Chance of Hurricane Affecting Florida during Visit by Arrival Date

By Dave Shute

Weather    Temps    Rain    Hurricanes    Tornadoes    Winter Highs     Winter Pool Days

THE HURRICANE SEASON AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

The thumbnail (click to open) illuminates the chance of a cyclonic storm affecting any part of Florida during any part of a 9 day visit to Walt Disney World.

It’s by arrival date, and is based on 30 years of data.

It helps illuminate the Disney World (and Florida) hurricane season more specifically than general statements like “The hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.”

The takeaway is that a 9 day Walt Disney World vacation has the biggest chance of being affected for arrival dates in late August through early October.

Ninety percent of activity is from August through October; 50% between August 20th and October 10th; and the peak of the storm season is September 10th.

It is unusual for a Disney vacation to be ruined by a cyclonic storm–but it happens.

DATA SOURCES

All this site’s weather pages except for the material on cyclonic storms and on tornadoes are based on 20 years of data from the National Weather Service ending in December 2006. The cyclonic storm material is based on 30 years of data from Wikipedia. The tornado material is from NOAA/NCDC and goes from 1950 through October 2009.

ORLANDO WEATHER LINKS

MORE ON WHEN TO GO TO WALT DISNEY WORLD



86 comments

1 john { 05.19.11 at 12:18 am }

Where coming to Disney World august 19 thru 28 2011. I’m concerned if there is going to be any people there when we get there. I don’ like crowds, but I just don’t want to feel like that we are the only ones in the park.

2 Dave { 05.19.11 at 6:01 am }

No worries–while crowds will be low, that’s a relative, not an absolute–there will be tens of thousands of people in the parks! Plenty of people around…

3 Natalie { 07.02.11 at 3:27 pm }

Hi there,
My fiance and I are going to Walt Disney World for our honeymoon from August 14th-August 21st. I was wondering what we can expect in terms of weather. I know there will be some rain… but we’ve never experienced any form of hurricane weather. A little prep would be nice…

4 Dave { 07.03.11 at 10:08 am }

Hi Natalie!

What you can generally expect is high heat, high humidity, and afternoon thunderstomrs.

IF a hurricane becomes relevant, you will know about it (if you pay attention to the weather) several days before. Because Orlando is so far inland, the results would most likely be heavy continuing storms. Depending on intensity, some rides and even parks might close, and people would be evacuated from the campgrounds.

The vast majority of the time hurricanes don’t happen; if they do, they often don’t much matter…it’s rare for them to actually have an impact on a WDW vacation…but it does happen…

5 whit { 08.01.11 at 9:28 am }

Hi, i will arrive in orlando on the 13th of august and will be leaving the 27th. Im worried about hurricanes and storms, how will i be made aware of this happening ?

6 Dave { 08.01.11 at 1:55 pm }

Whit, storms and hurricanes come with a lot of warning. I’d check out the Orlando paper (the Sentinel), the weather channel, and weather.com as your trip gets closer and during your visit.

There’s also some helpful suggestions on my “Tornadoes” page here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/02/02/tornadoes-at-walt-disney-world/

7 Brandon { 08.02.11 at 1:45 pm }

We are going to Disney and are arriving on August 4 2011, we have been watching the weather, would you recommend rescheduling our trip.

8 Dave { 08.02.11 at 1:57 pm }

Brandon that’s such a personal decision that my opinion is worth little. That said, since you asked…

I wouldn’t unless it’s a very short visit and you are flying potentially through Emily’s path and thus more subject to delays, and/or tent camping at Fort Wilderness. Right now I see the worst reasonable case for Emily in Orlando (if it even comes close) is bad thunderstorms.

9 Dave { 08.02.11 at 4:25 pm }
10 paul { 08.09.11 at 8:32 pm }

We’re thinking of going to DW/universal the week of 10/3/2011 which is fall break for the kids. We’ve never been before, and have no idea what we’re doing! I saw the 20th ranking for this week, but it looks good for wait/cost. Is the main down side the chance of storms? and if so just how bad/often are they?

