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Irma is coming. What do we do?

by Dad
(The Office)

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The news is all abuzz with the apocalyptic predictions about Hurricane Irma. Don’t get me wrong this is a very serious situation. For some people it will be catastrophic and that’s not something to take lightly. With that being said, let’s talk about Irma and Walt Disney World.

The first thing I want to say, if you are going to Walt Disney World or are at Walt Disney World, don’t panic. Relax, take a deep breath and let’s as get prepared.

the latest track of Irma from the NOAA

The current projection from NOAA shows the worst possible scenario (9/6/17)

First let’s talk about the likelihood of Irma impacting Walt Disney World. This morning our local weather girl was doing her forecast. Now before you go and say, yeah, Dad a local weather girl, remember, Oklahoma is home to some of the best weather people in the world because of our epic storms.


This weather girl was talking about the latest tracks for Irma. The most historically accurate models are predicting that Irma is going to turn north, miss/skim Florida and hit in the Carolina’s. Some of the other models were showing Irma hitting in south Florida and coming straight up the state.

What happens if Irma turns north? Actually that’s probably the worst scenario. If Irma turns north and hugs the coast like Matthew did last year it has the potential to cause the most damage to Walt Disney World. Matthew closed WDW down for 36 or so hours.

If Irma stays offshore more than 20 miles there will be minimal impact on the Orlando area. Remember Orlando is about 60 miles inland.

Up The Spine

OK, so what if Irma hits in south Florida and comes, as I’ve heard it said, “right up the spine of Florida”. Actually that is the best case possible. It’s over 250 miles from Walt Disney World to the south coast of Florida. Let’s say Irma moves fast 20 mph. That means it will take 10 to 11 hours for Irma to travel up the spine.

Hurricanes start dying quickly as they move over land. Land sucks the energy out of them. By the time Irma is 100 miles inland she will no longer be a hurricane. She might pack some rain and winds by Orlando, but the damage potential will be minimal.

A lot can change with Irma over the next few days. The current projections have it around Orlando on Monday. That’s a long time in the life of a hurricane. That gives you a lot of time to prepare.

What to do

So what should you do if your trip is planned over the next few days? First stay aware. Keep up with what’s happening with Irma and the projections. They will change (yesterday they were predicting it was going to go west of Florida).

Second, talk to your airline, your travel agent (this is why I recommend Destinations to Travel they do a great job in situations like these) and see how schedules are going to be affected. Check alternatives. Know what you are facing travel wise.

Third, relax. There is no need to start doing the “when in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout” thing. That doesn’t help anyone. The old saying let cooler head prevail is a very good one in this situation. Relax. Monitor the situation. Be as prepared as you can.

Disney’s got your back

Oh and last, Disney will take care of you. If Irma hits Walt Disney World, you are in good hands. Yes, it will be inconvenient. Yes, you might miss some time in the parks. Yes, you might even get a little uncomfortable, but Disney is very good about taking the best care possible of guests in these type situations. Oh, and remember, Cast Members live in the Orlando area. Their homes, lives, and families are going through major problems. Be kind to them.

Destinations to Travel

Dad’s Bottom Line

Irma is a serious situation. It’s something to prepare for. It’s not something to panic over.


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Comments for

Sep 09, 2017 Cabins
by: Deidre

We are scheduled to arrive on Sept 16. We are booked for the cabins, if they are not back open by then, will they move us to a different resort, without any additional fees?

Dad’s Answer

Deidre, from what I’m hearing is you should be fine, but yes, Disney will take care of you.

Sep 08, 2017 getting into Florida
by: Sharon

HI Dad!
we are not changing our plans ;). we arrive Saturday night and have a room booked in Orlando, Our reservations at Riverside start Sunday. My big question in are we going to be able to get into Florida and would you suggest coming in from I-75 or I-95 coming from Ohio driving. I75 ads about an hour and 1/2 to our trip, not a big deal if we cant get in on I95

Dad Answers

Sharon, getting into Florida is not a problem. So far they haven’t made the highways one way. The traffic going north is horrendous, but the traffic coming south is very light.

That may change over the next couple of days. Just keep your ears open.

Sep 08, 2017 Additional tip
by: Stephanie

I was at Disney last for the last Hurricane and overall Disney does take as good care of you as possible, but that depends on the resort you’re staying at.

We were at Pop Century and Disney was advising people not to leave their rooms. You were expected to buy some bag lunches from the food court and stay in your room from the evening before through the next day. The lines in the food court were outrageous I stood in line for an hour and was still in the lobby. No one was in the lobby directing people or providing information, you had to stand in the check in/concierge line to get answers to questions. They ran out of bagged lunches. The roads were closed so you couldn’t get out of the resort to get your own supplies.

My advice, if you’re there now and intend to stay take a cab or uber to Wal Mart right now, get what you need to last a couple of days in your room, just in case. Food, water, entertainment in case the TV goes out and you have kids to entertain. The last one wasn’t bad and we were out and about the next morning, but the parks were closed and the food court had limited options as they were short staffed.

Sep 07, 2017 Sorry to Bother again….
by: Jason

This is Jason again. We aren’t going to be there this Saturday(9/9). We are getting there the next Saturday(9/16). So we will be there after the hurricane goes through.



Sep 07, 2017 Looking for Some Thoughts
by: Jason

I have been watching this hurricane for several days now because we are getting ready to head to WDW but we aren’t going to be getting there until Saturday Sept. 16th. Is that far enough in the future that as long as it doesn’t make a direct hit that we should be ok or is it still going to be nasty?

Please help…..


Dad Answers

Jason, arriving on Saturday will be before the brunt of the storm hits. The far outer bands might be hitting Orlando by the, but will be Sunday before the major effects start being felt. If Irma stays on the coastal track that’s predicted now, my guess is Disney will close things up Sunday afternoon to evening and be closed on Monday. Maybe opening Disney Springs back up Monday night depending on the severity.

Sep 06, 2017 Thanks!
by: Pam

Thanks Dad! Love reading your posts and made the decision today not to cancel our trip. Your post just reiterated what we had been reading.

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