Struck By Lightning

All four parks, waterparks, and other magic in Central Florida

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Len90
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Struck By Lightning

Post by Len90 » Jul Wed 30, 2008 8:21 pm

Okay, central Florida is known to have severe thunderstorms and we have all been through a lot during our stays at the WDW resort. On my most recent trip there (July 4-12), we encountered a pretty severe t-storm. We were inside the Contemporary on the Grand Canyon Concourse killing time before our ADR for California Grill. It was raining pretty bad so we had left the MK early to try and stay dry. There was a lot of lightning and thunder outside and suddenly there was a spark and a huge crackling noise. Everyone in the shops looked up and then realized what had happened. The top of the Contemporary was struck by lightning. It was extremely scary, but everyone just seemed to take it in stride. The building never lost power and anyone not on the grand canyone concourse knew it had even happened.

This instance then got me worried and I realized that it might be a frequent thing for the Disney World. Back when I was there in 2006 the resort monorail line was knocked out by a lightning bolt. Luckily it was up and running beofre the parks closing.

It got me thinking as to how often does a Disney experience something like this. It has happened at least once for me on my past two trips. Anyone else have any interesting ones to share?
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Post by js3901 » Jul Wed 30, 2008 8:31 pm

when I went down in '99 for graduation, we saw a waterspout in Clearwater Beach, then it was constant thunderstorms from there to Orlando/ Not sure of any lightning strikes within WDW, but plenty around driving back. surprised we didn't get hit...
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Post by MetalRage » Jul Wed 30, 2008 8:45 pm

wow i never experienced lightning like that at WDW! Last year i was at Animal Kingdom and a thunderstorm came through but went away after ten minutes. I was lucky i guess! :shock:
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Post by yodiwan1 » Jul Wed 30, 2008 8:57 pm

I do know that when there are storms castmembers are told not to go out in them, especially to do a trash run since the trash cans are metal.
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Post by DIAC1987 » Jul Wed 30, 2008 9:19 pm

yodiwan1 wrote:I do know that when there are storms castmembers are told not to go out in them, especially to do a trash run since the trash cans are metal.
Yep yep. Also, the outdoor foods carts are full of metal.

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Post by jcodirewolf » Jul Wed 30, 2008 9:29 pm

The metal trash cans shouldn't be an issue, assuming you wear gloves.

And the metal food carts, mostly seem have rubber/plastic coated wheels.

Both of which would prevent them from completing the circuit.

Not saying that isn't the rule. Just saying it shouldn't be a problem.

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Post by agingerbugg » Jul Wed 30, 2008 9:30 pm

I grew up in the area and lightning strikes are quite common. If you look closely, there are lightning rods all over the parks. I have seen some beautiful displays at the parks.
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Post by Captain Schnemo » Jul Wed 30, 2008 9:40 pm

Metal and rubber have little to do with lightning safety.

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Post by spodie » Jul Wed 30, 2008 9:50 pm

Of course lightning is going to strike at the parks - that's why the buildings have lightning rods on them. I don't know if this is true of all lightning rods, but when lightning hits them, it actually creates power for the building that it hits (or at least that's what I've heard of some of them).
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Post by Esmeralda » Jul Thu 31, 2008 7:50 am

spodie is right. Our Keys to the Kingdom tour guide pointed out lots of carefully disguised lightening rods to prevent anyone (or anything) from getting hurt during the frequent Florida storms.
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Post by Cazza and Livvie's Mum » Jul Thu 31, 2008 9:50 am

The closest I have been to a lightening strike at WDW was when we'd stopped after a Surrey Bike ride around the Boadwalk and were grabbing a drink from Hurricane Hanna's, the lightening struck something directly opposite, very colourful but also very scary. The ducks didn't even flinch. I then made a hasty retreat :roll:

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Post by jcodirewolf » Jul Thu 31, 2008 7:18 pm

I've often wondered if when the Ducks at Epcot go to Duck meetings, they don't paddle around going "What happened to the 8pm fireworks?" And the other ducks look at them like "What the hell are you talking about?" "you know the fireworks that go off at 8pm..."

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Post by ericpabear » Jul Thu 31, 2008 7:38 pm

One year my family and I were at Blizzard Beach. The cast members, over the intercom system, told evryone to leave the water park immediately. There was an approaching storm, and the park was closeing. So now there is a great big crowd waiting under, and beyond, every bus stop shelter. People were running for cars. All the time lighting cracking all around. The whole time kids, and grown ups were affraid. Here we are right out in the middle of a storm with no shelter. The lighting was so close, it looked as if it was stikeing the parking lot. It seemed as if we were going to see a tragedy at any moment. It took some time for everyone to get to safety. The large crowd required several buses, that came at thier 15 min + - intervals.

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Post by Len90 » Jul Thu 31, 2008 8:16 pm

ericpabear wrote:One year my family and I were at Blizzard Beach. The cast members, over the intercom system, told evryone to leave the water park immediately. There was an approaching storm, and the park was closeing. So now there is a great big crowd waiting under, and beyond, every bus stop shelter. People were running for cars. All the time lighting cracking all around. The whole time kids, and grown ups were affraid. Here we are right out in the middle of a storm with no shelter. The lighting was so close, it looked as if it was stikeing the parking lot. It seemed as if we were going to see a tragedy at any moment. It took some time for everyone to get to safety. The large crowd required several buses, that came at thier 15 min + - intervals.
Well same thing goes with all the pools. Once there is a lightning strike a certain number of miles away, all resort pools and all water parks are immediately shut. I believe some outdoor attractions along with TestTrack are also shut down. The weather is unpredictable at times and Disney tries their best to keep you safe!
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Post by agingerbugg » Aug Fri 01, 2008 8:23 am

ericpabear wrote:One year my family and I were at Blizzard Beach. The cast members, over the intercom system, told evryone to leave the water park immediately. There was an approaching storm, and the park was closeing. So now there is a great big crowd waiting under, and beyond, every bus stop shelter. People were running for cars. All the time lighting cracking all around. The whole time kids, and grown ups were affraid. Here we are right out in the middle of a storm with no shelter. The lighting was so close, it looked as if it was stikeing the parking lot. It seemed as if we were going to see a tragedy at any moment. It took some time for everyone to get to safety. The large crowd required several buses, that came at thier 15 min + - intervals.
This was a few years ago, apparently they still kept the water parks open. I was at Blizzard Beach in late July or August (peak of thunderstorm season) and the scheduled late afternoon storm rolled in. We were just told to stay out of the water. They closed the pools and slides, but not the park. Everyone who stayed crowded around covered picnic tables and in stores. I myself was around one of the picnic tables. Standing in three inches of water in the middle of a thunderstorm. Ah, I miss the good old days of my youth.
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

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