Thinking Out Loud | Evacuating Disney World for Hurricane Irma

This is my first post officially back from vacation! Everything on the blog for the past week and a half was pre-scheduled so we didn’t miss a beat during my time away. As you can probably tell from the title of this blog post, my vacation didn’t go quite as planned. We still got in 5 days or so of Disney fun, but then it became obvious that we needed to make other plans because of the hurricane.

I’ll go into more detail about it all today courtesy of Thinking Out Loud:

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Thinking Out Loud about Disney and Hurricanes

1. I’ll cover the fun Disney part of the trip next week, but up until Tuesday, everything was going well and we were having a great time. That day, we went back to the hotel for a mid-day break and caught up on the news. I had been keeping up with Hurricane Irma since before we left for our trip the week prior, but there were no definite signs to worry until this day. The news was showing that the storm would be hitting the area the day we were to be flying out.

2. Later that evening, my mother called us during dinner and was extremely worried. She’d been watching the news and was sure our flight was going to get cancelled and that we would be stuck in Florida during the storm. It was starting to become clear that we were going to need to think about making alternate plans.

Evacuating Disney World because of Hurricane Irma - Weather Channel

Change of Plans

3. The next morning, the news was not the least bit encouraging, and we had to take action. We called up JetBlue and there were absolutely no flights available out of Orlando or anywhere else in the state of Florida. At that point we started to panic a little and wondered if we would end up having to rent a car to drive all the way home (this was the worst option), or somewhere far away to get a flight.

4. Next stop was the front desk at the hotel to ask for some advice/help. There were other people down there doing the same thing and some even checking out that day. The woman at the desk was very helpful and got us in contact with the Disney on-property car rental place. While D was on the phone with them, I was frantically doing searches on Expedia to try to figure out where we might be able to catch a flight. I somehow ended up finding a flight from Atlanta leaving on Friday.

5. We booked the car rental and made the decision to drive to Atlanta. We then went back to our room, booked that flight and also a hotel near the Atlanta airport since we would be driving Thursday and flying Friday. Needless to say, that last minute decision was nerve wracking, and we kept second guessing whether we’d made the right call cutting our trip short. We went about the rest of our Wednesday as we had planned and made the most of our last real day of vacation fun.

Road Trip

6. Disney was nice enough to send a shuttle to the hotel to take us to the car rental place and the driver was super sweet. He gave us tips on the best route to take to Atlanta and wished us luck getting home safe.

Evacuating Disney World because of Hurricane Irma - On The Road

7. The drive itself was supposed to take about 7 hours, but the entirety of southern Florida was driving north alongside us. We ended up being on the road for nearly 14 hours. Needless to say, we were exhausted beyond measure by the time we go to the hotel!

Evacuating Disney World because of Hurricane Irma - Leaving Florida

8. Along the way, we stopped for dinner at Waffle House, which I had never experienced before. I really enjoyed the eggs I got there, and D was excited to have grits with his meal.

Evacuating Disney World because of Hurricane Irma - Waffle House

9. I had never been to Georgia or anywhere else in the south (not counting Florida), so it was very interesting to see the state and how different it is than what I’m used to.

10. The hotel we stayed at was extremely nice and very comforting after our long, stressful day. They were nice enough to allow us to check out late the next day because our flight wasn’t until the evening. Our flight ended up being an hour delayed, but otherwise was thankfully uneventful. It was so nice to get home after all that!

11. I sincerely hope everyone in Florida stayed safe during this storm and that everyone is recovering from any damage that may have occurred. D and I were very lucky to find a flight out and even though the experience wasn’t great, it could have been a lot worse.

Were you affected by Hurricane Irma?

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