With Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World both located in Central Florida, unpredictable weather is a given. It is the trade-off for the theme parks to operate year-round without the threat of snow. But, of course, there are downfalls to having a Florida-based theme park, and that is hurricanes.
Florida sits between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, which means that the state typically feels any tropical storm that occurs in either area in some capacity. Typically just heavy rains and wind. During the summer months through to early fall, Florida experiences hurricane season, and this year is starting to look a little worse than expected.
Florida has most recently gone through tropical storm-turned hurricane Elsa. Still, it seems that now, “The latest projections call for 15-21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), while the initial seasonal outlook forecast was 13-20. This includes the five named storms so far this season.”, according to CNN.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has increased its initial numbers when it comes to hurricane season and now expects 7-10 full hurricanes to affect the Atlantic Ocean in the upcoming months. Within those numbers, three to five hurricanes are predicted to be “major (Category 3, 4, or 5 with winds 111 mph or greater)”.
Forecaster’s confidence has increased and the probability of an above-normal season has risen from 60% to 65%, leaving only a 10% probability of a below-normal season and a 25% probability of a normal season.
The National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) also noted that the Topics are becoming more active with possible hurricane-causing disturbances.
Aug 4, 2pm EDT: The Tropics are getting more active with two primary disturbances. One is several hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles, and the other should emerge off W Africa late tomorrow. It’s time to regularly monitor the latest forecasts at http://hurricanes.gov!
Aug 4, 2pm EDT: The Tropics are getting more active with two primary disturbances. One is several hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles, and the other should emerge off W Africa late tomorrow. It's time to regularly monitor the latest forecasts at https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB! pic.twitter.com/lLltKQi5gT
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 4, 2021
Lucky for Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, both Resorts are in Central Florida, protecting them from the dangers of being on the Florida coast. However, depending on the strength of the hurricane or tropical storm, the weather can end up severely affecting the theme parks and Guests visiting.
You may remember theme park closures and some damage inside the theme parks for Hurricane Irma back in 2017.
Both theme parks are highly equipped to deal with hurricanes, and Guests will be safe staying on an on-property Resort. There is always the chance that a theme park will close completely in the case of a hurricane, which we have seen Disney do on multiple occasions. But with Cinderella Castle being hurricane-proof, Guests can be assured that their hotel rooms are too!
For those traveling to Orlando in the next few months, be sure to keep an eye out on the weather forecast so that you can properly pack for your trip! Whether or not you encounter a hurricane or tropical storm, you are almost guaranteed to see rain, so having ponchos or an umbrella will save you a tonne of money!
Have you ever experienced a hurricane while on a Universal or Disney vacation? Let us know in the comments!