Thanks, Paul

11 Dave { 08.10.11 at 5:49 am }

Yup, Paul, the only ding on this week is the increased chance of hurricanes. Otherwise it’s a great week. They rarely happen, and if they do, usually just mean heavy thunderstorms, so it’s not a big deal. I highlight them because if this may be your ONLY visit EVER, they are worth taking into account!

12 paul { 08.10.11 at 11:44 am }

Thanks Dave, The other option is the start of Christmas break 12/17. Your site says moderate for traffic that week. We want to give it 2 days at Universal, and 3 days for WDW, but I’m a little worried about the crowds picking up. I’d almost rather deal with a hurricane than 1hr+ waits!

Your site is really helping out – thanks for all the work!

13 Dave { 08.10.11 at 2:41 pm }

Glad to help Paul!

I concur with your judgment. The odds are better that it’ll be more crowded than I think the week of the 17th than that you’ll actually face a hurricane on your earlier dates!

14 Pam { 08.15.11 at 9:56 pm }

We are going to Disney World Sepetember 16-24 and after reading about it being the peak of hurricane season I am a bit worried our vacation will be ruined :( What should I expect the weather to be like during this time?? Thanks!!!

15 Dave { 08.16.11 at 6:24 am }

Hi Pam!

Hurricanes the vast majority of the time don’t happen, and if they do, barely affect Orlando! The odds are that you will be fine.

16 mic { 08.16.11 at 7:32 am }

hi, we are arriving on august 25th and see rain for everyday for the next week, is there a hurricane or storm there, or how can they predict rain everyday 15 days out, and how accurate can it be?

17 Dave { 08.16.11 at 7:47 am }

Hi Mic!

In the summer, Orlando has thunderstorms (often brief, sometimes intense) almost every afternoon…that’s what you are seeing…

18 Andre { 08.22.11 at 2:56 pm }

Here’s hoping nothing happens as we make our long anticipated first visit from Oct 1-8..we’re all absolutely PUMPED! Thanks for your hard work in keeping up this great website.

19 Dave { 08.22.11 at 3:35 pm }

FIngers crossed that you’ll have a great–and dry–visit, Andre! Dave

20 LATOYA { 08.27.11 at 9:09 pm }

We are going September 20 thru the 29th and are wondering if we have anything to worry about.

21 Dave { 08.28.11 at 8:32 am }

Hi Latoya!

You are going during the peak of the hurricane season. However, they happen rarely, if they do happen affect Orlando rarely, and when they do affect Orlando it’s mostly more like bad thunderstorms. So the odds are you will be ok…

22 Travis { 09.20.11 at 12:07 pm }

I just returned from my week long trip in WDW for my 10th visit, (my step-daughter and fiance’s 1st visit). We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge, now I am planning next years trip. I am thinking of staying in the Beach Club or Polynesian. I have stayed at the Polynesian before, but only the Yacht Club, not the Beach Club. Could you give your thoughts on the Beach Club, or any other resorts you feel are top. Also, I know the opening of some aspects of the expansion are set for early and late 2012. Do you have a better idea of the late 2012 openings? I am planning right now for a last week of September 2012 anticipating that the “late 2012″ expansion openings will be open by then. Thanks,

23 Dave { 09.20.11 at 12:22 pm }

Hey Travis!

In my opinion, if you’ve done the Yacht Club, the Beach Club is about the same. It’s closer to Epcot, further from HS, and has many fewer rooms with full balconies–a lot of its rooms have balconies that are just a foot deep. The positives are otherwise the same, as are the negatives.

If you liked Wilderness Lodge, I’d vote for the Animal Kingdom Lodge: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/10/13/review-jambo-house-at-disneys-animal-kingdom-lodge/

Re the 2012 expansions…my guess–and that’s all it is, a guess–is that they will be open before Thanksgiving, so that Thanksgiving crowds can test them before the Xmas crowds. I personally wouldn’t bet on September–but that’s just a guess…

24 Jen { 11.26.11 at 8:49 pm }

We are planning our first trip to disneynwith two kids (2 and 5). It seems the only time we can go is 8/13 to 8/19. Everyone is telling us that we’re crazy b/c it will be too hot and crowded ESP for young kids. What do you think, are we asking for trouble?

