We all know that safety for guests is paramount at Walt Disney World. However, this becomes even more important during severe weather, when the resort goes into overdrive making sure to keep guests secure during potentially catastrophic conditions.
We recently found ourselves at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort while Hurricane Matthew was approaching Florida's east coast and got an up-close look at exactly what happens when the threat of a Category 4 hurricane is upon Walt Disney World, and it was definitely an enlightening experience! Here's everything we learned during our recent stay at the resort...
1. The tie-down happens swiftly and efficiently
You might already know all about the tie-down process, where Disney Cast Members prepare for a storm by removing lose objects around the resort and tying down anything that could become airborne in the event of high speed tropical-force winds. However, though you might have heard about theme park tie-down, seeing this practice in action gives you a whole new respect for what the dedicated Cast Members at Walt Disney World do to get the resort ready for an incoming storm.
We arrived at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort around 3:00PM on Thursday October 6, (several hours before the storm was forecasted to hit) and at that time the outdoor pool bar was open, guests were playing in the pool, and there didn’t seem to be much happening around the Old Port Royale common area at the resort. However, after we checked in, we walked around this same area just two hours later around 5:00PM and found the bar boarded up, chairs folded and tied together, and trashcans lined up against the wall and lashed together with zip ties.
It is amazing how much of the resort was secured in just a few short hours, and though Central Florida didn’t get hit with the high winds that were in the original forecast for Hurricane Matthew (thanks to a very fortunate last minute shift in the storm’s path), Cast Members were definitely preparing for the worst, and got this hotel secure with astonishing speed and efficiency.
2. You'll know when you need to stay inside
Just because the storm didn’t hit with the force initially predicted, that doesn’t mean that there were no dangerous periods. However, guests at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort were kept in the loop with regular phone messages about when common areas were shutting down for safety reasons, and advisories about guests staying in their rooms.
Fortunately, because of the aforementioned change in forecast, guests didn't have to hunker down in their rooms very long, but even though the weather improved much faster than was originally anticipated, Walt Disney World’s theme parks remained closed for the entirety of the day on Friday, October 7, 2016. However, that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t anything to do around the resort...