I-95 snow storm disaster

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
There have been a few reports on the news of people on their way to Disney or returning from Disney who were stranded by the recent storm fiasco that happened on I-95 in Virginia. Which got me wondering.... Have you encountered an incident travel wise that caused you to miss planned days at WDW? Or delay you returning home? How much time did you lose out on? How did it affect the rest of your trip? I'm not talking about Covid or other illness related issues, only travel causes.
 

plutofan15

Well-Known Member
Traveling several times from New England at the end of January/beginning of February, we have altered plans a few times. At least twice we have left home a day or two early to beat incoming snowstorms. On one occasion we were staying at the Treehouses but had to spend the extra early two nights in the cabins at Ft. Wilderness, not a big deal. One time our flight home was cancelled due to snowstorm back home but with Southwest we were able to change our return flight to a day later. Again not a big deal except for spending some time on the phone adding another day to the car rental and extending the dog's stay at boarding. We were able to stay in the same room in Disney for the additional night, Saratoga Springs I believe. Overall not too big of a deal.
 

Raxel7851

Well-Known Member
A few years ago a hurricane dumped huge amounts of rain along the I-95 corridor in NC/SC. It was closed with no time when it would reopen. We were planning on driving, so we altered our trip and went a little further west, eventually picking up 95 by taking I-26. Although it added quite a few hours to our trip, we saw different parts of Va/NC/SC. It was a beautiful drive. By the time vacation was over, the waters had receded enough to reopen I-95.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Traveling several times from New England at the end of January/beginning of February, we have altered plans a few times. At least twice we have left home a day or two early to beat incoming snowstorms. On one occasion we were staying at the Treehouses but had to spend the extra early two nights in the cabins at Ft. Wilderness, not a big deal. One time our flight home was cancelled due to snowstorm back home but with Southwest we were able to change our return flight to a day later. Again not a big deal except for spending some time on the phone adding another day to the car rental and extending the dog's stay at boarding. We were able to stay in the same room in Disney for the additional night, Saratoga Springs I believe. Overall not too big of a deal.
We had a Feb trip once that had a major storm coming in the day we started to Fl. Driving down I was constantly just on the outer edge of the storm and kept barely racing out of the path of the worst of it.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
A few years ago a hurricane dumped huge amounts of rain along the I-95 corridor in NC/SC. It was closed with no time when it would reopen. We were planning on driving, so we altered our trip and went a little further west, eventually picking up 95 by taking I-26. Although it added quite a few hours to our trip, we saw different parts of Va/NC/SC. It was a beautiful drive. By the time vacation was over, the waters had receded enough to reopen I-95.
I remember that one. Friends of ours were traveling to Fl and got diverted onto a 2 lane road that was full of a line of truckers trying to get around the damaged roadway. Due to everyone taking the same route traffic was down to a crawl.
 

Heppenheimer

Well-Known Member
It didn't alter our allotted number of days in Disney World, but traffic did once change the driving trip along the way. When I was a kid, we once got stuck in simply horrendous traffic around Richmond, Virginia, so that we needed to spend the night in North Carolina, versus our target near Charleston, SC. Oddly, this had nothing to do with the weather. It was just a very busy travel day in the middle of the summer. The toll booths in and around the city on I-95 were the culprit. They snarled traffic to barely a crawl. No E-Zpass back in those days.
 

vikescaper

Well-Known Member
We weren’t driving but there was one time where we missed our connecting flight in Atlanta on our way to Orlando. Our flight from our origin city to Atlanta was delayed due to weather. We got to the gate just as the door was closed and there weren’t any other flights that night so the airline had to put us up in a hotel for the night. Ended up getting to Orlando the next morning but it really didn’t affect our trip that much.
 

MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
This didn't affect our time at Disney but we were flying home to Pittsburgh (via Chicago, I think) and when we got there at maybe 8 pm or so the connecting flight was delayed, then the plane had a problem, then the crew "worked too long" and eventually we slept on the cement in the terminal. Never forget it, it was so awful.

They wanted to send us off site at 2 am to a hotel and we had to be back to try to get a seat on a 6 am flight.
The reason we had to get back by 6 am, was I realized they had not issued specific seats for us on the am flight, but it appeared to be standby. That was a big hell no, so I was standing at the counter before the first employee even showed up. He starts to hem and haw about seats and I must have looked like the mom from home alone. He gave us real seats.

We each got a $25 voucher for our trouble and they said we could spend it in the Pittsburgh airport if we wanted to. I thought, oh no, this is your problem and I took my son who was 12 at the time to the store there and told him he could buy whatever he wanted up to $75. He looked at me with big eyes and I said yes I'm serious. He got candy, head phones, comics. He had a blast.
 