25 Dave { 11.27.11 at 12:48 pm }

Hi Jen. Everyone is right–it’s hot and crowded then. Given that your kids are so young you’d need to bring them back another time anyway, why not wait until you can go at a better time of the year? Save the money you’d spend this time and spend it on a great trip later…

26 sherio { 04.18.12 at 9:21 am }

hey there,
i am planing to go for a honeymoon to the bahams round mid septemer is that risky weather?

27 Dave { 04.18.12 at 3:39 pm }

Hi Sheio, I don’t track the Bahamas, but the peak of the hurricane season is the same time there, so yes, you face a higher risk in mid-Sept.

28 sherio { 04.22.12 at 12:12 pm }

Thanks Dave

29 Ali { 06.04.12 at 4:13 pm }

hi
Im planing to visit miami and orlando with my family on 19 aug, i will stay 6 nights in miami and i will travel by road to orlando on 24 Aug than i will return back to Miami on 1 Sep. I need your advise as its first time for me to visit miami, im really scared from the weather so please i need your advise especially i will travel by road from miami to oorlando and i have 2 kids :(

I need your advise, ive already booked my tickets and hotels

30 Dave { 06.04.12 at 4:35 pm }

Hi Ali, I’m sorry, but I haven’t done that drive in decades so I’m not the guy to answer you. Suggest you try either Yahoo Answers or disboards.com

31 Ian { 06.26.12 at 5:31 am }

Hi Dave, my wife and 2 daughters (3 and 4 yrs old) have a 3 week roadtrip planned from Oct 7th from Miami, down to the Keys, up the gulf coast to Palm Island where we are staying in a beach house, and then on to Orlando. Tropical Storm Debby has got me thinking, have we chosen the right time to go? Not that I can do anything about it now as it is all booked!
Thanks, Ian.

32 Dave { 06.26.12 at 6:43 am }

Ian, you play the odds here. Typically the peak of the hurricane season is over by early October…and what’s happening with Debby has no predictive power for what may happen then…

33 Ian { 06.26.12 at 6:58 am }

Thanks Dave. What are the odds? Whatever they are I’ll have to take them anyway! Fingers crossed then… ;-)

34 Dave { 06.26.12 at 11:20 am }

Ian see the chart at the top of this page for the odds. Note that it’s for “any part of Florida, any day of a nine day trip by arrival date.”

35 dina { 07.14.12 at 6:17 pm }

Planning to visit family living in Celebration early Sept. How is hurricane season at that time. They say it would be fine.

36 Dave { 07.15.12 at 9:05 am }

Dina, they are mostly right. You will be there during the peak of the hurricane season, but the odds of one remain low, and in Orlando, the impact of one, if it occurs and is near there, is more like a bad thunderstorm…

37 Pierre Smit { 07.20.12 at 10:41 am }

Hi, planning to go between the 22/09/2012 to 6/10/2012. We are coming from South Africa and would like to know how are things during this time.

38 Sharon { 07.24.12 at 2:26 pm }

Hi Dave, I’m planning my 4th trip to Disney on October 14th. I assume the crowds will be light and the chance of hurricanes low. The last time I went was in ’07 the week after Thanksgiving and it was awesome! Weather great, crowds minimal. Can I expect a repeat of this in October? It is just 2 adults visiting. Thanks!

39 Dave { 07.24.12 at 6:09 pm }

Sharon, that’s a great week–I rank it 4th best of the year…see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/10/20/2012-weeks-to-visit-walt-disney-world-ranked-in-order/

40 Tom { 07.26.12 at 9:53 am }

I would like to visit Orlando in October (not this year, hopefully next one) and I was wondering about the possibilities of a Hurricane.
I remember asking several people while my last stay (past February) and many of them concurred that severe hurricanes are really strange in Orlando. One park crew member told me that he had been working for 10 years there and he only remembered once the park being closed due to extreme weather conditions, and just for a single day.
Hope this helps those who are planning a trip on those months!

