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The worst of Hurricane Irma appears to be over as the storm has been downgraded to a tropical depression and it continues to lose power. However, the storm did some significant damage to Florida, including Walt Disney World. Luckily, the resort appears to have escaped the hurricane without any major destruction, but the signs that Irma had been through the area are all over the place and clean up will almost certainly take a long time.
Walt Disney World reopened this morning after being closed through the weekend due to the massive storm. Several brave souls held out in the resort hotels and it looks like Disney did the best they could to show those folks a good time. However, as things begin to return to something approaching normal, the park clearly has a lot of work in front of it to clean up the damage that the storm has done. The primary victim of Irma appears to be trees, as several were knocked over at various places throughout the resort. Structural damage to the parks or the hotels looks minimal, though there clearly has been some.
While the Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom opened on time this morning, a handful of attractions did not. The Disney World Railroad, Jungle Cruise, and Tom Sawyer Island are all currently closed, which was not previously scheduled. The Thunder Mountain Railroad was closed when the park opened but was running about an hour later, which shows the Disney World staff is working right now to get everything back to normal as quickly as possible.
At Disney's Animal Kingdom, the Kali River Rapids are currently closed. At the Animal Kingdom Lodge, trees have fallen into the hotel, which was probably a little scary if anybody was still staying in those rooms.
All things considered, it looks like Walt Disney World survived pretty well. The vast majority of attractions are open and the park appears clear enough that people can get around without much difficulty. Having said that, the amount of damage that was sustained will probably take some time to deal with. Fallen trees are not the easiest things in the world to remove and there appear to be so many of them over such a large area, Walt Disney World is about 40 square miles of land, that it's simply going to take time to work through the list of fixes.
If you had planned a Disney World vacation prior to Hurricane Irma blowing through, there's a good chance that things will go off without a hitch. While some hotel rooms may be unavailable due to tree damage, the park itself seems to be doing ok. All of the major attractions are still open, including the brand new World of Pandora. In fact, the lines for those new rides may be a lot shorter than usual for a few days. Maybe now is the best time to go.
Photo Courtesy Disney/Walt Disney World News