Potential Hurricane - How to Decide?

Traveling issues are my main concern. We had to put off a week a non-WDW FL trip last October due to Michael.

We’re due to arrive Sunday afternoon. I don’t mind driving, slowly, in heavy rain and strong winds. In the daytime. On uncongested roads.

This morning’s National Hurricane Center’s discussion on TS Dorian said the 5 day track error is 200 miles.

I haven’t loved the uncertainty involved in planning this WDW trip. Can’t imagine being a full time meteorologist.

Either miss Florida completely (200 miles) or break up enough over Hispaniola to be small and weak when we arrive at WDW together.

Looks like a wet weekend for WDW

The latest NWS projected path is a Tropical Storm heading straight to Central Florida, making land fall on Sunday morning.

Wow what timing being SWGE and food & wines opening weekend.


We are supposed to fly in on Sunday and we will be so upset if we need to cancel!

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Recapping everyone’s thoughts, really - you’re likely to see nothing more than rain in Orlando, though you could see a lot of it, and some windy conditions that could affect vegetation to a minimal degree but are unlikely to cause any kind of property damage to your resort. It is very rare for parks to close, but possible. Hanging out in the room, or the arcade at the hotel, or otherwise indoors can be disappointing if this is a “once in a lifetime” trip, but it’s something you need to account for when traveling during hurricane season, and you should be fine. Take heed of the comments about having snack food available - WDW made every effort to provide food (I think it was 2017) when they closed parks, but that was mostly boxed sandwiches, and if you have dietary restrictions or just want to be sure you’ve got options, I’d pack or purchase snacks before the storm affects the Orlando area.

Primary concern would be for travel days. I flew out in October 2018 during Hurricane Michael. It made landfall in the Florida Gulf area on October 10 and we flew from KC to Orlando that same day. We flew around it, basically, and there were no notable impacts to us in terms of travel. It may have been a bit rainier on arrival day, but possibly not. I agonized over it right down to the wire, but it ended up being just fine, and a good trip. Unless you’re flying into or out of a directly-affected airport, you should be fine.

I am flying in (to Universal Orlando) this upcoming Saturday and out on Tuesday. Not ideal, but I’m keeping my plans as of now.


We decided to drive to WDW for this trip instead of flying so that we could visit friends who live near Orlando, and have lived in Florida for 15 years. Had an interesting conversation with them this afternoon when we called to let them know we are still coming. They are bugging out Thursday ahead of Dorian’s arrival. :sob:

Irma changed how they treat Hurricanes. They lost power for almost 2 weeks and vowed never to experience that again. So we will miss them. On the positive side he told me Disney has backup power and takes care of their guests during times like this. Plus we avoid the before/after traffic headaches. He thought we’d be fine. Wet, but fine.:joy:

Hey everyone, we are already in Florida enjoying a few days before our WDW trip.
Thursday and Friday we normally planned to be in St Augustin and Saturday and Sunday in cocoa beach, two very near the coast cities.
We plan arriving at Disney and go have breakfast at ohana then MNSSHP on Monday.
I don’t know what to do. Should I cancel my Cocoa Beach stay?
Will the storm be done with Orlando on Monday?
Help please

It is now early Wednesday morning and my opinion on this whole mess is changing as fast the weather predictions, which by the way have worsened significantly overnight. You all can check that detail with your favorite weather source or station. No doubt it will be different again tomorrow morning. I’m beginning to regret my decision not to cancel this trip while I had the opportunity. I got caught up too much in the technical minutia of outguessing a hurricane and the tactics of staying safe while missing the big picture … this is bad weather and will ruin the experience hitting in the heart of our expensive vacation. Guess I just answered my own question, “How to Decide?”

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We kept telling ourselves during Hurricane Matthew “there’s no safer place to be than Disney World”. And we were right.


When a tropical storm blew over Orlando while we were on vacation several years ago during a Universal trip, we “missed out” on a day and a half of park time. Sort of. We ended up adding a day on the back-end of our trip to make up for it (one of the advantages of driving over flying…you can change your plans!).

Anyhow, we had a whole day holed up in our condo, watching movies (rented from a nearby Redbox), playing games, etc. We ended up having a great time and of everything that happened on the trip, it ends up being the most memorable!

