Summertime, and the livin' is easy!
It's that time of year when many folk are heading out for a Summer vacation,
and the Insider is too! Our normal monthly articles are taking a Summer
Break this month, but we've got a great Special Summer Themed edition coming
your way. While a summer trip to Walt Disney World can be filled with fun
times at the resorts water parks and pools, it can also be a time of year
when hurricanes and high heat can add a bit of a damper onto ones vacation.
In this edition we take a look at how to enjoy those cool offerings and
also prepare for those lesser fun happenings in order to make sure that a
Summer trip to Walt Disney World is an awesome one. It's
<< A Cell
Disney World Resort have recently introduced a new interactive option for
Guests who bring a cell phone with a data plan to their water parks.
Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon have introduced a new
interactive program called DSplash. Through DSplash, Guests who text “H20”
to 775274 (SPLASH) gain access to descriptions of attractions, back stories,
specialty wallpaper, and lingo definitions all on their cell phone.
<<Preparing for Hurricane
The summer is the time
when many flock to Disney World, but something else also has a fondness for
Florida…hurricanes. The tropical storm season runs June 1 through November
30 with the peak season being mid-August through mid-October. We see many
posts from folks planning vacations during this time period who are quite
nervous about the prospects of a hurricane. The “free” dining promotion the
last 3 years has raised September attendance a good bit, as have the
relatively calm tropical storm seasons over the last 2 years, but still many
folks cast a nervous eye towards the tropics as their vacation approaches.
So, what happens if a storm does come your way?
First of all, keep in mind that Walt Disney World opened in October 1971.
That means it has been open 37 years – just over 13,000 operating days - and
in all that time it’s only had to shut down 5 times so your chance of having
your vacation interrupted is very slight. The first time this happened was
with Hurricane Floyd in 1999. That’s 18 years with no closures. It happened
again on 9/11/01 due to the fear of further terrorist attacks, twice in 2004
for Hurricanes Frances and Charley, and then in 2005 for Hurricane Wilma.
None of these closures lasted more than a day or two. I hope less than 10
total days out of 13,000 helps you rest a little easier.
If a storm is heading towards Orlando it’s a monstrous operation to shut WDW
down. Here’s the process:
Phase 5 (Monitoring Storm Possible) - Review current plan, checklists and
business recovery plans. Review personnel and resource availability for the
ride-out crew. Verify contact numbers and emergency data. Prepare WDW
Emergency Operations Center for activation.
Phase 4 (Storm likely within 24–36 hrs) - General readiness imposed. Brief
personnel. Review checklists. Consider possible shut down of long lead
operations and not starting extended operations. Limited activation and
staffing of WDW Emergency Operations Center.
Phase 3 (Storm probable within 12–24 hrs) - Intensify clean up and tie down.
Prepare for phase 2 activity. Selected ride-out crew personnel given the
opportunity to secure their personal property. Turn in excess radios and
vehicles. WDW Emergency Operations Center opens and is fully staffed. Note:
Generally this is when the WDW Emergency Operations Center, command centers,
and command posts will be fully activated. However, this is an Executive
Policy Team decision.
Phase 2 (Storm impending) - Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney MGM Studios, Animal
Kingdom and Downtown Disney close. Guest campground trailers removed and
secured by the guests. Scheduled hotel and campground guests notified of
conditions. Complete all clean up and tie down short of shutdown. Authorized
ride-out families move to pre-designated shelters. Ride-out crew fully
staffed at start of phase 1 or as directed by the WDW Emergency Operations
Center. Personnel not in ride-out crew released as soon as possible.
Phase 1 (Storm imminent, take shelter) - Shutdown all activities and
immediately take shelter. Fulfill ride-out requirement plans.
Post Storm Phase - Command Centers submit situation reports to WDW Emergency
Operations Center. Establish business resumption / recovery schedule. Notify
employees through media and cast Member emergency lines of call back as
directed by WDW Emergency Operations Center.
Disney takes very good care of its guests during tropical storms. You’ll be
provided with constant information and good care. You can search our forums
for the experiences of those who have been at WDW during a hurricane and see
that it wasn’t horrible. If you have further questions or want to discuss
this more, check out the weather thread in the Vacation Planning Forum. Have
fun on your vacations!!!
