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.
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.
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.
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.