While it is super annoying, if you can look past the sunk cost (it is already spent!), and just find fresh ways to enjoy those days in the parks or in your resort, I think you’ll create unforgettable memories in the process!

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We’re leaving for Orlando Thursday morning. Screw it…I’ll be like Lieutenant Dan out there, yelling at the hurricane in Epcot. My only concern is our flight out is Monday afternoon. That could be cancelled or pushed back.


:woman_shrugging: Still going here. It is what it is. We won’t get the free dining deal if we move our trip and I don’t have the difference in cost to now pay for the added dining, so we are going unless it takes a drastic turn and is coming toward Charleston where we live. We wouldn’t evacuate home even with a 2 but we have cats and would want to be home just in case.


We fly in at 3:35pm on Sunday. I can’t decide if I want to try any move up my flight to Saturday or just leave it as is.

I would look into moving it up if I were you. From what I’ve seen, it might be kinda hairy Sunday afternoon/night.

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My 2 cents.

I was there during Hurricane Irma. I would not change my plans due to a Hurricane as long as I am on Disney property and perhaps Universal property ( I have not been so I could not judge).

Disney takes great care of the guests. They had flashlights for every room. Made special meals for the guests. I will say this is where deluxe resorts were good as you could still roam around with interior corridors. The external corridors of the values and moderates leave you stuck in your room.

Before the winds were strong they had characters brought into the lobby and did a fairly good job at entertaining the kids.

The actual crowd levels go down as so many change their plans and do not go. But the locals come to the hotels as an evacuation point, even dogs at all levels and hotels show up for the locals.

When I could finally get to the front desk and ask about extending my stay, I had no problems, and was able to stay in my existing room at about $50 cheaper per night. Southwest was happy to move my flight as it opened up space fr those getting home.

It is strange to be there during a Hurricane, but it would not deter me at all. Just make sure you stock your room with food and drinks in plenty of advance notice.

The only way it would really deter me is two ways:
1 - It was heading to my home area, I would want to be home to care for my property and take whatever steps are needed for potential repair.
2 - If the hurricane messed up my plane travels either way


Latest projections has the storm slowing and gaining strength, now hitting coast of Florida Monday morning as a Cat 2 hurricane.

If the airlines are offering free changes, I would take it. That is usually a sign.

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National Hurricane Center also has some excellent charts for those who like to weather geek. One is predicted (note the important word) wind speeds in Orlando on Day 5 from today so Saturday into Sunday.

Three Orlando locations are given - I know not what those might be - with wind speeds, in knots, from 7 to 34. There are numbers in parenthesis which I take to be miles per hour, so 7 to 42.

Eta: poor Puerto Rico . . .

I can and have driven in wind speeds greater than this. So we’re good to go, so far.

Once we’re there, I’m not concerned what the weather wants to do. We’ll probably have nicer weather after the storm system moves out than if we had the normal 95/75 temps and afternoon showers (torrents).

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As of 2 hours ago…

Having lived in FL (Pensacola) for 20 years, the one thing I’ve learned about hurricanes is that you can’t be certain of where they will make landfall until they actually make landfall. For example, Katrina. Two days out it was supposed to make landfall in the Big Bend area, so we took off on a planned trip to SC. When we got there everyone was surprised to see us, because during the course of the 10 hour dive, the projected impact was Pensacola. By the time it actually hit the next day, it was New Orleans - that’s a 500 mile difference.

The above being said, if it stays on its current track… If it’s a Cat 1 when it makes landfall, it will be a TS by the time it gets to Orlando. Even if it hits as a Cat 2 it will still probably only be a TS when it hits Orlando.

The cone of probability is still pretty wide so it’s hard to say anything specific. In general a northerly track would be better for Orlando than a southerly track; because of the counter-clockwise rotation, the NE quadrant of any hurricane is the “worst”, and the SW quadrant is the “best” in the Gulf and East Coasts. Over the past few days it’s been gradually sliding north; hopefully it will continue that track.

Unless it completely changes it’s current path, Orlando is in for a lot of rain. The NHC is saying 4-8" on the FL peninsula. It’s looking like pre-dawn Monday is likely to be the worst of it, with weather ramping up and down before and after. The size of the storm when it reaches FL will really determine the period of time in which there will be rain.


This is all I can think of. I have so many friends from PR whose families are still rebuilding after Maria. I’m praying so hard that this moves!!!