A friend sent me a pitch for a heist movie: A motley crew of thieves gather to sneak into Walt Disney World during a hurricane to steal all the cotton candy. I suggested that this might come after their original plan to sneak in dressed as alligators was derailed by the extermination of all or most all reptiles in and around the happiest place on earth. Or is it the second happiest place on earth, since it was built after Disneyland, which was the original happiest place on earth? Or is it the happiest place on earth because it has three different lands that bring in that much more happiness? Or does all that separation of happiness cause the happiness to diminish?
Hard to say, but this past weekend's encounter with Hurricane Matthew did, in fact, cause the Orlando branch of the Mouse House to close for just the fourth time in its history. When I read that, like you I'm sure, I felt compelled to find out what were the other three times. I was intrigued to discover that the three previous closures were all hurricane related: Hurricane Floyd closed the place in 1999, and in 2004 the culprits were Frances and Jeanne both in September. For the record, Walt Disney World opened for business on September 11, 2001 but was evacuated and remained closed shortly after the attacks in Washington D.C. and New York City.
This brought back the memory of that late summer morning fifteen years ago, when my brother and his family were preparing to fly off to Italy for their first trip off the continent. There was a great rush of relief when it became apparent that no one would be flying anywhere anytime soon after 8:45 Easter Daylight Time. The trip they had planned and saved and dreamed about had to be postponed until order could be restored to the universe. Along with all that additional security.
Disneyland, located on the left hand of the country was closed on September 11. Having that extra three hours of awareness to prepare for terror helped out on that account. The Anaheim contingent was also closed after the Northridge Earthquake of 1994. Before that the only unscheduled closure was a day of mourning for assassinated President John F. Kennedy.
Kind of hard to be happy when you're in mourning.