Earthquake Emergency at Disney Parks: Attractions Closed, Guests Evacuated Safely

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A sign reading "earthquake evacuation area" in front of a picturesque Disney castle with blue rooftops and golden accents under a clear sky.

Credit: Inside The Magic

This afternoon, a significant earthquake struck Southern California, prompting a few Disney parks to shut down and evacuate its guests and attractions.

An earthquake sign in front of Disneyland Resort, a Disney park in California.
Credit: Inside The Magic

Southern California Hit with Moderate Earthquake, Disney Parks Shuts Down Temporarily as Guests and Attractions Evacuate

In an event that briefly unsettled residents, a moderate earthquake struck Orange County on Wednesday afternoon, with its effects felt across multiple regions of Southern California. Initially reported with a magnitude of 4.3, the quake was revised to a preliminary magnitude of 4.1, as the United States Geological Survey (USGS) noted. The earthquake occurred at 1:49 p.m. at a depth of nearly a mile, its epicenter located in the Santa Ana Mountains approximately 5.6 miles southwest of Corona, near the border of Riverside and Orange counties.

According to the USGS, reports of shaking were widespread, spanning a significant area of Southern California, reaching as far south as Chula Vista, east to Indio, north to Ridgecrest, and west to Simi Valley.

Despite the expansive reach of the seismic activity, no reports of significant damage or injuries occurred. “We have received no reports of damage or injuries, and our firefighters are surveying their coverage areas,” stated the Orange County Fire Authority in a statement released on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

A seismic intensity map shows the Los Angeles area with a red star marking an earthquake epicenter near Riverside. The map includes intensity levels, nearby cities, geographical details, and attractions evacuated, including Disneyland.
Credit: United States Geological Survey

Regarding Disneyland California, the theme park ended up closing things down for around three hours, while the attractions and parks were evacuated for a short time, allowing Disney to assess the situation and monitor things to ensure optimal guest safety.

4.1 SoCal earthquake shuts down most #Disneyland attractions. Once the attractions are inspected, they will start to reopen.

@MiceChat on X 

After a certain amount of time, according to Mice Chat on X, Disneyland seems to have reopened its doors and attractions after everything was safely assessed. In seismic events like earthquakes, Disneyland prioritizes the safety and well-being of its guests and employees above all else. The theme park boasts comprehensive emergency protocols and procedures, ensuring it is well-equipped to manage such situations effectively.

Disneyland’s response strategy immediately assesses potential damages to its structures, rides, and infrastructure. Trained personnel conducts thorough inspections to verify the park’s safety before resuming normal operations. Specific areas or attractions may remain temporarily closed until they receive clearance for guest access.

Mickey's Fun Wheel and Incredicoaster on Pixar Pier at Disneyland Resort's California Adventure, a Disney park.
Credit: Brandi Alexandra via Unsplash

Communication with guests during these emergencies occurs through multiple channels, including announcements over loudspeakers, notifications on the Disneyland app, and updates on official social media accounts. The Disney parks, anywhere in the world, should be provided clear instructions, advising guests to remain calm, move to designated safe zones if necessary, and comply with directives from Disneyland staff.

For guests, maintaining composure and adhering to Disneyland staff guidance is paramount. Actions may involve remaining stationary during tremors, moving to open areas away from buildings, or evacuating to assigned assembly points as directed.

Guests are encouraged to acquaint themselves with emergency procedures outlined in park maps or guides. Setting up a communication plan with family members or travel companions is best to avoid potential separation during emergencies. Disneyland’s proactive approach to emergency preparedness and effective communication ensures guests can navigate such situations confidently and safely. By staying informed and following instructions diligently, guests play a crucial role in facilitating a smooth and orderly response during emergencies within the Disney parks.

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