Hurricane Dorian Didn’t Stop the Magic of Our DVC Stay

The night before we flew out, I was worried that my fiancé (Timothy) and I had made a mistake.  Rather than canceling our September trip, I changed our flight to arrive well before Hurricane Dorian would come close to Florida, and I even borrowed some 2020 points to extended our stay at the BoardWalk Villas by a couple of days.  Friends thought we were crazy to go, and family members were concerned for our safety, but this trip ended up becoming one of our most memorable trips in the best way possible.  

Not only did we feel safe the entire time, but Disney went above and beyond to keep its guests both comfortable and entertained.  While the parks closed early on Tuesday in preparation for the hurricane, operations felt relatively normal otherwise, and the crowds were light.

Some attractions closed early in preparation for the hurricane, but Soarin’ was still in operation with a stand-by wait time of 20 minutes until Epcot closed at 7pm.

When the park hours were altered, Disney was excellent about communicating these changes.  Besides announcements on the buses and monorails, there was clear signage in the BoardWalk lobby, and cast members left voicemail messages to keep us informed.

Signage in the BoardWalk lobby detailed the food, beverage, and activity offerings.

The most magical part was the evening that Dorian hit the east coast of Florida.  Being rather inexperienced with hurricanes with the exception of Hurricane Sandy, Timothy and I had stocked up on sandwiches from Les Halles thinking that we may be confined to our villa.  However, the BoardWalk provided several dining options for guests, including a $15 per adult buffet in the conference center that featured beef, seafood, and several side dishes and desserts, including Mickey bars!  The BoardWalk kept everyone entertained in the lobby with character appearances, a DJ, trivia, and a balloon artist. There were even more games and movies in the conference center.

Pluto kept all the kiddos entertained!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how incredibly accommodating and helpful the cast members were.  When we got lost looking for the buffet, a cast member (Rafael) not only gave us directions but personally walked us all the way from the lobby to the conference center.  In fact, we didn’t even have a chance to ask for directions before he offered to help us. The next morning, we bumped into Rafael at the breakfast buffet, and having recognized us, he asked if everything went well the night before.  Then there was Charlie at the front desk who helped us when our return flight was delayed three times and pushed back to 10pm. After unsuccessfully trying to get us on another Magical Express bus, Charlie offered us a Mears taxi voucher and told us to call for a taxi whenever we were ready.  He also offered to help us book a room if our flight got delayed any further, but thankfully we didn’t need to take him up on that. Thanks to Charlie, we were able to enjoy the BoardWalk a little longer instead of camping out in MCO.  

While hurricanes are certainly no joke, and we lucked out that Dorian did not directly hit Central Florida, Disney is the place to be if we ever have to go through a hurricane again. 

6 thoughts on “Hurricane Dorian Didn’t Stop the Magic of Our DVC Stay

  • Sounds like Disney went above and beyond and is exactly why Disney is a great place to stay, a friend of ours was staying in a villa outside Disney and they were offered no assistance by the villa owner or the rental company who just said they did not assist people in these times and to follow guidance provided by the news broadcasters and left them to it, thankfully for everyone it did not hit the area like planned and our hearts and best wishes go out to all those who were affected and lost love ones, we pray for you all.

  • Disney does go above and beyond. We were there with our Grandchildren during Irma. We have the greatest picture of my Granddaughter coloring with Donald Duck. Disney couldn’t have been more accommodating.

  • we flew in two days early because our flight was cancelled on sept 2 by our airlines..totally concur with this article..we had a great time..

  • On another message board I tried to convince several people not to cancel their reservations too soon since Dorian was still over 48 hours out. They did anyway. When I looked at the line times on the app, it looked like the parks weren’t crowded at all. They missed out on a great opportunity during a usually crowded Labor Day weekend. I’ve heard of Disney really taking care of their guests. I’d feel safer at Disney World than I would in my own home 60 miles from the Texas coast. I have to give credit to all the cast members who went to work even as Dorian was coming at them. Great job!

  • We were there too but didn’t exactly have the same experience… Parks/Cast members were great, but at OKW, there was minimal communication about dining plans, park closures, etc. We received no voicemails during our entire stay and the only way we found out information was from social media posts or going to the lobby and inquiring. And we did see multiple posts about characters in hotel lobbies, but not at our hotel. We also made reservations on Tuesday morning for Tuesday at 2PM at a restaurant in Disney Springs, then when we arrived at the restaurant, there was a sign on the door that it was closed. We did have fun regardless, celebrating my husband’s 50th birthday, but being a DVC member for almost 15 years, I was disappointed about the communication. Glad your experience was better !

    • Actually Sue, I wasn’t there during the hurricane. I was just looking at the lines during that weekend using the app and watched some Youtube videos during that time. I can’t believe they didn’t inform you about the closing of the restaurant. That would have made me mad. Any other time if you didn’t show up they’d charge you a no-show fee. Apparently, it’s ok for them not to show up and not let you know. Make sure they don’t charge you that no-show fee. You just never know. I’m surprised OKW didn’t do more for the guests. That’s not like Disney or OKW. I would email them and let them know about all your issues. I do that occasionally and always get a response. After all, we pay a lot of money to be DVC and we expect good things. Old Key West Resort is our home resort. We’ve been DVC since 1994. Can’t wait for our January trip.

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