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Hurricane Dorian doesn’t deter Disney, Universal visitors

On the Sunday before Labor Day, crowds still headed to Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, unperturbed about the approach of Hurricane Dorian.

“When you’ve lived here your whole life, it doesn’t matter,” said Mark Blansit, standing in line at Disney Hollywood Studios. Sporting Star Wars shirts, the Naples resident and his friends said they had planned this visit to the newly opened Galaxy’s Edge more than a month ago. “We were going to come.”

Curtis Cook was in from Tulsa, Okla., with a group of youth volleyball players. The impending storm didn’t keep him or his team from visiting the park, which had two open entrance lines at 8 a.m.

Over at Universal Studios, a blue sky and humidity greeted Harry Potter fans who had come out en masse. In the book series, Sept. 1 is the first day of school at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

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Jodi Pope and her family had come from Chicago for the occasion.

“We couldn’t miss it even if there was a hurricane,” she said. “I suppose if it turns toward us, we might be forced out,” she said, though the current plan was to stay until Friday.

Wait times for rides around the Universal parks remained low into the afternoon, with five- and 10-minute waits for popular rides, such as Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Armando Perez, who was traveling from Texas with his girlfriend, said the storm had made him adjust his plans to stay even longer. “We think the airport might be crazy,” he said.

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Sarah Newman, an Orlando resident who worked with the Red Cross for Hurricane Charley and other storms, was visiting with her daughter, Izzy. “There’s so much that can happen,” she said. “We aren’t going to worry until it’s closer.”

A smattering of people were walking around the shops and restaurants at Disney Springs in the early afternoon. Ernesto, a Tampa resident who didn’t give his last name, had family in from New York. “Nothing’s changing,” he said. His family didn’t plan to go home until Friday.

tfraser@orlandosentinel.com


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