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Earthquake Rattles Disney Resort: How the Parks Respond to Natural Disasters

Disneyland at night
Credit: steven lozano, Unsplash

Disneyland Resort is not a place unfamiliar with the potential for a natural disaster. Being located in Southern California, an area known for its seismic activity, it is not uncommon for the region to experience earthquake events. Disneyland Resort, which encompasses Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, is situated in Anaheim, Orange County, which is located within close proximity to major fault lines.

Mickey and Minnie at Disneyland

Credit: Disney

Disneyland Turns Chaotic After Earthquake Hits Anaheim

The occurrence of earthquakes at Disneyland Resort is a matter of concern for both park management and visitors alike. Ensuring the safety and well-being of guests is of utmost priority for the Walt Disney Company. With this in mind, Disneyland Resort, just like any other entity in Southern California, has taken appropriate measures to mitigate the impact of earthquakes and prepare for potential seismic incidents.

Just yesterday, January 5, a small earthquake in Southern California was felt at Disneyland Resort. For visitors out of the area, it drew concern. After all, what would really happen during an earthquake at Disney?

The seismic activity in the region is mainly attributed to the presence of the San Andreas Fault, a major fault line that runs through California. While Disneyland Resort is not situated directly on the San Andreas Fault, it is in close proximity to other fault lines, such as the Newport-Inglewood Fault and the Whittier Fault. These fault lines have the potential to generate seismic events that may affect the region, including Disneyland Resort.

Disney parking

Credit: Disney

What Would Disney Do in the Event of an Earthquake?

In order to ensure the safety of guests and employees in the event of an earthquake, Disneyland Resort has implemented comprehensive safety protocols and measures. These include regular inspections of infrastructure and attractions, adherence to building codes and regulations, and the incorporation of seismic-resistant design features in new construction.

Furthermore, Disneyland Resort has a dedicated emergency response team trained to handle various scenarios, including earthquakes. They are equipped with state-of-the-art communication systems and are well-prepared to respond swiftly and effectively in the event of any seismic activity. Regular training drills and exercises are conducted to ensure that all staff members are familiar with emergency procedures and evacuation plans.

It is important to note that Disneyland Resort, like any other area in Southern California, is subject to the guidelines and recommendations of local authorities, such as the California Geological Survey and the U.S. Geological Survey. These organizations continuously monitor and assess seismic activity in the region and provide valuable insights and guidance to ensure the safety of the public.

Partners Statue Disneyland

Credit: Travis Gergen, Unsplash

What Happens After Disaster Strikes?

The most common fear that people have about earthquakes at Disney is if one strikes while on a ride or attraction. In the case that this were to happen, there would be a few things that would happen.

First, the rides would shut down and stop moving as soon as it is safe to do so. After the earthquake passes, officials would determine the intensity and magnitude of the earthquake.

Earthquake magnitude refers to the measurement of the strength of an earthquake. It is a numerical value that quantifies the energy released by the earthquake at its source. Magnitude is usually determined using seismographs, which record the seismic waves produced by the earthquake.

If an earthquake is above a certain magnitude, then Disney will likely close all rides to perform a safety inspection.

Related: Massive Earthquake Strikes Disney Park as Guests Shelter in Place

Disneyland Park Sleeping Beauty castle

Credit: Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

What to Do if There Is an Earthquake at Disney

In the unlikely event of an earthquake occurring at Disneyland, it’s essential to know what steps to take to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. Earthquakes can be unpredictable, but being prepared and informed can significantly affect how we respond to such situations.

First and foremost, if you find yourself in Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park during an earthquake, remain calm and stay where you are. Don’t panic and try to rush out of the park. Follow the instructions given by the park staff and listen for any announcements or alerts. Disneyland operates a comprehensive emergency response system, and its trained staff will guide you through the necessary procedures.

Look for nearby spaces that provide safety and minimize the risk of falling objects, such as doorways, sturdy tables, or structural beams. Avoid areas with large glass windows or heavy fixtures. Taking cover under a table or desk can provide protection from potential debris or falling objects.

During an earthquake, it’s crucial to stay away from tall structures, such as buildings or walls, and avoid crowded areas if possible. Try to maintain a safe distance from objects that could pose a danger if they were to fall or collapse. Disneyland’s open spaces provide a relatively safe environment compared to urban areas during earthquakes. If you are in a queue line for an attraction, it’s advisable to remain in place and follow the instructions of the cast members on site.

Disneyland tickets

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After the Shock

One key aspect of earthquake safety is to be aware of aftershocks. Aftershocks are smaller tremors that can occur after the initial earthquake and can potentially cause further damage or compromise the structural integrity of buildings. It’s important to be cautious and remain vigilant even after the main earthquake has subsided. Follow the guidance of the park staff and be prepared to respond to any additional tremors if they occur.

Once the earthquake has passed and it is safe to move, proceeding with caution is essential. Be aware of your surroundings and watch out for any potential hazards, such as fallen objects or damaged structures. If you encounter any immediate dangers or require assistance, inform the nearest park staff member, who will be ready to provide aid and ensure your safety.

Remember, Disneyland prioritizes the safety and well-being of its guests, and its emergency response procedures are designed to minimize risks during unforeseen events like earthquakes. By staying calm, following instructions, and taking appropriate precautions, you can help ensure a safe experience at the park, even in the face of uncertain circumstances. Disneyland is committed to providing a safe environment for everyone, and their well-trained staff are ready to assist you in the event of an earthquake or any other unexpected situation. As a reminder, earthquakes do not happen often at Disney, but regardless, its a great idea to stay prepared.

About Eva Miller

Eva was born and raised in the beautiful state of Oregon but has since relocated and lives in New York City. Since she was young, Eva has loved to perform in musicals, especially Disney ones! Through performing, Disney’s music became the soundtrack of her childhood. Today, Eva loves to write about all the exciting happenings for the Walt Disney Company. In her free time, Eva loves to travel, spend time in nature, and go to Broadway shows. Her favorite Disney movie is 'Lilo and Stitch,' and her favorite Park is Disney's Animal Kingdom.

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