Florida is known as “The Sunshine State”, which can be a bit deceiving for many people. That nickname implies that we have 365 days of sunshine every year and that our weather is always beautiful. This is true… some of the time. The rest of the time, we are getting poured on by monsoon-like storms, and even dangerous (and potentially deadly) tropical storms and hurricanes.
Nobody likes to think of weather having a negative impact on their much anticipated vacation, but it is reality, more times than not. To help you stay safe when storms do hit during your vacation, we have some tips for you to keep in mind.
First of all, we will start with the obvious, ponchos and/or umbrellas. While this isn’t necessarily a safety precaution, you will be very uncomfortable, and likely very unhappy, if you get soaked from a storm while trying to enjoy your park day. Even on an average day, you should be prepared and have a poncho, an umbrella, or both, with you just in case a storm pops up suddenly.
Power outages are very rare at WDW, but they do happen from time to time. While an outage isn’t likely to last for very long, it is possible, especially in the event of a major storm, such as a tropical storm or a hurricane. If you are visiting Disney while one of these storms is going to hit the Orlando/Disney area, make sure you plan ahead and have all of the basic necessary supplies you will need for the duration of the storm. Food, water, and any required medications should be your top priorities.
In the event that the power goes out, you will want to make sure you have flashlights and batteries available. Candles and matches/lighters are good to have available, as well, if you are staying somewhere that allows candles to be used. Make sure you plan ahead and purchase these things as far in advance as possible, if a hurricane or tropical storm is headed your way, as stores tend to quickly sell out of these items ahead of major storms.
If you happen to be staying somewhere that has a freezer, we have a genius tip for you to ensure that your food is still safe to eat, if the power goes out. Freeze a cup of water and place a quarter (or any kind of coin) on top of it. Leave the cup in the freezer. If the power goes out, you can use this as a guide as to how long the power has been out. If the ice melts and the quarter falls to the bottom of the cup, then your food will also be thawed, and therefore will probably be starting to spoil.
Before a major storm hits, it is a good idea to fill a bathtub full of water. This will give you an extra supply of water that can be used in case you lose access to running water, or if there is a water contamination during the storm.
Lightning in Florida is extremely dangerous. When a thunderstorm approaches in Florida, you will not want to take any chances. Please take shelter indoors immediately. If you are in the parks during one of these storms, this is the perfect opportunity to take a bit of a break to do some shopping, or to sit down and enjoy a meal. Outdoor attractions will be shut down immediately when lightning is in the vicinity of the parks. Parades and other outdoor entertainment will also be postponed or canceled when lightning is near the parks. The safety of the performers and guests is Disney’s #1 concern, so weather-related delays and cancellations are fairly common at WDW. It can be very disappointing to miss out on a parade that you’ve been looking forward to seeing, or to have an attraction you want to ride temporarily closed down. But, always remember that these decisions are made with everyone’s safety and well-being in mind.
Gas stations tend to sell out of gas quickly ahead of major storms, as people prepare for the possibility of evacuations. To avoid the long lines at the gas station, or even the possibility of a station being completely sold out of gas, make sure you plan ahead and fill up as far in advance as possible, if you are renting a vehicle or have your own vehicle with you for your trip.
We hope these tips help you stay safe while enjoying your vacation. It’s never fun when the weather has a negative impact on your vacation, but, if you plan ahead and take the necessary precautions, you can still make the most of your vacation, even in the worst conditions.
Are there any safety tips you would add to this list? Did you find our tips helpful? Let us know in the comments.
XOXO, Halie and Danny