than usual crowds at the airports as people leave Florida. Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports have also announced closures.

Parking garages at both Orlando and Fort Lauderdale are at capacity. This is no more onsite parking at either airport.

Tampa will close 8PM Saturday.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Disneyland Preview — Week of September 9

by on September 8, 2017

Well, it’s early September, which in Disney parlance means it’s time to get into the Halloween spirit in earnest.  Let’s get to this week’s Disneyland preview!

Special Events and Notes

There’s not too much coming in the early part of the week, but the week ends in grand fashion with the kick-off of the Halloween season at Disneyland.  On September 15, Disneyland Park classic attractions return in holiday form for Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy.

That same day, we’ll also get to see the debut of some new Halloween-themed overlays at Disney’s California Adventure.  Cars Land and Buena Vista Street will both be getting brand new holiday decor, and there will be lots of seasonal treats available on a limited-time basis. Check out Rikki’s preview for more information about what to expect.  Note that both parks will close fairly early on Thursday to prepare for the unveiling on Friday.

Also, we’ve been telling you about the Summer of Heroes at Disney’s California Adventure for quite some time now and this event is coming to an end on Sunday, September 10. If you want to experience it, get on over to the parks this weekend. Check out Derek Burgan’s write-up on the event if you’ve not been before to get the most out of it.

Finally, it’s worth noting that this is the last week in a while that there won’t be some sort of holiday party happening a few nights a week.  If you’re the sort of guest that likes to pop in on a whim, definitely time to start paying closer attention to the evening hours, because there will be early closures at Disneyland Park coming soon.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hurricane Irma: Cancellations, Closures, and What to Expect

by on September 7, 2017

 

Please note, TouringPlans will continue to post updates as they come in.
LATEST HERE

Current Theme Park Closures and Cancellations

CLOSED: Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld and Legoland beginning Saturday evening through Monday. Currently scheduled to reopen Tuesday.

CLOSED: Blizzard Beach will be CLOSED starting Friday, September 8 through Saturday, September 9 at a minimum — closures beyond those dates have not yet been announced.

CLOSED: Orlando Sentinel is reporting that Fort Wilderness campers need to leave Fort Wilderness by 2 PM on Saturday. Also asked to leave their accommodations are people staying in the Treehouse Villas at Saratoga Springs.

CANCELLED: Night of Joy for Saturday, September 9. Per Channel 6 news.

Disney said guests with tickets for Saturday can attend Friday’s event instead by exchanging their ticket at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Box Office starting at 4 p.m. Friday. Refunds can be processed by calling 407-939-7818 by January 31, 2018, or email at ticket.inquiries@disneyworld.com.

CANCELLED: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party for Sunday, September 10. Call 407-939-7818 or email ticket.inquiries@disneyworld.com for ticket exchanges and information.

Hotel Information

Contrary to a popular meme going around, Walt Disney World resort hotels have not lifted the ban on non-service animal pets. Should you need a pet-friendly hotel, your best bet is to call around for availability. A pet-friendly hurricane shelter will be opening at Kissimmee Middle School, 2410 Dyer Blvd., Kissimmee. This is your nearest evacuation shelter to WDW. Please bring supplies (medicine, food, water, clothing, bedding, etc.) and if you are bringing pets, keep small pets in a carrier, muzzle dogs that are not in a carrier, and bring food for your animals.

Availability of hotel rooms is dwindling as mandatory evacuations have now been issued for parts of the coast of Central Florida.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hurricane Irma – September 7, 2017 Update

by on September 7, 2017

LATEST HERE

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.

Central Florida

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hurricane Irma: Safety, Cancellations, and Key Information

by on September 6, 2017

LATEST HERE

Although hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, the time between late August and September is really when the tropics heat up, both literally and figuratively. Right now with Hurricane Irma moving through the Caribbean and forecasted to impact Florida, Tropical Storm (and likely to be Hurricane) Jose on her heels, plus Tropical Storm Katia off the coast of Mexico, and with Hurricane Harvey’s impact still fresh in people’s minds, discussion about weather isn’t just idle chit chat.

At present, the one everyone has its eyes on is Hurricane Irma, a dangerous Category 5 hurricane, with sustained winds of 185 mph. To put it another way, it is like a 60-mile-wide F3 tornado that will not dissipate for days, also bringing with it the possibility of spawning additional tornados or bringing flash flood-inducing rain.

