Vote of the week: When disasters strike theme parks, for real
Weather can affect any vacation, whether it be a rainstorm on a day you'd planned to go to the beach, or a warm spell during your ski getaway, turning the slopes to mush.
But natural disasters can make those inconveniences trivial. As I write this, Hurricane Gustav is bearing down on New Orleans, where the Six Flags amusement park closed during Katrina and never reopened. Last month Tropical Storm Fay dropped what seemed like 10 feet of rain on Florida, soaking the Central Florida theme parks along with much of the rest of the state.
Earlier this summer, a moderate earthquake struck Southern California, rattling visitors to the area's theme parks, though, thankfully, none were injured seriously. Summer also not only brings theme park season to the U.S. Midwest, it brings thunderstorms, and the occasional tornado, too.
Which brings me to our vote of the week:
Have any of these ever affected you, personally? Have they ever affected a theme park visit? Tell us your stories, in the comments, please.
Personally, yes. Theme park-wise, no.
Hurricanes don't scare me too much. You get some kind of forewarning and you can evacuate or hunker down, depending on the severity of the storms. They always do damage, but don't generally linger for longer than a handful of hours (in some cases, anyway).
We were staying at the Grand Californian in July. The kids and I standing in the gift/sundries shop off the lobby. I felt a rumble in the walls (thinking at first it was from a passing monorail.
I arrived in WDW the day hurricane charlie hit in 2005. It was horrible. I got there around 11, and every park had announced it closure. So we went to the hotel, pop century, and the lines are insane for food, lucky us. There were probly hour lines just to get food as they were wraped aroudn the entire place. they closed everything off for the night and the wind was unbareable. they advised u to stay in ur room. they even sent security and other staff to warn people who were outside watching the storm. (silly people). so for dinner since everything was closed, we had chips and candy left over from our flight. But the first day when your ready to go, it was just horrible being stuck in a hotel room!
Tornados are just so unpredictable. You have time with a Hurricaine. Yes, eathquakes are also unpredictable, but I have lived in Southern California for over 40 years and really large quakes are few. They are still bothersome, but the parks usually stay open. They check the rides and structures for damage then life goes on as normal. It actually helps keep the crowds down. You should add fires to the list.
forest fires yes, and i'm from buffalo where blizzards can also be extremely hazardous like our october storm 2 years ago.....also there are floods which can affect theme parks as well, but it kinda ties in w/ hurricanes
Hurricanes are the least of my worries. I live in Wilmington, NC and have lived through approx. 7-10 hurricanes, never once experiencing any sort of drastic damage; the worst being a limb propelled through a screen on my screened-in porch. No further explanation needed on my immunity to hurricanes.
Personally, only Tornados happen around me. The last earthquake Illinois had was in April. I slept through it!
I would have to agree that a Tornado scares me the most due to the semi-unpredictability and sudden appearance of them. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there a Tornado season too??? I know Earthquakes are unpredictable, but they don't occur regularly. And Hurricanes/ Typhoons only scare me if I'm on an island such as Hawaii or anywhere in S.E. Asia or the actual Caribbean where there's no where to evacuate to.
I live in Florida and just got hammered by fay and im watching Hanna like a hawk. I just hoping that my trip to universal for rock the universe doesn't get canceled because of Hanna like what happened three years ago. Hurricanes Suck! but that scariest part are the tornadoes that spin off of them.
I grew up in near Buffalo has suffered through the "lake effect" storms. I moved to Boston where we were pounded by "Nor'easters" and now live in Central Florida where the news channels start talking about hurricanes in April and we've been fortunate enough not to have one hit in our area. Now, tornados scare the heck out of me. I've never experienced one, but just the look of those funnel clouds on tv fills me with dread.
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