If you’re heading to Disney World, you need to be prepared for many things — but one of the most important things is the weather.
While hurricane season lasted from June 1st, 2022, to November 30th, 2022, (and is now over) that doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter severe weather in Disney World during the upcoming winter and spring months. And if you’re heading to Disney World today (December 15th), you’ll need to be especially careful.
According to WESH 2 News, a tornado watch is currently in effect for 6 counties in Central Florida, including 2 counties within which Disney World is located — Orange and Osceola Counties. According to the National Weather Service, a Tornado Watch means “tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area.”
The tornado watch is currently set to last for most of the day — until 4PM ET.
FOX 35 Orlando reports that severe storms and tornados are possible in Central Florida today as a strong cold front moves into the area.
Fox shares that today is what they consider a FOX 35 “Storm Alert Day.” A cold front (which is expected to be strong) is expected to sweep across Florida in the afternoon. With it could come severe weather including lots of rain, lightning, wind gusts that could be damaging, and even the chance for an isolated tornado.
The chance of heavy rain and lightning is high, while the chance for tornados is a bit more moderate, but still something to be aware of.
It looks like the storm is expected to “hit” the Orlando area closer to 1PM-4PM based on the image below from FOX News, but, of course, things are subject to change as the cold front moves along.
UPDATE: The updated timeline shows the storm impacting the area from 1PM-3PM.
— Tony Mainolfi (@TMainolfiWESH) December 15, 2022
So what should you do if you’re heading to Orlando today (or any other day when severe weather is anticipated)? There are a few things we would recommend.
First — be prepared. Remember to pack those ponchos, umbrellas, water-friendly/resistant shoes, and extra socks. While you can buy many of these things in the parks, they’ll cost you a lot more than the items you brought from home.
If you come in prepared, you also won’t need to go running to a store when the bad weather hits — you’ll already be prepared!
Second — be mindful. It looks like the storm is expected to be at its worst in Orlando from around 1PM-3/4PM today. Keep a close eye on your weather apps to see how things are progressing. As that time approaches, see if you can do more indoor activities — see shows inside, sit down for an indoor meal, etc. so you can avoid a bit of the bad weather.
If you do see some really bad weather heading toward you, seek shelter when appropriate. Yes, even the Most Magical Place on Earth can experience things like funnel clouds, so it’s important to be safe.
Third — be cautious. If severe weather hits the parks, it can cause flooding and some slippery floors. Be cautious as you navigate the parks and be sure to listen to any and all Cast Member instructions as they work to keep you safe.
Fourth — be flexible. With severe weather can come some closures. Outdoor attractions will generally close when certain severe weather markers are hit (like lightning within a certain distance). That means some hugely popular rides, like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and others could CLOSE for a period of time today as the weather passes through. Watch the My Disney Experience app to see what rides are marked as “temporarily closed” and look to see when/if they are able to reopen.
Be sure to advise little ones that these popular rides might close when there is severe weather so expectations can be set. And, if possible, knock out those outdoor rides first thing in the morning so you can squeeze them in before any potential closures.
To see more, watch our video below about how to handle severe weather in Disney World. And stay tuned for the latest updates!
What are your best tips for handling severe weather in Disney World? Tell us in the comments.
The post NEWS: Tornado Watch in Effect for Disney World Counties and Severe Storms Possible first appeared on the disney food blog.