Beginning Monday, September 2, at 2:00 A.M. ET, the Orlando International Airport will be stopping all commercial flight operations ahead of Hurricane Dorian.
Now expected to make landfall along the east coast of Florida as a Category 4 hurricane, the state’s travel industry is setting up extra precautions in advance to ensure the safety of both out-of-state visitors and locals who work in the area during the storm. The storm is expected to reach Central Florida (where Walt Disney World is located) by late Monday evening and into Tuesday morning, so airline officials believe that 2:00 A.M. is the latest commercial flights will be able to safely access the Orlando area.
Phil Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, has pointed out that “we don’t know exactly where Dorian is going, but we do know that it will have a significant impact on the entire state of Florida. So in order to allow the airport’s 25,000 employees time to secure their homes and families, we feel it is prudent to cease operations in a timely fashion.”
Airports outside of Central Florida are making even earlier plans to cease operations ahead of next week’s storm, with the Daytona Beach International Airport closing at midnight on Sunday. With the latest weather models predicting that Dorian will take a turn north once it hits land, additional travel advisories through Central Florida and the Daytona Beach area may be updated through the weekend.
Passengers with travel plans at the Orlando International Airport are advised to check with their individual airlines for specific policies on cancellations and delays and to confirm whether or not their flights before or after Monday will be flying as scheduled.
For guests already in the Orlando area with plans to travel out of state after the storm, the Walt Disney World Resort is one of the best places to ride out hurricanes, so you may want to consider booking a room on Disney property if you haven’t already. With the potential to see winds at 140 miles per hour, Disney is one of the safest places to be as there are multiple generators running, entertainment and quick service meals will be offered as long as it is safe to access main buildings, and Cast Members will be sure to keep guests updated on everything they need to know regarding the storm. (If you have pets with you, Disney’s pet policy also does not apply during hurricanes and they will be welcome in whichever room you have.)
If you have an upcoming trip to the Walt Disney World Resort, check Disney’s official statement regarding Hurricane Dorian, and keep an eye on that page for updates as they come in. Note that both Disney and many airlines have flexible cancellation policies for travel taking place during hurricanes, so if it seems best for you to cancel travel plans (or leave earlier than you originally planned) you should be able to do so without penalty.
Are your travel plans affected by Hurricane Dorian? Planning on riding out the storm at the Walt Disney World Resort? Let us know in the comments and stay safe next week!