Vote of the week: What weather will keep you from the parks?
Written by Robert Niles
The first tropical storm of the season hit Florida yesterday. Tropical Storm Andrea is continuing its way up the east coast today -- trace a route from Busch Gardens in Tampa to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va., and you'll get a rough approximation of the storm's path. The storm caused no major damage or injuries in Central Florida yesterday, though several theme parks did close early in response to the weather. (And some of the mid-Atlantic parks are closing today.)
If you're visiting the southeast between June and November, there's a risk of encountering a tropical storm or hurricane, with August and September being the most likely months for storms. Of course, afternoon thunderstorms are a near-daily occurrence in Central Florida, so even if the forecast is clear for major storms, all visitors to the Florida theme parks during the summer ought to expect some inclement weather during their trip.
Even though we haven't seen a storm like this in a while, this still is not what you want to see on your summer vacation.
The Orlando-area theme parks are located well inland, and never have suffered major damage in a hurricane, though storms have closed the parks for a day at a time in the past. (Hurricanes have closed the Walt Disney World parks three times -- in 1999 and twice in 2004.) So fear of a hurricane or tropical storm shouldn't keep visitors from the area during the summer, though it's probably a good idea to schedule a day or two of free time during your summer Florida vacation. If the worst happens, that'll be the day you spend at the hotel riding out the wind and rain.
But the weather element that causes the most damage during the summer isn't rain, or wind. It's heat. Sunburns and heat exhaustion lead dozens of visitors to parks' first aid centers on a daily basis. Start drinking lots of water before your days in the parks, and don't forget the sunscreen if you want to spend the day enjoying yourself, instead of suffering in a first aid clinic.
If some people don't do well in the heat, many theme park rides don't do well in the cold. Low temperatures can keep roller coasters in their stations and water rides closed, while visitors run past frozen drink stands, looking for any place selling coffee or hot chocolate.
What kind of weather's most likely to keep you from visiting a theme park? Is it heat, cold temperatures, rain, or wind? That's our vote of the week.
And, while you're here, we'd like to invite you to join us as a fan of Theme Park Insider on Facebook, if you haven't already. It's a great way to keep in touch with everything that's happening in the world of theme parks.
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