<<A Cool New Pool >>
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort is
getting a major facelift in the pool department. The whole pool area is
being rebuilt and expanded to offer even more great ways to cool off in the
Florida Sun. Expected to open in Late Summer 2008, the new pool area will
feature new slides, a water play area and an expanded pool. Let's take a
look back at the progress and events of this renovation project:
1/8/08: Old Port Royale Feature Pool
closes for refurbishment. The refurbishment is scheduled to last through
September 15, 2008. Children's waterslides are added to the Barbados and
Jamaica village pools and enhanced children's recreation activities are
offered during the refurbishment.
4/15/08: Concept art of the new Old Port Royale pool appears on the
construction walls surrounding the area. The art depicts a larger fort with
a more elaborate water slide and what appears to be a larger pool area.
First signs of digging work in the area appear.
3/30/08: The Old Port Royale Feature Pool area has begun resurfacing several
areas. Much of the area still remains dirt.
3/15/08: The Old Port Royale Feature Pool area has been razed. The main fort
still remains standing among a dirt construction area.
6/20/08: A new pool basin has been constructed and work on constructing what
appears to be a second larger fort begins.
7/12/08: Resurfacing of the new pool
area appears to be nearing completion. Work continues on building the new
fort, work on refurbishing the original fort continues as well. Several
mulched beds with newly planted palm trees have appeared. A new pirate ship
play area has been constructed.
Continuing News &
Progress of the Pool Refubishment
<<From the Archives ... >>
2002: How to Survive the Summer Heat with MNNHFL --
In one of the very first edition of
the INTERCOT Insider, MNNHFL took a look at ways to stay cool in the
Summer. While many things at Walt Disney World have changed in the last 6
years, these tried and true ways of staying cool remain as important today
as they did back then. Let's take a look back at these timeless tips to
Got Water? -The most important way to prevent heat-related problems
is to increase your fluid intake when you're out under the hot sun. For
otherwise healthy people, that means 2-4 glasses of cool water every hour.
(For those with chronic health conditions, it is always best to consult your
doctor about how much you should drink.) You don't have to break the bank to
buy beverages at Disney World. Water is absolutely the best liquid to drink
to avoid dehydration, and many people bring water bottles to the parks and
just keep refilling them at drinking fountains or concessions all day. Try
to avoid drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine as they can actually
dehydrate your body.
Pace Yourself- If you are unaccustomed to being active in a hot
environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually (easier said than
done at the most Magical Place on Earth!) If exertion is causing your heart
to pound and your head to ache, then slow down.
Do a Balancing Act- Alternate periods of outdoor activity with indoor (as in
air-conditioned) activity. While it may be tempting to go right from waiting
in line at the Indy Speedway to the playground in Toontown, it would
probably be a better idea to take in the air-conditioned line at Space
Take a Breather- The strategy many Disney World visitors use is to
visit the theme parks early and late in the day, with a trip back to the
hotel room (or better yet, the hotel pool or water parks) in between. This
is a very effective way to cool off and also avoid the worst of the
heat and crowds at the parks.
Made in the Shade- Disney World is pretty good about offering shaded
queues for their attractions, but it doesn't hurt to keep an eye out for
every opportunity to make use of shade. Not only will it keep you cooler,
but it will also keep you from getting sunburned (of course, you should use
plenty of sun block when out in the sun, but that's another story!) You can
also carry around a small portable umbrella to make your own shade. True,
some people may look at you funny (just before they start sidling closer to
your man-made shade), but this can be very effective.
Chill Out- There are various other things you can do to keep cool.
Splash your face with water every time you use the restroom. Make good use
of Splash Mountain (need I say more?) My favorite way to keep cool is by
taking a few ice cubes, rolling them up in a bandanna and tying it around my
neck. As the ice melts and wets the fabric, it cools the pulse points in
neck, which makes the rest of my body feel cooler. Plus you can use it over
and over again all day. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in light
colors, which will reflect sunlight and feel cooler (dark colors absorb
sunlight, making you feel hotter.) Whatever methods you use to keep cool at
Disney World, use them consistently.
One additional note-- Children younger than four years of age
and adults older than 65 need to be monitored even more closely in hot
environments and should avoid being outside in the hottest part of the day
whenever possible. Their! bodies cannot adapt and control their internal
temperatures as well as other age groups can. So stay safe, keep cool and
have fun this summer at Disney World!
That wraps up this
info packed Special Summer Edition of the INTERCOT Insider. Hope its given
you some great ideas on how to stay cool and deal with that not-so-pleasant
weather that can put a damper on a summer vacation.
We'll be back soon with our monthly articles bringing you a wave of more
great tips to make a Disney vacation super special. See ya real soon!
<< Thank You To Our
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