Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September 15: Hey Floyd!

In the early hours of this day in 1999, the parks at Walt Disney World still remained closed (from the prior afternoon) due to the threat of Hurricane Floyd.
Floyd had clobbered the Bahamas - including Disney's Castaway Cay - the day before (September 14). So powerful was the storm, that Disney sent its cruise ships to Cozumel instead of its private island. Meanwhile in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, residents braced for the worst and on the afternoon of the 14th WDW closed its doors at 2:00 PM. (The first time WDW ever closed its theme parks due to a storm.)
On the 15th of September, only essential Disney employees were asked to report and guests who were staying at Disney's campgrounds were moved to the Contemporary Resort's Convention Center.
Floyd was the sixth named storm, fourth hurricane, and third major hurricane of the 1999 Atlantic season. It hit the Bahamas at peak strength and then headed to the East Coast of the United States. The storm weakened significantly for Central Florida residents, allowing WDW to open just Animal Kingdom at noon (for resort guests only) later on this day in 1999.
For the next 3 days though other U.S. states were not so lucky ... as Floyd caused great damage from the eastern Carolinas all the way up north to New Jersey.

Click HERE for more September 15 Disney history.

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