FORT MYERS, Fla. — An Arkansas family got a taste of Hurricane Matthew at one of the happiest places on Earth.
Greg and Sara Bledsoe are staying at the Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World with their three young daughters.
With the hurricane churning on the weather radar, they considered not making the trip but opted to come after planning it for six months.
“There are expeditions that have been led with less planning,” Greg said, crediting his wife.
After flying in Wednesday, they were able to enjoy the Magic Kingdom and Epcot before Disney closed the parks at 5 p.m. Thursday.
“By afternoon at Epcot, you could walk right on the rides,” he said.
As they were relaxing at the resort later that night, they heard a noise outside. Because the resort has an open atrium, they were able to peek outside to see what was happening.
“We heard some drilling,” Greg Bledsoe said. “The monorail system goes straight through the center of the hotel. Workers sealed the track opening using boards, plastic and drills.”
The storm didn’t seem to cause major problems in the immediate area, but Disney parks were closed Friday. The closure gave the family time to watch movies and play games.
“It actually worked out great,” Sara Bledsoe said. “Disney has been great.”
Mickey and Pluto stopped by for a visit and the parks will open an hour earlier than usual Saturday.
“We’re going to be on the first bus or monorail over there,” he said.
There’s plenty more fun in store. The family plans to leave Monday so Greg can get back to his job as surgeon general of Arkansas: “I’ve got to get back and get some work done.”
While everything has worked out well so far, they hope for a little more magic along the Georgia coast: The pair own a home on St. Simons Island.
Follow Casey Logan on Twitter: @caseylo