This is a story about me and my usual Sept trip to Walt Disney World in Florida, and a beast by the name of Irma.


As soon as they started to talk about a hurricane forming off the Africa coast, I knew it was something that was going to impact my trip, maybe.


On Tuesday, Sept 5, it sounded like almost sure thing it would.  I was leaving on Friday heading to Orlando on Amtrak’s Silver Meteor train, arriving Saturday, just about the same time Irma was going to hit Florida. I am not so worried about Irma hitting Orlando on Saturday, but hitting Miami.  Amtrak’s Silver trains terminate in Miami before being turned and head back up to New York’s Penn Station.  They will either suspend all service or turn the train in Jacksonville, Florida.


So I decided to try and beat out the storm and arrive on Friday, well ahead of the storm, or so I thought.  With my jobs blessing, I rebooked Amtrak to leave on Thursday now and booked a room only ressie at Disney’s Pop Century resort.  I was all set and happy.


On Wednesday I was constantly checking the weather for Orlando.  On Monday they were due for just high winds from Irma.  And later in the day the wind forecast actually went down.


One thing I forgot to think about was the weather forecast for Miami, since the train terminates there.  Amtrak didn’t, and canceled my trains service south of Jacksonville about 6 pm at night.


I can never figure this out.  When booking a trip, who do you call first?  Transportation to the hotel, or the hotel??  I called Amtrak and enquired about availability a week later.  Yes they had availability.  I didn’t book it yet, next call was Disney.


I called and after waiting on hold for about 20 minutes (earlier in the day it was over 2 hours) to rebook my trip.  Due to the hurricane they allowed last minute rebooking without penalty.  The only trouble was, no availability in my price range.  Nearest was POFQ for about $800 more.  The only value was a suite at Art of Animation for even more money.  So I just canceled my resort ressies (single night and weeks stay with dining)  Canceled Amtrak, canceled Not so scary Halloween party, canceled Frozen Desert Party, then went down the list of all my ADR’s and even the couple of Fast passes I had, all gone.  I was beyond depressed.


This morning I got up, went online and started to play around with different dates under different programs.  I found a Sunday through Saturday stay at All Star Movies referred room in my price category.  The last couple of years I stayed starting Friday, all of next week till Sunday.  All I could get was the Sunday through Saturday at AS Movies, so I took it.  I added Not so scary and frozen desert party.  Also Fantasmic Dinner Package.  I am trying hard to get ‘Ohana, so I am trying to keep the rest of my dates open till I can get it, so I have more choices.


I also rebooked Amtrak, changed my scooter rental.  Waiting to hear back about my transportation to and from AS Movies and Orlando train station.  And my TA discounted park tickets.


All in all, just slightly shorter trip, just a week later.  Have to see if I can fit in a morning at one of the water parks.


Trip plan #3: I leave Sept 16 from NYP, arrive Orlando to stay at All-Star Movies, leave back to New York Sept 23…. Or so I hoped.


Well… another thing I didn’t consider, damage from Irma preventing Amtrak running trains.  It turns out the tracks south of Jacksonville was unusable.  On Sept 14, 5:30 pm, I received the following email from Amtrak.


Our records indicate that you are scheduled to depart on Amtrak train number 97 from New York (Penn Station), New York at 3:15PM on Saturday September 16 and arriving in Orlando, Florida.

That schedule has been cancelled due to a service disruption. There is no alternate service available. To speak to a customer service representative about travel options such as selecting another date or destination call us at 877-231-9448 at your earliest convenience.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for being a valued Amtrak customer.



I called up Amtrak and found no trains will be running till middle of the week I will be away.  I called Disney to see if there was any rooms in the coming weeks, but had nothing, nothing at a value and sufficient length to make the trip.  So I canceled my Disney package, dinner reservations, scooter rental, and transportation between hotel and train station. I also sent a email I wont be needing my TA discounted theme park tickets.  Very depressed.


I kept looking for a block of days in the coming weeks.  I finally found something.  Arrive 10-2, stay through 10-7 at All-Star Sports, preferred, no discount.  Talking it over with online friends, they suggested I call also, which I did.  They were able to add a day, arrive 10-1.  This part was interesting.  It takes a couple of days from my original reservation to be canceled.  So they put a stop of my refund and used that money to pay for my trip with a tiny refund difference.


I was able to rebook Amtrak, still free using points.


So I sent another email to cancel the cancellation of the TA discounted ticket with a new arrival date.  Sent a email to Best Price scooter with the new information to rebook.  Sent a email to MH Transportation with the new information.


Then I went to rebook all my ADR’s  I couldn’t get the new Frozen Ever After Dessert Party at Epcot.  So instead I booked the new (to me) Star Wars Galactic Dessert Party at the studios.  I also couldn’t book ‘Ohana either.  No surprise there.  I also rebooked Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party tickets for the third time.


I finally was able to book ‘Ohana and Frozen ever after dessert party too, I kept the star wars one.


This is what I had booked, sit down meal wise.

10-1: Coral Reef (Epcot) 4:30 pm, Frozen Ever After Dessert Party 8pm


10-2: Crystal Palace 8 am, Fantasmic Dinner Plan @ Hollywood & Vine (Studios) 2:35 pm.


10-3: Be Our Guest lunch (Magic Kingdom) 11:10 am,  Ohana 3:30 pm


10-4: Boma (dinner) 6:35 pm


10-5:Trails End (breakfast) 9:45 am, Le Cellier (dinner) 4:35 pm


10-6: Boma (breakfast) 9:50 am, Spice Road Table (dinner) 4 pm, Star Wars Galatic dessert Party 7 pm


The dessert parties were new for me.  Coral Reef, Crystal Palace, Hollywood & Vine, Be Our Guest, amdOhana are all repeats.


I like Crystal Palace, not for the characters, but made for order cheese omelets.  I enjoy that.  Only Cp and Boma does this.  I have eaten at Trails End for dinner,  never for breakfast, so that is semi new.


At the suggestion of my friend Mindy, I looked at the menu for Spice Road Table.  The name alone had me not wanting it, but they had NY Strip Steak and garlic shrimp for a appetizer, so I got a ADR for it to try.


Now just to keep these plans for a new storm is on the horizon, a named storm called Nate.  Now I have a great nephew whose name is Nate.  This storm couldn’t destroy my plans.