41 Megan { 08.07.12 at 3:04 am }

I’m thinking about heading to Florida August 27th-30th, with only going to Disney World the 29th to see Harry Potter World. I’m concerned about hurricanes and have been googling but I’m not finding much. Should I be worried?

42 Dave { 08.07.12 at 7:22 am }

Hi Megan…first Harry Potter is not at Disney World–it’s at Universal Orlando. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2009/12/13/summary-of-instructions-for-your-first-family-visit-to-the-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter/ On hurricanes, the chance they will affect things is very low, and if they do, it will have more the feel of strong thunderstorms…

43 Meigan Brown { 08.07.12 at 10:57 am }

We are going to Disney 9-1-12 to 9-8-12. Any ideas if this will be a good week or not in regards to crowds and weather?

44 Dave { 08.07.12 at 1:11 pm }
45 Madison { 08.24.12 at 6:56 pm }

My House!

46 Madison { 08.24.12 at 6:57 pm }

Everyone be brave!

47 Melody { 08.29.12 at 12:53 pm }

We are going to WDW Sept 15-21 2012, and we are bringing our 2 kids and my brother in law from Scotland. I am getting increasingly concerned over weather and more specifically hurricanes. Should we expect closures in stormy weather? We do have the insurance from Disney on the trip, does that cover partial closures due to weather? What do you recommend we do when it’s stormy out?

48 Dave { 08.29.12 at 5:30 pm }

Melody, while there’s no guarantees, hurricanes are rare, and one that have any affect on WDW even rarer–like a day or two of problems every 5 to ten years.

I don’t know what Disney insurance covers–sadly you need to read the fine print–but my guess is that it won’t cover a day of closed parks.

Also see the bottom part of this page for Disney’s general hurricane policy: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/08/22/isaac-walt-disney-world/

49 Tanya { 10.30.12 at 12:57 am }

Hello, I’m looking forward to planning my first trip to WDW and would like to know when is the best time to go. My son request we go in early to mid Novemeber. I was thinking about March or June, what do you think would be the best….price, crowd and weather wise.

Thanks,

50 Dave { 10.30.12 at 7:52 am }
51 Julie { 11.07.12 at 1:22 pm }

I will be visiting orlando/daytona may 8th-15th . What can I expect as far as crowds, rain, and temps? And Will ticket prices be lower at that time?

Thank you

52 Dave { 11.07.12 at 1:27 pm }
53 dallas lamb { 01.28.13 at 6:00 pm }

I see the crowds are high memorial weekend and I am planning to be there May 27 through May 30 .Are the crowd bad the entire week or more th3 weekend and the holiday?

Thanks

54 Dave { 01.29.13 at 6:34 am }

Hi Dallas, they are bad all week.

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55 Vernon Wright { 01.30.13 at 8:12 pm }

Wow. I wished I found this site before. Just booked WDW 3/14/13 to 3/20/13. Thought I wont be so crowded because we are taking the kids out of school before spring before sprint breaks start. But by looking at it ..did I make the right choice for my first visit, 11yr old, 5yr old, wife and I???

56 Dave { 01.31.13 at 7:23 am }

Vernon, yes I do expect that to be a quite crowded week. For better choices, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/09/19/2013-weeks-to-visit-walt-disney-world-ranked-in-order/

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57 Kelly { 02.28.13 at 10:02 am }

I appreciate your hurricane data but have a question. Can you be specific about what you mean by the word “affecting”? Do you mean rain, if so how heavy? Do you mean hurricane force winds? And by saying “any part of Florida” do you happen to have data on Orlando separately?

We are considering a 5-6 day trip (not 9 days) between Sept 14-19 and I’m a “numbers” person so am hoping to nail down the true historical % of hurricane weather at WDW for those dates not just all of Florida.

Thanks!

