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My Secret Disney Vacation During Hurricane Irma

I’ve been carrying around a big secret for a while.

I’ve been planning a trip to Disney World for my son’s 8th birthday for about a year now. Guess when his birthday is? Yup, next week.

As the entire state of Florida prepares for Hurricane Irma, I find myself needing to check my expectations about what next week will bring. And before anyone says, “Hey think about the people who live there!” before going all melancholy on my maybe-lost vacation, of course my thoughts are with them, and with my kiddos’ “Grandpa-pa”, who lives in Miami.

But anyone who’s ever planned a Disney vacation — you know what a process it is. From deciding on dates, staying up late to score the Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR)you want, selecting and booking Fastpasses (FP) for all the must-see rides and attractions — and then to face the reality that none of that planning matters….well, it’s a bummer to say the least.

What are the chances of a once-in-a-lifetime storm crashing a once-in-a-lifetime birthday party?

We are scheduled to fly to Orlando on 9/13 (my Mom’s birthday), go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on 9/15 (my son’s birthday), and stay through 9/19. So far our travel dates haven’t been changed, and I do have travel insurance, so we’ll be OK either way.

I suppose the one really good part of this vacation that I’m trying to pull off, is that it is a surprise — so the kids don’t know we’re going, at least I won’t have to tell them it’s cancelled if we make the choice to not go.

If you’ve scheduled a vacation during Hurricane Irma, then you have already dealt with wait times up to 6 hours with Disney Guest Services, even those who utilize Disney Travel Agents are still seeing wait times in the hours, to reschedule or confirm plans.

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I’ve been keeping up with my specific dilemma via a great Facebook group called “Disney During Irma 2017″ which is a group of dedicated Disney vacationers with travel plans between now and next week. At least having like-minded people to commiserate with has made me feel better!

My heart and prayers are with everyone in Florida and the already effected areas of the Caribbean. Irma is a storm unlike any we’ve seen before, and what it will do (and even where it’ll go) is still uncertain. But this gal is still wishing for some Disney magic.


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