In September 2022 we returned to Florida after a 12 year absence. The last time we went to Florida was February 2010. In 2010, we learned about Emily's PLE diagnosis on a Tuesday, that Thursday I booked a family trip to Disney World, and on Saturday we were on the plane to Florida. We stayed at Emily's favorite Disney World resort, Disney's Beach Club Resort.
After Emily died in January 2021 we felt it was time to return to Florida. My brother-in-law retired near Disney World and we longed for the Atlantic Ocean.
We were fully aware that September was hurricane season but planned our trip anyway. We booked a week at Universal Studios and went to their parks, a week at the beach, on the ocean, several days visiting family, a few days on the gulf coast, and a week camping at Disney's Fort Wilderness resort in an RV I rented and would be delivered to the campground. With all the extra stipulations Disney had on reserving parks and 2pm hopper rules, we opted to camp and not do Disney parks that trip. Besides, we were pretty amusement parked out at Universal Studios.
We were so excited to camp (glamp) at Disney World in a lovely RV.
On day 3 of our adventure, Hurricane Ian was scheduled to hit Walt Disney World. We were told that the campground would be evacuated and Disney would put us up in one of their resorts. I stood in a line for 3 hours at the campground until we were told that we could head over to Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort.
We were excited. We stayed at that resort when the kids were 6 and 12 years old. They loved it!
Hurricane Ian devasted the gulf coast but Disney faired well. Branches littered the sidewalks and the Sassagoula River rose a bit, but all in all everything went well.
I am grateful to Disney for taking care of us and thanked every cast member I saw that week. I was extra grateful that we didn't opt to do parks that week. Instead we relaxed and soaked in Disney's magical atmosphere.
We returned to Florida February 2023, September 2023 and will be going again February 2024, this time we are doing the Disney parks!
Sandra Clarke • A Work In Progress