Disney World during Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew hit the Caribbean and southeastern US from 4 to 9 October 2016. It killed over a thousand people in Haiti and dozens elsewhere.

Matthew was a category 4 hurricane as it headed towards central Florida on 6 October. There were extensive preparations throughout Florida, but there was less damage than expected, since the storm weakened category 3 and then 2 as its center travelled just off the east coast of Florida.

There was extensive damage on the east coast of Florida, and some damage in Orlando, but hardly anything at Disney World, which is just a few miles to the southwest of Orlando and a mile or two northwest of the town of Kissimmee. The images below show how this happened. They are weather radar snapshots from a video by Justin Scarred, a Disneyland fan from California who happened to be visiting Disney World during the hurricane.

These images were taken at various times during the period of a few hours as the hurricane passed Orlando. Notice how Disney World stayed in a tight, quiet band the whole time, with much more violent weather just a few miles to the east and west. The last image shows the exact location of Disney World relative to Orlando and Kissimmee.

The hurricane passed through the area during the early hours of 7 October. Justin relates how Disney World was closed early the previous afternoon and remained closed the following day. He says he was required to leave his accomodations at Fort Wilderness, a Disney campground, and relocate to Pop Century Resort, a hotel on Disney property. He took these pictures during his night at Pop Century.

Justin said he was surprised at how relatively mild the weather was at the hotel, and from the weather radar, he noticed how the heavy weather seemed to be skirting Disney. At one point (20:40) he remarks, “God must be a Disney World fan!”