It’s hard to comprehend, but there are still many people who hear this urban legend and believe it. Hurricane season in Florida lasts from June 1st to November 30th and every year the same question seems to pop up. What does Walt Disney World do in the event of a hurricane and more importantly, does Cinderella Castle get dismantled so it doesn’t blow away?
Before we get to that, let’s look at how Walt Disney World monitors weather 365 days a year. The Disney property in Orlando is roughly twice the size of Manhattan or just over 27,000 acres. Crazy storms pop up around Central Florida, seemingly out of nowhere at times, and outdoor entertainment needs to be canceled or cut short due to impending storms. This weather is monitored in a central command center on property. They keep track of everything from rain, to wind gusts and even how far away lightning strikes are.
There is protocol in place to shut down all outdoor attractions and entertainment if a storm gets too close to a particular park. Because of the nature of Florida weather, just because a storm is wreaking havoc on the Magic Kingdom, doesn’t mean Animal Kingdom needs to cease all outdoor attraction operations. In the case of a hurricane, however, things are a bit different.
Hurricanes all form out in the Atlantic when warm water creates a recipe for the wind conditions to pick up rapidly and form an enormous vortex. Generally speaking, they form off the coast of Africa and gain strength as they head across the Atlantic depending on the conditions it can head straight for the east coast of the United States or continue through the Gulf of Mexico. What’s important to remember is that these storms usually take about a week to make landfall in North America, if they do at all.
This means Walt Disney World (and all of Florida, who have become accustomed to Hurricane Season) can prepare for catastrophic winds and rain. Preparations include anything that can fly away indoors and to tie down any items that can’t be brought in. Structures are built in theme parks to withstand hurricane force winds including Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom.
Despite what you may have read on the internet or any memes that have been texted to you (do people really get their facts from memes?), Cinderella Castle is not taken apart in the event of a hurricane. If you’ve seen a photograph of a crane near the spires of the castle, that has been taken during a different time of the year when lights are being added or removed via crane. Every year Disney covers Cinderella Castle in a netting of twinkling lights for the holidays. This process begins in September and is completed in October. Then the crane is brought back in around the middle of January and removes the lighting nets by the first or second week of February.
There you have it. Hopefully this clears some things up for you. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.
Make sure to follow Theme Park University on Instagram, on Twitter, subscribe on YouTube and like our Facebook page! Doing any online shopping? Click on any Amazon link on this page and it helps TPU pay the bills and costs you nothing extra!