Patcheslee

Well-Known Member
Other than our flights down and back got changed week before, not yet. Booked a 6am arrival, got changed to a 11am arrival. Departure booked for 10pm, was changed to 4pm. No other flights available.
Unless you want count me being a horrible driver: was driving St.Augustine to Disney, downpours car wipers did no good on. Ended up pulling into some restaurant and hanging out for a couple hours till the storms cleared.
 

mf1972

Well-Known Member
we were returning from our honeymoon back in 2000 & our plane hit the brakes before takeoff. 1 of the engines were overheating. we were put up in a hotel overnight & flown out the next day 1st class
 

GladToBeHear

Well-Known Member
We drive over from TX. There was some serious flooding one year from a hurricane in LA -- so we had to extend our stay at FW. I had to fly some of my older kids back for their jobs though.
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
There have been a few reports on the news of people on their way to Disney or returning from Disney who were stranded by the recent storm fiasco that happened on I-95 in Virginia. Which got me wondering.... Have you encountered an incident travel wise that caused you to miss planned days at WDW? Or delay you returning home? How much time did you lose out on? How did it affect the rest of your trip? I'm not talking about Covid or other illness related issues, only travel causes.
There was a bread truck driver from Schmidt Old Tyme bread company on that roadway that unloaded his product and he passed out bread to nearby stranded drivers. What a good deed and his company just got some free advertising.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
I have run into many storms in my trips south. Never while headed or returning from Disney, but trust me I've driven in blizzards on the Jersey Turnpike so bad that I had to stop and clean off my headlights because the snow had managed to cover them down to about a 2 inch circle of light beaming through. One hasn't lived until you get stuck behind a grouping of cement trucks with plows, staggered across 6 lane of highway with the far left lane pushing snow into the next lane, being pushed into the next lane by the next lane and so on until the final one is pushing everything off as far as they can to the right. Many of those storms caused me to be delayed but never completely ended.

The Virginia deal was surely an inconvenience but can hardly be called a disaster. Those that think that it should have been a snap to clear up the whole mess have never experienced an actual "snowstorm". They've probably experienced one of those awe inducing Hallmark Card big, light snowflake type heart warming snowfalls. Nature doesn't care who you are or where you are going. It can be mean as hell. To my knowledge no one died or was injured and it just simply takes time. That corridor from DC to Fredericksburg is a nightmare in the best of weather. There is a lot of traffic on that section of I-95 at any given time. If anyone wants to be upset, be upset with nature. When nature decides to be a b****, we mere mortals can feel pretty helpless.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I have run into many storms in my trips south. Never while headed or returning from Disney, but trust me I've driven in blizzards on the Jersey Turnpike so bad that I had to stop and clean off my headlights because the snow had managed to cover them down to about a 2 inch circle of light beaming through. One hasn't lived until you get stuck behind a grouping of cement trucks with plows, staggered across 6 lane of highway with the far left lane pushing snow into the next lane, being pushed into the next lane by the next lane and so on until the final one is pushing everything off as far as they can to the right. Many of those storms caused me to be delayed but never completely ended.

The Virginia deal was surely an inconvenience but can hardly be called a disaster. Those that think that it should have been a snap to clear up the whole mess have never experienced an actual "snowstorm". They've probably experienced one of those awe inducing Hallmark Card big, light snowflake type heart warming snowfalls. Nature doesn't care who you are or where you are going. It can be mean as hell. To my knowledge no one died or was injured and it just simply takes time. That corridor from DC to Fredericksburg is a nightmare in the best of weather. There is a lot of traffic on that section of I-95 at any given time. If anyone wants to be upset, be upset with nature. When nature decides to be a b****, we mere mortals can feel pretty helpless.
Been there many more times than I could count. I'm in Maine and I agree our winter storms, blizzards and ice storms are nothing compared to what they call major snow storms down south. We are prepared for those yearly conditions and expect the worst. The worst I had it was the major ice storm years ago that had us out of power for weeks and some people for a month. Power lines down, poles snapped, electrical boxes torn off the sides of houses, homes flooded from frozen pipes.. that was a disaster.
But as minor in comparison to that, the VA incident is/ was called a disaster by many. Especially when the Gov. and others in control should have acted immediately. The stranded and crashed vehicles could have been cleared out easily by calling out the National Guard with their heavy equipment and get a passable road. Inaction caused many people great distress. Ive sat in a broken down car, stranded on a roadway in a below zero snow/ice storm for a night. It was not a simple inconvenience. When you are unable to get help...no food, no heat, no gas, no way out.... its a disaster. Many of those caught on that roadway were elderly, sickly, totally unprepared, with young children and its fortunate many didnt get frostbite or worse. So yes it wasnt as bad as it could have been but for those who had to sit through it... they werent saying it was an inconvenience.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
There was a bread truck driver from Schmidt Old Tyme bread company on that roadway that unloaded his product and he passed out bread to nearby stranded drivers. What a good deed and his company just got some free advertising.
Yes., Ive read of others sharing what they had... sometimes it takes the worst to happen to bring out the best in people. Its gratifying to hear how in bad situations people open up their hearts and rise to the occasion to help those in need. I'm one who gives to those in need and taught my DS to do the same. In a world where many are selfish and self centered you dont always hear about those who are caring and giving. Many times when someone has received help from a stranger, they in turn will help someone else going forward. it can turn people around for the better.
 

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