If there is a good thing about hurricanes compared to other storms, and with Irma in particular, people in the affected areas have time to evacuate and/or prepare. As of 8 PM on September 5, 2017, the National Hurricane Center estimates that the Orlando area will experience tropical storm-force winds as early as Saturday, September 9, 2017. How much stronger or how much longer Irma will affect Orlando is not yet certain, as hurricanes can have a mind of their own.

One thing that I can say for certain, having been through many hurricanes, including Andrew (the benchmark for really scary hurricanes in Florida), it is not fun to ride one out. Here’s some information that you can use if you have a Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, or Disney Cruise Line vacation coming up.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hurricane Irma – News September 5, 2017

by on September 5, 2017

LATEST HERE

Updated 9-5-17 2:40

Thank you to Annette Johnson with Build A Better Mouse Trip for passing this on.

As Florida prepares for Hurricane Irma, Disney is allowing guests with trips in the next seven days that could be impacted by the storm to cancel without penalty. This doesn’t include any airfare that would have been booked as part of a package.

Update – According to the Orlando Sentinel, Universal and SeaWorld both are allowing guests to refund or reschedule.

Be safe out there. We will update you with any news we hear.

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center web site has a dedicated page for Irma.

 

Disneyland Preview — Week of September 2

by on September 1, 2017

Sooooo, you’re heading to Disneyland Resort for Labor Day and beyond — or you’re considering it — and you’re wondering what you’re in for. Well, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s get to this week’s Disneyland preview!

Special Events and Notes

© Disney

This week kicks off with a holiday weekend — Labor Day — and things start with a bang (or starting pistol, if you prefer), as the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend is already in full swing! There are races both Saturday and Sunday morning, and the runner’s expo continues throughout the weekend at the Disneyland Hotel.

With the holiday and the races, you can expect larger crowds than typical for this time of year. They aren’t oppressive, but it will be significantly different on the weekend than the rest of the week from a crowd standpoint. You can get more detail on the crowds below.

Also, we’ve been telling you about the Summer of Heroes at Disney’s California Adventure for quite some time now and it’s still going on, but it is nearing the end of its run, with just a couple of weeks remaining. If you want to experience it, start making plans now. Check out Derek Burgan’s write-up on the event if you’ve not been before to get the most out of it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ask It Results: Can You Take the Heat?

by on August 30, 2017

Summer in Florida is hot. Summer in Florida is HOT. Summer In Florida Is Hot. Any way you write it, you can’t deny its truth. For Floridians, we tend to stay inside between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM through the summer months, but when you’re on a vacation at Walt Disney World, there’s a perception that you’re losing valuable vacation time by hanging out inside some sort of air conditioned location for the bulk of the day. Because of this, a simple solution would be to avoid taking trips in the summer. Yet, with school schedules, vacationing at times other than summer can be tricky. It’s a balancing act. So last week, we asked you:

Have your experiences with (or fear of) Florida summer temperatures caused you to avoid summer trips to Walt Disney World?

Here’s your results.

Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s How Hot Walt Disney World Really Gets in Summer

by on August 23, 2017

I spent the evening in Pandora a few days ago to see how it’s all aged over the summer. (Short answer: reasonably well.) But the big thing I noticed was how hot it was. At 7 p.m. the temperature read 89℉, but fam, it felt much hotter than that. I wanted to know why.

Now, I’m an expert on a lot of things. You know that. I know that. But temperature is not one of them. So I did some research.

Air Temperature Is A Lie (Sort of)

The first thing I learned is that temperatures are measured in the shade, not in the sun. So when your iPhone weather app says it’s going to be 95℉ in Orlando tomorrow, it’ll be 95 in the shade. It’s worth pointing out that most of Walt Disney World isn’t, you know, cool shaded pathways. It’s worth asking how much hotter it’ll be in the sun.

To answer that question we enlisted the help of TouringPlans’ own Brandon Glover, to serve as our ceremonial rotisserie chicken. We equipped Brandon with two digital thermometers – one white and one black – to measure the temperature you’d feel standing in direct sunlight and wearing light or dark clothes. And we sent Brandon to the Magic Kingdom.

Read the rest of this entry »

Disneyland Preview — Week of August 19

by on August 18, 2017

Time for another Disneyland preview! I know I discussed this at length last week, but we are now at your very last, no take-backs, opportunity to see the Main Street Electrical Parade.  If you want to see it before it goes dark forever, the time to do so is NOW.  Like, literally, right now. Stop reading, and get yourself to Disneyland Park to stake out a spot, and then open the article again to read the rest of it while you wait. Time’s a-wastin’!

OK, you back?  Read on for more about what to expect at Disneyland this week!

Read the rest of this entry »