Why do theme parks stay open when a major weather event is predicted?


As the U.S. braces for a major hurricane, some people may wonder why theme parks stay open as a major weather event approaches.

Did you know that theme parks stay open even as a major weather event approaches the area? While people who don’t live in Florida might not understand why a theme park would remain open when a hurricane approaches, this scenario is not a new occurrence. Theme parks remain open more often than not.

Looking back at history, Walt Disney World has closed six times due to weather reasons. According to Florida Today, Disney closed for “Hurricane Floyd, Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne (2004), Hurricane Matthew (2016) and Hurricane Irma (2017), two days.”

These decisions aren’t meant to make light of the situation or undermine the seriousness of the weather. Safety of the team members, employees and guests are paramount during these weather events. No theme park would compromise safety just to stay open.

Still, there is something that this “open” sign gives to many people. While it might seem strange, many people who have to evacuate head to Orlando. The hotels in the area welcome those people who have to leave their homes.

When the theme parks are open, there is a diversion for many people. There is nothing worse than sitting, waiting and anticipating when the storm will hit. The Weather Channel with its continual updates feeds into that uneasiness.

By keeping their doors open, theme parks give everyone a sense of normalcy in an unusual way. Sure, a theme park is filled with make believe and fantasy, but those ideals give people hope that everything will be ok.

Everyone should prepare and be safe, but at the same time a little positive, good moments can make those scary moments seem less overwhelming. It might not seem logical, but for many Florida residents it is the diversion that they need.

People in Washington might see some drinking a Butterbeer as not being serious about the storm, but that tasty beverage could be the small smile that a person needs when facing a life changing event. Yes, a Wizard and a Mouse can offer that glimmer of hope in a world of uncertainty.

Simply stated, people want and need those theme parks to stay open. Not just because they want to continue their vacation but because those moments of happiness can be the memory to help in darker times.

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Have you evacuated to Orlando and spent time at a theme park during a major weather event? What was your experience?