Dangerous Weather Warning Issued for Walt Disney World

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A dramatic image of Cinderella's castle at Disney World with dark, stormy skies and multiple lightning strikes illuminating the background.

Image Credit: Inside the Magic

Walt Disney World Resort is now under a severe weather watch. Here’s what you need to know if you travel to the parks between today and tomorrow evening.

Storm rolling in over Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Kevin-Davis-Photography / Flickr

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Walt Disney World Resort – Dangerous Weather Issued for Central Florida

If you plan on visiting Walt Disney World Resort or Universal Orlando Resort over the next 12 to 24 hours, you might want to bring a raincoat and prepare for severe, potentially dangerous weather, as intense storms, including powerful lightning storms, are expected to impact Central Florida.

According to the National Weather Service, portions of Central Florida, including Orlando and Melbourne, are expected to get hit with severe weather starting during the evening and overnight hours of October 11, 2023.

Oct 10 | Tomorrow, Oct. 11, a 2/5 threat for severe weather exists across the western portions of our area, with the rest of east central FL in a 1/5 threat. Gusty winds, a tornado or two, lightning strikes, and heavy rain are forecast tomorrow afternoon into the overnight hours.

These storms may intensify, posing a risk of becoming strong to severe, with the potential for wind gusts of up to 50 mph and isolated gusts reaching as high as 60 mph. Moreover, cloud-to-ground lightning and heavy rainfall will have a notable presence. It’s important to note that there is also a possibility of tornadoes, especially in Lake County overnight.

These weather disturbances are expected to bring substantial rainfall, ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 inches in many areas, with localized regions possibly receiving up to 5 inches of precipitation. The most significant rainfall is projected for Lake, Volusia, and portions of Orange and Seminole counties.

storm brewing at Walt Disney World
Credit: James Palmer / Flickr

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What You Should Do to Prepare for Severe Weather While on Vacation

Ensuring your safety and enjoyment during your visit to Disney World entails proactive preparation for adverse weather conditions. Here are the key steps that guests should take into consideration:

  • Monitor the Weather Forecast: Before setting out, it’s essential to watch the weather forecast for the Orlando, Florida, area. Stay updated through various weather apps and websites, and take heed of any severe weather warnings or advisories.
  • Stay Informed Onsite: Stay informed about the current weather conditions in the park. Disney provides regular weather updates throughout the parks and resort hotels. Pay attention to announcements and signage for the latest information.
  • Seek Adequate Shelter: Should severe weather approach, promptly find shelter in designated areas. Disney World offers indoor attractions and restaurants where you can wait out the storm. Cast members will be on hand to guide you to these safe locations.
  • Prioritize Safety: Lightning is a notable concern in Florida. If you hear thunder or observe lightning, seeking refuge indoors or in a sheltered space is crucial. Disney’s Lightning Detection System is in place to monitor and respond to lightning-related threats.
  • Understand Evacuation Procedures: Familiarize yourself with Disney’s evacuation protocols in case of hurricanes or other extreme weather situations. Disney has well-established procedures in place to guarantee the safety of all guests.
Thunder and lightning clip art superimposed on a picture of Mickey and Minnie Mouse outside Hong Kong Disneyland's train station with thte now retiring Disney's Mickey Mouse
Credit: Disney

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A Safe Place for You and Your Loved Ones

Aside from all this talk of dangerous weather warnings and severe thunderstorms, Disney World is still the most magical and one of the safest places for you and your loved ones. Each Disney park has its own unique and magical offerings. Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, and Magic Kingdom all offer safe locations for guests during inclement weather. Each Disney World park has the proper guidelines and information to keep you and your family safe.

Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) also has secure locations for guests to seek immediate shelter during inclement weather. The Walt Disney Company ensured that when the parks were built, they were made with safety as the number one priority. This Disney Resort, including the onsite hotels like the Grand Floridian Resort, all have safety plans in place in case of dangerous storms or hurricanes. The Disney parks are designed to enhance the Disney experience even when severe weather strikes the area during peak seasons, like October.

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