Checking in with our frozen theme park fans

January 29, 2019, 8:02 PM · As warm air over the North Pole pushes an arctic blast into the American Midwest, let's check in with our friends there who are passing the time online as they wait out the record cold.

I was joking today that if I still lived in the Chicago area, I would have been on the first flight I could book to Orlando to cover anything that would give me an excuse to get out of that frigid air. I remember walking along the Lake Michigan shore on many late January nights when I went to Northwestern, feeling the lake effect wind slicing through my heaviest winter coat. Those memories still make me shiver today, here in Southern California. Cold can be deadly serious, as I read too many mornings deep in the Chicago Tribune, telling of poor and sometimes homeless Chicagoans who lost their lives when they could not find protection from the sub-zero air.

Wednesday's forecast high in Chicago is -13 degrees (that's -25C for our friends in Europe). That's far worse that anything I experienced living many years in the Midwest, and I thought I'd seen some rough winters.

So best wishes to everyone hunkered down in this storm. To pass the time, here's a reminder that even Florida can experience a sub-freezing (though far from sub-zero) cold snap, with one of my favorite Stories from a Theme Park Insider: The day it snowed at Disney World.

I also looked for the warmest video I could find to help take your mind away from the cold. How about a trip to the Middle Eastern deserts of Dubai?

Or maybe our tour of Volcano Bay, during its pre-opening press event?

Wherever you are today, I hope that you are feeling safe and that you have the anticipation of an upcoming theme park visit (see below) to keep you in good spirits. Please check in with us in the comments — we'd love to hear from you!

Replies (11)

January 29, 2019 at 9:41 PM

Stay safe from the polar vortex everyone! Me I'm bundled up in Orlando cause I'm a tropical creature from way warmer Miami Beach and freeze easy. So used to bundling up at outdoor theme park locations that northern guests used to take photos of me in my trenchcoat and nametag showing my hometown, shivering, while children sang the Inspector Gadget theme song. " Go, Go Gadget- Space Heater!'

January 29, 2019 at 10:07 PM

I live in Chicago suburb so right smack in the middle of it all. Thankfuly, indoor garage for car but still not happy as I will have to work tomorrow which won't be fun. Still, at least a good heated home, more than some folks have. Makes me jealous of my sister now living in Phoenix.

January 30, 2019 at 7:42 AM

I live in St Paul and woke up to -30 temp and -50 wind chill. The state is basically shut down with even no mail service. I am planning a trip with my son to Disneyland in January of next year, so thoughts of warm weather and churros will have to get me through this.

January 30, 2019 at 8:38 AM

From a friend/pal literally residing on the Michigan lake shore, I receive an icy picture then and now...
In the meanwhile, here in Belgium, I still go jogging with bare hands, bare underlegs and no hat on top :-)

Most pronounced icy example here is: :-)

(Efteling fountain in front in Carousel Palace)

January 30, 2019 at 10:57 AM

It's a balmy 31F in Philly but supposed to go down to 18 by the time I get off work. (It rained hard all day Sunday in Orlando, really putting a damper on my visit, so I don't seem to be having much luck with the weather.) If the forecast is correct, it will be 8F when I leave home for work tomorrow morning but that's nothing compared with conditions in the Midwest. I can't imagine what people in the Chicago area are experiencing or how they are coping. Try to stay warm!

January 30, 2019 at 11:04 AM

Currently at work in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada wishing I was in Orlando. The current temperature is -28C (-18.4F) with a windchill of -42C (-43.6F).
I would feel sorry for the residents of the US midwest but we get this crappy weather before you.

January 30, 2019 at 11:37 AM

haha your line (that's -25C for our friends in Europe)made me laugh. You mean for the rest of the planet! Still thank you for including metric...saved me a google search. :)

January 30, 2019 at 12:33 PM

Yeah, most of the international readership for TPI is in Europe so that's why I framed the reference that way, but yes, the Celsius reading certainly would apply to the rest of the world, too!

January 30, 2019 at 3:26 PM

It was -35F here this morning in North Dakota.Fortunately it's 3:30 p.m. and it's warmed up to a balmy -18.

January 30, 2019 at 4:39 PM

It's a balmy 61 here in La Jolla. I think everyone will be Ok here.

January 30, 2019 at 7:02 PM

We've been having frostquakes in Ohio. Yes, they're real. When the ground is wet with little snow, then it gets extremely cold very fast, the ground freezes and expands. The energy built-up is finally released with a remarkably loud "POP" or bang. No damage, nothing to feel, but all night last night (-9 degrees) I thought something was hitting the house. Turns out everyone in town was hearing this. Now I'm waiting for some thundersnow!

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