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When Lightning Strikes Orlando Theme Parks

Magic Kingdom Lightning

Instagram: Melaroo_

On Friday, July 3rd, 2015  a lightning storm rolled over the Magic Kingdom created some beautiful photos that were shared all over social media.

Magic Kingdom Lightning

Twitter: @mego_rex

A lightning bolt can contain up to one billion volts of energy in a single strike and is hotter than the surface of the sun. Also, did you know that Central Florida is the lightning capital of the United States?

Magic Kingdom Lightning

Which begs the question, what do theme parks do to try and protect their buildings, guests and employees from lightning strikes? Next time you are at an Orlando theme park, look at the roofs of nearly every building.

Disney's Hollywood StudiosNow if you focus in you can start to see them…

Disney's Hollywood Studios

 

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Lightning rods dot the rooftops of nearly every single building in Orlando theme parks.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Some are cleverly disguised like this weathervane.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

….. or as an antenna…..

Disney's Hollywood Studios

 

Even atop the skyline in the Streets of America, you’ll find plenty of lightning rods.

Disney's Hollywood StudiosWhat is a lightning rod exactly? Developed by Benjamin Franklin (you remember the key being attached to a kite experiment?), it’s a metal rod that extends into the air above a building. All lightning rods on a particular building are connected through a system of copper or aluminum wiring. That wiring runs down the side of the building straight into the ground.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

While the metal rods don’t exactly “attract” lightning, they provide a solid conduit for the electricity to travel so it will end up in the ground and not charge the building.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

One of my favorite pieces of theme park trivia is at Crossroads of the World at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Disney's Hollywood StudiosThe 5’6″ tall Mickey Mouse featured on top of the structure features one of the most unique lightning rods on the world. Mickey’s right ear is made out of copper and serves as a lightning rod for the building!

Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Images Copyright: Instagram, Theme Park University

 

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