Florida    Alabama   

In September 2004 we flew to Orlando, Florida over the Labor Day weekend to spend about a week at Disney World and Universal Studios. It turned out to be almost 2 weeks because of Hurricane Francis.

When we reached Orlando we spent the first night there and were able to spend the next day at Disney World. After listening to the weather we left the area after our day at Disney. Because of all the people evacuating, it took us 5 hours to go the 75 miles north to that nights hotel. Luckily, we had made a reservation not too far from Disney because I knew we would be leaving Disney late. Using the multi-hotel service card I have (9 major hotel chains), I tried to find a hotel in northern Florida or southern Georgia, but they were all booked. That's why we ended up in Alabama.

Actually, being in Alabama during the hurricane in Florida really worked out nice for the 3 days we were there. We had beautiful weather, were able to get to the beach everyday, and found some other out door activities too. During this time, northern Florida and southern Georgia were being hit with a lot of wind and rain. The only problem was that we ran out of things to do after 2 days.

Since the Orlando airport had closed for a couple days, the airline was willing to move our return flight anytime up to the end of September. I added 5 more days to our trip, notified the rental car company, and made new hotel reservations near the parks.

I was worried that it might take us (and the other 2+ million people) a long time to get back into the Orlando area. Luckily, despite some heavy traffic near Orlando we made it back in 1 day and had 4 more days to spend at Disney World and Universal Studios. Finally, the trip we had planned began and there was virtually no one in the parks and beautiful weather.

Even though the parks had no severe damage the same couldn't be said for some of the houses and businesses. There were a lot of signs missing, roofs damaged, flooding, power outages, and trees down. Even at the airport signs were down (I had trouble finding the rental car return) and the terminal we left from had most of the ceiling tiles down and large blowers trying to dry everything out. We left a couple days before Hurricane Ivan was due to hit ground.

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Disney World, Florida - Us at Disney's MGM Studios.


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Disney World, Florida - Us at Disney's Animal Kingdom.


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Disney World, Florida - Us at Disney's Epcot.


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Disney World, Florida - Not us at Disney's Magic Kingdom.


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Universal Studios, Florida - The US (Universal Studios) globe.


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Universal Studios, Florida - The Islands of Adventure park at Universal.


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Gulf Shores, Alabama - Us on the beach along the Gulf of Mexico.


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Gulf Shores, Alabama - Tired of us? Other people on the beach.