58 Dave { 02.28.13 at 11:53 am }

Kelly, it’s as defined here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Florida_hurricanes This is a VERY broad definition, but I chose it because hurricanes of course can be so large–easily 500-1000 miles in diameter–that a vacation, and/or its associated travel, could be affected–but also because there is no more focused data set!

The narrowest definition would be how many times in its 41+ years history has Disney closed parks because of hurricanes. Here too I haven’t found a source I consider completely comprehensive and reliable, but it seems like that has happened around 6 times, and not so far this decade.

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59 Kelly { 03.01.13 at 4:53 pm }

Thanks, Dave, for the clarification. I think we’ll buy trip insurance just in case.

On a completely unrelated note, I just stumbled upon the Waldorf and am seriously considering it but can’t seem to find any good info or reviews on how well its shuttle system works or how inconvenient it really is. Again, for a September trip (a slow time I think?), do you know how long it might take to get from the WA to MK, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom (to the gate)? What do people say about its efficiency and especially how easy it is to get back to the hotel for a midday break and/or back at night. We were planning to stay at Polynesian until I found WA and want to figure out the trade-off. Probably will not rent a car but will just pay taxi on our Universal Islands of Adv day. Any info, advice? Thoughts? Thanks again!

60 Dave { 03.02.13 at 9:35 am }

Hi Kelley, I only track the on-site hotels, so can’t help with the Waldorf. Suggest you post a question on Disboards.com.

61 Todd Godbey { 03.17.13 at 11:58 am }

We are taking our kids down either the last two weeks of October for 2013. We are either doing Wed-Sun or Thurs through Monday. What is typically the best day to go with less crowds? I would think Fridays. Also, with this being towards the end of hurricane season what sort of patterns do you see for this time of year? Thoughts?

62 Dave { 03.18.13 at 7:27 am }

Hi Todd!

Just to be clear, avoid the week of October 12th–not sure if you are counting that in “last two weeks.”

Sat, Sun and Mon are typically the busiest days, and Fri and Sat nights the most expensive hotel nights, so pick the approach that avoids as many of those as you can.

And so long as no hurricane shows–unlikely to start with, and even more unlikely since you are out of your peak–your weather should be great. See this for more: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/high-temperatures-year-round/

Hope this helps! And if so…

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63 Trey { 05.14.13 at 2:11 pm }

My wife and I are looking to head to WDW in Sept or Oct this year. After looking on your calendar, I was planning on a late October trip, but now, the free dining offer (which you say might not be available in October is available. My question is, being that aarly September is ‘peak’ hurricane season, is it likely to hamper our trip? We have both been to WDW before and I was on the college program in 2003. (Neither have been back since). Any thoughts on a September tris year would be great!

64 Dave { 05.15.13 at 6:50 am }

Hey Trey! The odds of being disrupted by a hurricane are low. So if you will be able to come back again another time if you are disrupted, then September is fine. If this will be your only trip ever, I’d avoid these peak hurricane season dates…

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65 Andrew { 05.28.13 at 4:28 pm }

Is hurricanes in sept 2013

66 Jennifer { 06.04.13 at 1:18 pm }

My husband and I are looking for low hurricane, low crowds and low rates for our soon to be 7 and 9 years olds. Could you please recommend which month or weeks throughout 2013 would make the best first family trip? Please take into consideration the heat and humidity as we are not use to hot weather. Thank you!

67 Dave { 06.05.13 at 6:42 am }

Jennifer, the week picker was made for you! See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/08/27/the-2013-walt-disney-world-week-picker/

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68 Sushma { 06.18.13 at 2:10 am }

Hi,
we are planning to visit disney in October 2013 from 9th October to 13th October…we are planning to stay at art of animation resort in disney…hope there will be no hurricane to upset our trip

69 Dave { 06.18.13 at 7:09 am }

Hi Sushma, me too! Have a great trip…

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70 Kim Gunter { 07.07.13 at 9:47 am }

Hi there! We have booked our very first trip to Disney for 8/31-9/5. I am getting nervous now because of possible bad weather/hurricanes. Should I be worried?

71 Dave { 07.08.13 at 7:13 am }

Well, Kim, on the one hand that’s why I rank these weeks low. On the other hand, the chances of an actual effect are quite small…

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72 Krista { 07.25.13 at 10:19 am }

My family and I are visiting Walt Disney World in Orlando for the very first time 9/25 – 10/1 this year. What can we expect for weather? I am terrified that a hurricane might keep us from the most magical experience that we have been waiting for our entire lives!!

73 Dave { 07.26.13 at 7:38 am }

Hi Krista, while that’s in the hurricane peak season, just on the odds you should be fine. It’s been almost a decade since a hurricane had any material affect at Disney World.

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74 Russ { 07.27.13 at 12:10 am }

Schöner post:)

75 Dave { 07.27.13 at 6:33 am }

Danke!

76 ¿Cuándo ir a Walt Disney World? Calendario Sugerido 2014 | CheMickey.com { 08.14.13 at 2:09 pm }

[…] Weeks 20-27 have one thing in common: they occur during but the peak of thehurricane season. […]

77 DataViz: 2014 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar | Michael Sandberg's Data Visualization Blog { 11.17.13 at 1:41 pm }

[…] mean a better week. The lowest weeks are low for a reason–typically because they are in the hurricane or the ride closure […]

78 Ashley Courtney { 12.23.13 at 11:31 am }

Hi, My Husband And I Are Planning A famIly Vacation Sometime In 2015, But We Are Concerened About Crowds And Weather. We Are Trying To Figure Out The Best Tine In August To Go. Qe Dont Want It To Be Hot As We Have Young Kids But We Dont Want It To Be Raining Either. Any suggestions

79 Dave { 12.24.13 at 9:52 am }

Hi Ashley, sorry, but there’s no time in August that doesn’t promise to be quite hot and with the risk of afternoon rain. Crowds are a mess in earlier August, but fine late in the month. However, late August is also the beginning of the peak of the hurricane season–see http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/when-to-go/next-best-dates/weather-and-when-to-go/chance-of-cyclonic-storm-affecting-florida/

For much better times to visit, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/10/15/2014-weeks-visit-walt-disney-world-ranked-order/

80 Disney DataViz: 2015 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar | Michael Sandberg's Data Visualization Blog { 04.05.14 at 3:22 pm }

[…] mean a better week. The lowest weeks are low for a reason–typically because they are in the hurricane or the ride closure […]

81 Rozan { 05.27.14 at 2:57 pm }

Hi Dave,
Planning to be at Walt Disney with my family from June 5 through June 14. I know it’s going to be crowded and probably very hot. What do you suggest as far as which days are best to go to which park. We are planning to go to Universal Orlando as well, so I wanted to know what days of the week are better for Walt Disney parks because I know they are more crowded than Universal. Also, I haven’t purchased our tickets to the theme park yet, any suggestion about where we can get a 4 or 5 day park tickets for less? We are a family of 4. Thank you.

82 Dave { 05.28.14 at 8:31 am }

Hi Rozan, first on tickets check out Undercover Tourist (link here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/02/23/disney-world-2014-ticket-prices-unless-they-go-up-again/ )

Tell me how old the kids are, and I’ll then advise you on parks!

83 Nena { 07.09.14 at 12:31 pm }

Hi Dave,

My family and I are planning to visit WDW for the very first time 11/08/- 11/15/2014. What can we expect for weather and crowds? Thank you!

84 Dave { 07.09.14 at 12:41 pm }
85 Jeanie { 08.19.14 at 7:44 pm }

Hi we are planning our 1st trip to WDW in Nov 2015. Would like to stay at AoA-Cars and hoping for free dinning. There will be 3 adults and 2 kids (girl-8, boy-almost 7). Can you give me any good tips? Also looking for your 2015 book. Thanks.

86 Dave { 08.20.14 at 6:51 am }

Hi Jeanie! I dunno if there will be free dining then or not. In this year’s deal, only about a third of November was in–see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2014/05/07/general-public-free-dining-for-select-arrival-dates-august-december-2014/

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